Kering takes stake in luxury resale platform Vestiaire Collective
Kering, the Paris-based luxury conglomerate, has taken a circa 5% stake in Vestiaire Collective as part of a €178m financing round for the luxury resale platform.
Also taking part in the financing round were US investment firm Tiger Global Management along with existing shareholders including Vestiaire Collective’s CEO, Max Bittner, Bpifrance, Condé Nast, the Eurazeo Group, certain funds managed by Fidelity International, Korelya Capital (backed by NAVER), Luxury Tech Fund and Vitruvian Partners.
Vestiaire Collective has seen demand boom during the pandemic with transaction volume grow over 100% year-on-year, and this latest funding round grants the business "unicorn" status.
Kering, which owns brands such as Gucci, Alexander McQueen and Saint Laurent, said its investment was a sign of its commitment to supporting sustainable and innovative new business models.
“Pre-owned luxury is now a real and deeply rooted trend, especially among younger customers. Rather than ignoring it, our wish is to seize this opportunity to enhance the value we offer our customers and influence the future of our industry towards more innovative and more sustainable practices. This fits naturally with our entrepreneurial spirit, our pioneering sustainability strategy, and our modern vision of Luxury," said Kering CEO François-Henri Pinault.
Grégory Boutté, Kering’s Chief Client and Digital Officer, added: “Our innovation strategy aims at investing in brands and technologies for the next generation of consumers, focusing on disruptive business models that allow us to better serve our clients and improve our performance. The investment in Vestiaire Collective makes full sense from both perspectives.”
Vestiaire Collective recently announced a trailblazing partnership with Kering-owned Alexander McQueen, which sees the luxury brand offering select customers a "buy-back" option on certain pieces which will then be sold on the resale platform. Customers can exchange their old items to gain credit on new purchases.
The move was part of Vestiaire Collective's "Brand Approved" strategy to work directly with brands on the resale of items, having started out as a peer-to-peer selling platform.
Maximilian Bittner, Vestiaire Collective’s CEO said: “This latest round of investment confirms the incredible trajectory of Vestiaire Collective, founded during the 2008 crisis, the model has clearly demonstrated its ability to continue to thrive during challenging conditions.
"The resale sector as a whole is experiencing rapid growth, especially amongst Millennial and Gen Z consumers, which will come to shape the retail landscape of the future. We are incredibly excited to welcome Kering and Tiger Global Management, both of which will be instrumental in our mission to build a more sustainable fashion industry and further grow our incredible global community”.
According to Vestiaire Collective the amount of secondhand pieces in people’s closets is predicted to grow from 21% in 2021 to 27% in 2023 with the value of the secondhand sector forecasted to be worth over $60 billion by 2025.