Online Curator Celebrates Independent Fashion Boutiques
Online fashion store FarFetch.com is a curated network showcasing the clothing cataloges of over 250 small boutiques from cities all over the world. CEO of the company, Jose Neves, is a London-based fashonista who started out by opening his own shoe shop in Covent Garden, later winning a British Fashion Award in 2006. “We see ourselves as curators of curators. We’re very selective with boutiques because we want to celebrate the best independent curators of fashion anywhere in the world,” says Neves.
Ideas and Inspiration
The concept of an online fashion store that sells a selection of other people’s creations came about in 2007, when Neves attended Paris Fashion Week. He noticed that while small boutiques were struggling financially, business was booming for online fashion stores. Forget 80 boutiques – today FarFetch.com has around 80 000 products for sale on its site, mainly from Brazil, Europe and America. The cataloge is also rather high-end – the average order costs 400 pounds, and features both new and established designers.
Online fashion shopping is a rapidly growing sector of the fashion industry. Internet shopping is more popular in the UK than in any other country, according to an Ofcom study. Of particular significance is the rise of mobile shopping – with 51% of the UK owning a smart phone, mobile commerce is a vital resource for brands looking to grow sales. The 24-34 age range is the most effective target market, with 43% having bought or planned to buy fashion via their mobiles.
Many websites rose up in response to the curatorship trend, offering personalized product selections – some use algorithms, whilst others bring in talented members of the fashion industry. Although FarFetch personally selects the products that they sell, other websites offer items from any online clothing retailer according to the user’s answers to a set of questions used to narrow down the selection.
Curatorship – A Sales Device?
However, fashion curatorship is not only relegated to the realm of the internet. Retailers have caught onto this trend, as the novelty of celebrity collaboration lines wears off. Topshop, H&M and Selfridges have all utilized this idea, where relatively well-known stylists pick out a selection of items from the store and create unexpected yet appealing collections. Indeed, curatored clothing can be considered a luxury – carefully selected items create a sense of class and refinement. As fashion brands continuously try to reach new audiences through different digital mediums, the future of fashion has never looked so exciting.
Grace Matthews is a London-based fashion blogger who greatly enjoys putting together work outfits, consisting of formal shirts, smart heels and tailored pants.