Condé Nast Invest
by Suzy Menkes
Showing confidence in the power of e-commerce and the
importance of the Internet, the publishing group Condé
Nast will announce on Monday an investment in Farfetch,
the Web site that has united individual luxury retailers
with online shoppers.
Condé Nast is the major player in the $20 million investment.
James Bilefield, president of Condé Nast International Digital,
and José Neves, founder and chief executive of Farfetch, are
scheduled to spell out the details of the collaboration in Paris on
Monday. Jonathan Newhouse, chairman and chief executive
of Condé Nast International, says that this initiative is a
recognition of the fast-changing digital world.
“What’s happened is that print and retailing were completely
different experiences for the reader and the consumers,” said
Mr. Newhouse, who called this connection to a fast-growing
e-commerce site a sign of the “new reality” — that commerce
and editorial are being brought close together in cyberspace.
Farfetch, founded by Mr. Neves in 2008, puts its
e-customers in touch with 250 boutiques globally, seeing
itself as a curator of the 82,000 chosen products. It said
that its 150,000 customers in 140 countries spent $680 on
average per order.
“We have been talking for one year. It was a long process
and we both took time to think, but now Condé Nast is the
largest investor in this round,” said Mr. Neves, who said that he
saw his new investor as “very much about news and newness
in term of fashion discovering new and emerging talent.
” He sees synergy in the fact that the Condé Nast magazines,
which include Vogue, Vanity Fair and GQ, support independent
fashion and the diversity of small designers and big labels as a
good fit with Farfetch’s own attitude.