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Manolo Blahnik moves into e-commerce with Farfetch

Lauretta Roberts
31 March 2016

Manolo Blahnik has unveiled its first e-commerce site powered by Farfetch's new white label service "Black & White". Farfetch has established a new division to offer monobrand e-commerce sites to luxury brands and Manolo Blahnik is the first to go live., which launched yesterday, offers the brand's full range of footwear, handbags and books for men and women. A further three luxury brands are expected to launch using the Black & White service by the end of the summer, Farfetch founder Jose Neves told WWD.

Farfetch's main business is a marketplace for luxury boutiques worldwide. It was launched in 2008 by entrepreneur Neves and now encompasses 400 leading boutiques offering 1,000 brands globally. It has been rapidly expanding of late. Last month it moved into beauty in partnership with Space NK and launched its kidswear offer. Last year it acquired iconic London boutique Browns and plans to use its South Molton Street store as a test bed for its hi-tech future store concept.

The addition of a white label service puts it in competition with Italian e-commerce giant Yoox, which recently merged with NET-A-PORTER. Yoox began life as an off-price site for luxury brands but it too began to offer its platform in white label form to aid luxury brands' moves into monobrand e-commerce; it now runs websites for major labels such as Armani, Moschino and Valentino.

Neves told WWD: "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.”

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