While in the Nineties many a brand had the desire to be featured in a Friends episode, in 2016 the concept is slightly different and requires the luxury brands to sell their products on the Internet too. Manolo Blahnik can finally boast great achievements and experiences, as the award-winning Spanish designer has just joined forces with the eight-year-old U.K.-based e-commerce platform Farfetch to launch online.
Besides adding one of the world’s most renowned footwear labels to their store, Farfetch is keeping up with the times, staying ahead of the game and trying to understand what its future customers will need and look for on an e-commerce platform. The Manolo Blahnik x Farfetch collaboration is just the first of the many partnerships the retailer has prepared to launch with haute couture clients for its brand new Black & White division. Manolo Blahnik may be the Black & White division’s first brand, but as the Farfetch CEO José Neves revealed, the retailer is planning to soon expand the service throughout 2016 (we already know that three more brands will launch their own e-commerce pages on Farfetch by the end of summer).
In an interview with WWD, he recently declared: “We do not look at this in terms of share of the overall business. We look at it as a holistic answer to the question, ‘How will people shop for luxury fashion in five years?’ We think it’s going to be multibrand online — hence Farfetch.com and BrownsFashion.com – but also monobrand online — hence Farfetch Black & White. But it will also be in-store and this is why we invested in Browns and we have created a retail business unit for continuous tech innovation.”
Then, denoting that the monobrand division will be separated from the main conventional marketplace, he further explained: “The vision was always to build Black & White as a true platform. Technologically, Farfetch is built with an API [application program interface] layer, which means we can put all the functionalities you see on Farfetch at the service of the best luxury brands and retailers worldwide. […] Customers shop in monobrand stores as well as multibrand stores. It’s a bit like in the real world. The type of experience is different, but both are complementary.”
Adding the Black & White section means for Farfetch to also refine its marketing strategy in a way that its equally powerful competitors such as Yoox, Net-a-Porter and Demandware will have something to compete for indeed. Many might think that Farfetch, with its valuation of over $1 billion, has nothing to fear for, but yet, once again, it’s all about staying ahead of the game.
Photo courtesy of WWD