Farfetch is an online luxury retailer that has grown in popularity for years. Now, the company is breaking new ground in e-commerce and partnering with several publishers, including Condé Nast, to spread the news.
Recently, Candice Fragis, the buying and merchandising director for Farfetch, did an interview with the one and only Jeanne Beker. Below are our favourite parts.
Everybody is buzzing about Farfetch and the impact it’s had on the fashion industry and retail in general. How exhilarating has all this attention been for you?
I’ve only been here for two-and-a-half years, and in that time we’ve grown over 70 per cent year-on-year. Even in terms of people, we were just under 400 – now there’s about 1,600, so the excitement and the pace is palpable. Being part of something that is so innovative with its approach to retail and fashion and the global perspective is incredibly exciting for me.
Farfetch’s claim is that it presents the world’s greatest selection of luxury. How do you personally define luxury in this day and age?
For me personally, luxury is something that is unique. It’s about the quality of the product. It’s about the execution, the production. I’m very interested in sustainability, in sourcing, in artisans, and in pure design process. I love having the ethos and the personality of who is creating the product, and having an understanding of that whole process behind what the brand is. For the majority of the big brands we sell, their production is fantastic and the quality of materials are great, but it’s very accessible. I think where we’re moving to right now in the world of luxury is how you can have that unique point of difference. And I think personalization comes into that a lot. More unique items are very much where we’re going: Customization and personalization. That individual stamp on an item is becoming what is now more luxurious than just the ‘It’ bag. I think we passed out of that phase.
How adamant do you find people are these days about supporting locally-produced products, or local designers and retailers?
For me, in terms of sourcing and picking out those brands, it’s always been a personal passion. It’s something we do a lot of on Farfetch as well. We kind of umbrella them in the term called ‘Shop the World’; we’re looking at who we can find from local markets that are only really accessible in those markets, and we’re then giving them that global window, which I love. We’ve taken initiatives to look at how we can actually find and support emerging talent and these local brands. I think that there’s a huge market for that. The advanced luxury customer wants that, because it speaks to that point of difference and that uniqueness. It feeds that emotional sense of discovery as well.
We love seeing companies like this grow, while keeping the commitments they made to important values. Next time you need a gift for a beloved family member or an extra special friend, you know where to go. And, you don’t even have to leave the comfort of your bed!