European resale market leader Vestiaire Collective has raised 59 million euros on Monday, April 20 to finance its international expansion and to shape the fashion of tomorrow. The fashion platform thus brings in three new investors, while coronavirus outbreak is paralysing fashion retail worldwide.
Barely more than ten years after its creation in Paris, the luxury resale platform Vestiaire Collective has just raised €59 million in new funding, with the entry of three new shareholders: Korelya Capital (the fund managed by Fidelity International and headed by Fleur Pellerin), Vaultier7 (specializing in funds headed by women) and Cuir Invest (financed by the French Leather Industry).
These three new investors join the existing shareholders of the website launched in 2009, including Eurazeo, Bpifrance, Vitruvian Partners, Conde Nast and Luxury Tech Fund.
“These new resources will enable us to pursue our development more aggressively, in terms of geographic expansion, communication and new technologies.” says Max Bittner, the CEO of Vestiaire Collective.
For him, the crisis linked to Covid should even favour his activity because consumers, “more and more sensitive to the impact of their way of consuming on the environment“, will start to be aware of the situation and will review some of their purchasing practices.
Towards more sustainable and responsible fashion
After the coronavirus, consumers will not only buy less (20% of consumers plan to reduce their clothing consumption after the crisis, according to a study by the McKinsey firm) but they will also buy better.
“I am personally convinced that this period of unprecedented crisis will not only call into question where we shop, but also how we shop. Vestiaire Collective was born during the crisis of 2008, and today proves that it can help people to make the most of their goods every day, but also to access fashion in a sustainable and responsible way“, Max Bittner reacted in a press release.
According to him, there will indeed be a “post-Covid-19 era” that will best benefit Vestiaire Collective: “Consumers will travel less and go to stores less. Online sales will thus develop. Customers will be more concerned about the purchase price and will be ready to sell their products in order to generate income. And respect for the environment and the use of the circular economy will increase.”
Consumers, who are more concerned about what they buy, but also more imbued with social values such as solidarity, mutual assistance and sense of community, will be all the more sensitive to the system of reselling unused clothing.
“There is widespread criticism of mass waste producers and a growing desire for companies to engage and take action for causes that are more respectful of the environment and social conditions.” says the company.
The second-hand market is therefore likely to see its sales boom, and Vestiaire Collective, which offers second-hand luxury items, could only gain new customers, which would allow a high-end and luxury niche to establish itself even more strongly as a “circular and responsible response to the fashion for throwaway items“.
This is already the case at the height of the epidemic: “For the past two weeks, we have recorded a 20 to 30% jump in activity on the site, with an all-time record of sales last Friday“, says the CEO. The number of deposits and orders explode, every day more than 14,000 items are offered for sale, compared to 8,000 per day before the pandemic.
“As the world’s leading resale platform, this fundraising confirms once again that the Collective Wardrobe model embodies an essential alternative in the future of the fashion industry and meets the challenges of our century.” concluded the company in its press release.
The second-hand luxury clothing platform, which today has 9 million members in 52 countries, is counting on this opportunity to continue its international development. Its other ambition: to strengthen its position in Asia.
Targeting the Asian market
With this new fund raising and its three new investors, Vestiaire Collective, which has already opened offices in Paris, London, New York, Milan, Berlin and Hong Kong, also wants to continue its international expansion, and particularly to conquer new markets in Asia from 2020.
The website would like to enter Korea and the support of Korelya Capital, financed by the Korean technology conglomerate Naver, could be of help.
But also in Japan, as it is the largest resale market in the world.
The company would also like to expand its Direct Mail service to Asia and the United States this year. This option, which allows an item (when it is worth less than 200 euros) to be sent directly to its buyer without going through the checkout box at Vestiaire Collective, would be a huge success, as this channel currently concerns more than 50% of orders on the Old Continent, and has signed the reintroduction on the site of products positioned in the mid-range segment.
In the midst of the global health crisis, Vestiaire Collective wants to develop the fashion of the future and boost its growth throughout the world.
More ambitious than ever, the French company seems promised to success. And it is not Frank Boehly, President of Cuir Invest, who will deny it: “We firmly believe that Vestiaire Collective, a company with a remarkable management team and immense growth potential, can become the world leader in its sector“. The future will tell us.
Featured Photo : ©Vestiaire Collective
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