Condé Nast closes Style.com and signs new deal with Farfetch
Condé Nast has closed its Style.com platform and announced a new "industry defining" content and commerce partnership with Farfetch.
The global publishing house, whose brands include Vogue and GQ, has said the new partnership would connect its global editorial portfolio with Farfetch's e-commerce, technology and logistics platform. The aim is to create a seamless luxury shopping journey "from world authority fashion inspiration to purchase gratification", by commercialising Condé Nast’s online and social media content and linking it to the circa 700 global luxury brands and boutiques on the Farfetch platform, in real time.
As a result of the partnership Style.com, the luxury online marketplace launched by Condé Nast last autumn, will cease to operate and the URL will redirect to Farfetch.com. Style.com had been in development for a number of years and the site was originally a fashion industry news service, however that content was wrapped into the Vogue.com editorial offer, and the domain was transformed into a marketplace shopping site. It was, however, met with a lukewarm reception on launch.
The 75 members of the Style.com team are now in talks with Farfetch to see where future opportunities may lie. A number of high-profile team members were brought in by Condé Nast to work on the launch including Franck Zayan, formerly of Galeries Lafayette, fashion consultant and founder of the Etre Cécile brand Yasmin Sewell and Melissa Dick, former editorial director at ASOS.com.
Now, Condé Nast and Farfetch say they will partner to create a "best-in-class content-to-commerce shopping experience", which will include a seamless technology connection to enable Farfetch product integration into Condé Nast’s content; shopping guides created by Condé Nast publications, highlighting products from Farfetch; and distribution of shoppable content across Condé Nast digital and social platforms. In addition, the partnership will see Condé Nast and Farfetch collaborate on defining and "rolling out innovative content and commerce experiences".
Condé Nast was an early investor in Farfetch and the move was "the next step in our evolving business relationship", said Jonathan Newhouse, Chairman and Chief Executive of Condé Nast International and a newly appointed board member of Farfetch. "[The partnership] further unites two leaders in their respective sectors, combining best-in-class content with the world’s leading online luxury shopping destination. This is an industry defining collaboration, and I am very pleased to be joining the Board of Farfetch," he said. "I would like to take this opportunity to thank the entire Style.com team for their dedication, energy and commitment."
Farfetch founder José Neves said that inspiration content was "a natural part" of the luxury shopping experience. "In the same way as we empower the fashion industry and connect consumers with the world’s best brands and boutiques, we want to connect them with outstanding content," he said.
"This global partnership with Condé Nast will significantly augment the retail experience for our customers, and we see it as a natural step in Farfetch’s approach to commerce and our strategic vision to connect those who create fashion, curate fashion and develop fashion content. Farfetch’s DNA is about partnering with those who are the best in their fields, and Condé Nast is one of the world’s best content providers. I am also thrilled that Jonathan Newhouse will be joining our Board of Directors," Neves added.
Dame Natalie Massenet who joined Farfetch as non-executive co-chairman earlier this year and who found pioneering luxury e-commerce site Net-A-Porter.com said she was "thrilled" with the partnership: "Since 1999 I have believed in the importance of combining content and commerce in order to elevate the digital shopping experience. Content educates, entertains, and inspires purchases which is crucial in the customer journey of discovery. We have long admired the depth, breath and sophistication of Condé Nast’s international reach and are excited for Farfetch to partner closely with Condé Nast."
"For the consumer this will be a joy to move from inspiration to transaction at any time and any place. And for the brands and international boutiques that have always partnered with Condé Nast this will further enhance their presence in Condé Nast’s media. It will be thrilling to develop the next evolution of content and commerce with Anna Wintour and all the brilliant talented minds at Condé Nast," Massenet added.
Dame Anna Wintour, the long-standing Editor in Chief of US Vogue and artistic director at Condé Nast said:"I’ve always believed that what sets Condé Nast apart is our voice and our vision. Partnering with Farfetch only enhances that, and brings a new dimension to all that we offer the world."