Kering takes stake in Vestiaire Collective
If anybody needed confirmation of how important fashion resale has become, it came on Monday afternoon with the announcement by France’s Vestiaire Collective of a new €178m ($ 216m) financing round backed by Kering and US-based Tiger Global Management.
Kering now has a roughly 5% stake and representation on the Vestiaire Collective board. The group’s chairman and CEO François-Henri Pinault said that “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.”
For Vestiaire Collective, it’s undeniable that having the owner of hot brands such as Gucci, Bottega Veneta and Saint Laurent on board is a major endorsement of the resale concept and its place in the future of luxury fashion.
It said the new cash is there to help it “accelerate its growth in the secondhand market and drive change for a more sustainable fashion industry”.
And it added that “following a strong year that saw the platform’s transaction volume grow over 100% year-on-year, this financing round grants Vestiaire Collective unicorn status and ideally positions it for its next cycle of accelerated growth”.
And as well as Kering and Tiger, the latest funding includes a number of illustrious names who are reinvesting and clearly all believe that resale has bright prospects. Among them are existing shareholders including Vestiaire Collective’s CEO Max Bittner, Bpifrance (Large Venture), Condé Nast, the Eurazeo Group, funds managed by Fidelity International, Korelya Capital, Luxury Tech Fund via LTF & Cuir Invest and Vitruvian Partners.
Vestiaire Collective said the pre-owned fashion sector has “experienced rapid growth over the last three years with a further acceleration during the pandemic. This has been predominantly driven by younger consumers' increased focus on sustainability and a growing trend for social shopping and online communities”. And it offered up figures that suggest the volume of secondhand pieces in people’s wardrobes is predicted to grow from 21% in 2021 to 27% in 2023 with the forecast value of the secondhand sector at $60 billion+ by 2025.
As well as the sector as a whole, the company itself has enjoyed a powerful growth curve and CEO Bittner 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”.
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