LONDON — FarfetchOS, the retail innovation event that will take place here on April 12, is taking shape with an agenda that includes speakers from brands ranging from Instagram to Deliveroo and speakers including Natalie Massenet and Will.i.am, WWD has learned.
The one-day, invitation-only event that’s aimed at fashion brands, retailers and e-commerce decision-makers will take place at London’s new Design Museum in Holland Park. Farfetch founder, chief executive officer and co-chairman José Neves has described it as “a different type of hybrid,” that’s not a pure sales conference nor a thought leadership one.
“We believe that the future of luxury fashion will involve the physical store, and will be augmented by digital platforms, making a variety of unique, customer-focused experiences possible,” said Neves, adding that Bain & Co., the official research partner for the event, will explore the intersection of physical and digital retail.
The panel session will feature speakers from Spotify; Instagram; DST Global, the investment company that specializes in late-stage, high-growth, private Internet companies, and cofounder and ceo of Deliveroo, William Shu.
Neves will host a “fireside discussion” with Massenet about technology platforms in the luxury industry. Last week, Massenet, founder of Net-a-porter Group and chairman of the British Fashion Council, joined Farfetch as non-executive co-chairman. As reported by WWD, she also is close to launching her own venture capital fund, Imaginary Ventures.
Other participants will include Will.i.am; Miroslava Duma, the digital entrepreneur and investor; William Kim, ceo of All Saints, and Maria McClay industry head of fashion at Google. They will take part in a panel session on how technology is shaping the future of fashion.
Claudia D’Arpizio and Federica Levato, both partners at Bain’s luxury practice in Milan, will present a new report, “Fashion of the Future: The 3 C’s of Change.” Their research focuses on the evolution of the relationship between the luxury fashion customer and technology; the new patterns of communication and distribution it creates, and insights into the emerging behaviors of the Millennial customer.
Neves will also reveal the details of the project Store of the Future, which he first began talking about two years ago. It aims to put the customer at the center of the retail experience. He’s called Store of the Future “a unique and adaptable suite of emerging technologies” set to change the way brands and retailers interact with their customers online and offline.
“Whether capturing physical interactions in store or knowing the customer across all their channels, Store of the Future will enable brands and retailers to drive growth and champion innovation,” he said.
As reported, Neves has described FarfetchOS as a fresh way of championing brick-and-mortar stores. “We’re actually coming to the industry and saying, ‘You know what? Thousands of stores you have in capitals around the world — these are actually where all the action is going to happen.’
“The old-fashioned store with models of branding won’t survive. There needs to be some augmentation of the digital experience. That’s what Farfetch does every single day, you know, we connect digital stores to digital platforms.”
He said FarfetchOS “is really about how we see the world in the next three to five years. We want to get out of this three- to 12-month mind-set and think, ‘How will people shop for fashion in five years’ time?’ That’s the essence of it,” he has said.