SHANGHAI — Resale platform Reflaunt said it has secured $2.7 million in a pre-series A funding round led by SLS Journey, the investment arm of luxury fashion distributor MadaLuxe Group.
Other investors in the round include former Jimmy Choo chief executive officer Pierre Denis; Ganni founder Nicolaj Reffstrup; the Textile Innovation Fund; Piquadro; Bluebell Group, and Fashion for Good. The Mills Fabrica, a seed investor, also increased its stake in the company. The latest round brings the start-up’s total amount raised to $3.7 million.
The initial investment was led by Yellow Octopus Group, Balenciaga CEO Cédric Charbit and Swarovski creative director Giovanna Battaglia.
Reflaunt’s “resale as a service” technology provides an API plug-in that appears as a button on brand’s e-commerce websites and provides a degree of traceability. So far, the start-up has partnered with a number of brands including Balenciaga, Cos, Ba&sh and marketplaces like Rebelle and VideDressing.
The investment points to an uptick of interest in brands working with resale parties and perhaps an overall shift in the brand stance on the secondhand market. Alexander McQueen said this week that it would partner with Vestiare Collective to list pre-owned products on the new “brand-approved” section of the marketplace.
Prior to this, brands tended to ignore the secondhand market for their goods or even take an adversarial position. Chanel, for instance, is still tied up in the courts with vintage boutique What Goes Around Comes Around. The French luxury house said the retailer falsely misleads consumers into believing that the products sold by the retailer are approved by Chanel and also alleges the retailer has sold counterfeit Chanel.
Brand approval also creates a significant hurdle for resale platforms, which mostly provide some degree of authentication service but ultimately are still prone to mistakes — as an ongoing lawsuit alleging fakes on The RealReal illustrates.
Reflaunt was founded in 2017 by Stephanie Crespin, Philippe Benedetti and Felix Winckler. The fund raise will see the addition of Sofia Gazzotti as head of strategy and finance; she joins Reflaunt from consulting firm McKinsey & Co.
“Improving the detrimental impact that the fashion industry is having on our world requires a holistic approach to responsible behavior,” Reffstrup said. “Just replacing conventional fabric with organic alternatives is far from enough. To truly address the challenges we have created for ourselves we also need to consider how our products are consumed and treated post-consumption.”