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Inside the bubble of French fashion technology | Instant News


Vestiaire Collective, a luxury resale platform co-founded by Fabre in 2008 and now valued at over € 1 billion, is one of France’s major success stories, highlighted by sale of a 5 percent stake to luxury conglomerate Kering in early March. Apart from Kering, US investment firm Tiger Global Management is also participating in Vestiaire Collective’s latest financing round of € 178 million.

LVMH is now in what it calls its “Season 5” incubator of La Maison des Startups, which nurtures about 25 startups a season, or 50 per year. A typical example is Cleed, which provides AI-customized white label chatbots. A total of 160 agreements have been signed since the opening of La Maison des Startups in 2018, including 60 between May and August 2020. And what sets Paris apart? “Its proximity to mansions,” said Roche-Grenet.

Partnerships happen at an incredible pace. Dry plans to partner with La Caserne, an upcoming incubator dedicated to sustainable fashion. Richemont is a corporate partner of the Plug and Play brand and a retail incubator in Paris.

Since early 2020, French investment bank Bpifrance (founded in 2012) has had a fund of € 100 million to invest in the tech creative industry including fashion technology, including Bpifrance’s investments in Tekyn and Arianee. This commitment to invest is part of a package of actions promised during Emmanuel Macron’s 2017 presidential campaign. “There is a global ambition of Bpifrance to inject more of the means into the creative industry, which we call the French Touch plan,” said Le Mintier. “What is at stake is the economy, competitiveness and influence of France. Paris has real legitimacy when it comes to creativity. “

Overall, Bpifrance has injected around € 1.45 billion into the cultural and creative industries, including € 492 million in fashion by 2020. Corresponding figures for the previous year were € 1.23 billion overall and € 340 million for fashion. Bpifrance has supported fashion brands such as Ami and Officine Générale as well as Vestiaire Collective and Launchmetrics.

Global ecosystem

The investment boost came at the right time. “France is lagging behind,” said Celine Lippi, an early fashion tech fan who co-founded Fashion Capital Partners in 2013. “For a long time, I received projects mainly from the US, UK, Germany, Great Asia … Events like Luxury Forward , the Paris fashion technology incubator, and the digital transformation of the fashion industry have really contributed to the emergence of the startup ecosystem. The current pandemic and drastic change in consumption behavior [helped] to create huge opportunities for emerging startups to disrupt traditional business models. “Among the Lippi funds: Luxury Tech Fund, Cuir Invest for materials, and Provoke Ventures, a new fund dedicated to beauty, wellness and innovation.

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Thredup, now public, wants to break the resale technology for fashion brands | Instant News


Thredup, now a public company, is looking to build a resale technology solution for brands alongside its customer markets.

Thredup raised $ 168 million with a market value of $ 1.3 billion in an initial public offering (IPO) on Friday. Its stock jumped from $ 14 to $ 20. With 1.24 million active buyers, 428,000 active sellers, and $ 186 million in revenue in 2020, it’s not profitable yet. But Thredup, which keeps inventory from sellers, is betting that its white label technology could help not only the brand but its own profitability.

Competition in resale has surged in the past year, with increasing industry attention to the second-hand market, due to its relevance among younger customers, substantial growth and sustainability metrics. Thredup is the second resale company to go public this year, afterwards IPO January Poshmark and RealReal in 2019. Paris-based Vestiaire Collective created a A $ 216 million deal with Tiger Global Management and luxury conglomerate Kering, which takes a 5 percent stake. The resale market is expected to reach $ 36 billion by 2024, representing a compound annual growth rate of 39 percent since 2019, making it the fastest growing sector in retail, according to a January 2020 survey from GlobalData.

But while luxury brands may want more revenue from and control their brands in the secondary market, they are less willing and unable to spend 10 years and hundreds of millions of dollars investing in the robust infrastructure and technology needed to support them, says Neil Saunders, managing director of GlobalData’s retail division. As such, they are increasingly considering partnering with technology platforms, flooded with VC cash and scale-dependent, for branded “white label” resale technology from a customer-facing perspective.

“Brands want to play on the resale, but it is difficult to allow resale on a large scale and get the unit economy to work at a lower price point,” said Ainslee Withey, managing director at Barclays Investment Bank, which is an underwriter for Thredup’s IPO. Among the technological challenges are the ability to predict the ideal resale price, the ability to automate unique and unpredictable inventory orientation, and the ability to make personalized recommendations from a multitude of unique items. Because of this, he said, “There are clear partnership opportunities with resale technology platforms. And once they reach a certain scale, they can grow exponentially. “

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Post-pandemic playbook: Fashion is back to glamor | Instant News


While the pivot to the comfortable chunk was well received, 16Arlington has also seen an influx of inquiries from VIP clients for the full show since AW21. “There’s actually a dress that just came out of the machine … Feather from the breast to the floor,” said co-founder Marco Capaldo. “Even when we pointed out that the runway for the SS20 was not taken by the shop because they were playing it safe. Now, as we approach the end of the pandemic, we can see a taste for that real, extreme piece. “

The energy of optimism is in the air. “There is definitely a growing sense of optimism for the new season,” said Natalie Kingham, global purchasing director at MatchesFashion. “I think this summer we’ll be embracing a colorful, glamourous cut but in a more relaxed silhouette and fabrication.”

Separation allows versatility

Versatility has been an integral record for a wide variety of products since the pandemic, said Aoife Byrne, senior fashion and retail analyst at Edited. She notes an increasing demand for glamorous tops and pants in a wide variety. “The separate sauce that emerged during Covid is sure to last,” said Lee of Selfridges. “Tops are more versatile because you can wear them in many ways. You get more profit if you buy in a way that you can mix and match. “Lee reported strong demand for superiors from brands such as Nensi Dojaka, David Koma and Dion Lee.

The dojaka, known for its cut and fit dresses, was launched separately during the pandemic. “Compared to SS21, [buyers] bought more dresses for AW21, and that’s great, ”said Dojaka. “But they still buy separate clothes and essential items that people can wear in different ways.”

The style of embracing the Dojaka form is the winner for this year. Sales for body contour dresses were up 95 percent in the US and 44 percent in the UK for February, according to retail market intelligence platform Edited. Mesh tops are also one of the most sought-after styles on Lyst today, up 32 percent year over year. Bond seeking and layoffs rose 57 percent since the start of the year.

Patou’s creative director, Guillaume Henry tries to bring joy to his clients for AW21 after witnessing gloomy outfits on the streets of Paris from his studio at Île de la Cité. Although he chose not to use the word “glamor,” Henry tapped into a new hunger for fantasy and flamboyance with an injection of color, fur, and volume.

“For this season, I’m tired of looking at pants. I’m tired of looking at skirts, “he said. “So we actually put everything together. Everything is separate. You can buy a simple plain black skirt. Likewise for trousers and dresses. But you can build. The reception was very positive because I mean, it’s not like a work or a particular silhouette, but a global feeling of excitement and enthusiasm. “

Consumers want to invest

All over the world, customers want to invest in glamorous items that will last several seasons, says McKinsey’s Balchandani. “These items may be fine jewelry, fine watches, but they may also be the best denim in the world. Jackets or trousers that help you in various uses and occasions. “

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Can end-to-end sustainability standards change the fashion? | Instant News


Leaving subjectivity in what is considered sustainable, however, raises questions across the board about standards. There is tension about how and where synthetic fibers fit into sustainable industries, if they do, for example. The Cradle to Cradle certification encourages, to varying degrees depending on the level of certification, a much greater use of recycled fiber, and new releases also strengthen the criteria for dealing microfiber pollution. “Product manufacturer [at high risk for microfibre and microplastic pollution] must commit to developing policies on the problem, developing strategies to address it, and reporting on progress made, “said Raab.

For supporters who focus on the natural environment, even that is too low a limit. “In my view, we need a more explicit plan to get all non-biodegradable plastics out of circulation on a relatively short time scale, such as maybe 10-15 years,” said Timo Rissanen, professor of fashion design at the University of Technology Sydney and a member of the organization. founder of the Union of Concerned Researchers in Fashion.

However, perhaps the biggest question arises from the broader role of certification. Affordability is a frequent issue, as schemes reward those who are able to apply for certification, said Rissanen, while other detractors say certification focuses on the wrong aspects of sustainability.

“Measuring supply chain improvement makes us do the wrong thing,” said Grose. “I think the main question is, does product certification move the needle towards reducing global impacts and achieving true ecological benefits? And I think we can say for sure now that the answer is no. “

Raab admits that it is a problem – and is something they are trying to evaluate while working to improve where they can.

“We want to ensure that what is put forward is ready for a circular economy. I think that’s our biggest contribution, “he said. “Frankly, it’s something we also ask ourselves and the role we can play there.”

More from this author:

The brand adopts regenerative agriculture. Is that good?

The future of sustainable jewelry: Recycled gold

Is vegetable skin really sustainable?

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Why should high-end fashion rentals think size-inclusive | Instant News


Some of these brands may be ready to respond. While Ganni declined to comment and House of Sunny and The Vampire’s Wife did not respond, Rixo expressed his enthusiasm for meeting the demand for Rixo’s plus size clothing. “We have a collaboration that will launch in May, which will reach size 24,” Orlagh McCloskey, co-founder, said. “I can’t say who it is with yet, but I imagine a lot of the dresses will be the kind of cut that is outstanding. [on rental platforms]. It is very similar to our brand DNA – with the imprint. “Partnerships or rental platforms are on the agenda, although they go further, says McCloskey.

Rent can prove appetite for inclusive sizes

The rental platform is well positioned to provide data to convince brands. They gather in-depth feedback on how many times customers have worn the clothes, how much they enjoyed them – and comment on their appropriateness. The likes of Nuuly, CaaStle, and Hurr can attest that big women want to rent brand name clothes.

Nuuly, the rental platform owned by URBN, parent company of Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie and Free People, is responding to a growing demand for plus-sized goods, said product chief Sky Pollard. Companies work with premium or luxury brands to test or launch plus size offerings – reaching beyond brands in the stable URBN to include the likes of For Love & Lemons and Universal Standard. For this summer, the premium brand Lisa Says Gah has launched a plus size for this summer.

Pollard agrees there is work to be done. “So few brands out there have dabbled in [the plus-size] outer space, “he said. “I hope that with leasing, we can introduce a new brand to these customers, and they can start to see, actually, it’s worth our investment, it’s worth our time.”

Clothing-as-a-service pioneer CaaStle launched a Gwynnie Bee size inclusive rental platform in the US in 2011. Using data and other lessons, CaaStle has since launched a proprietary turnkey rental platform for Ralph Lauren, Vince, Banana Republic and Ann Taylor. Gwynnie Bee is partnering with premium brand Loft when it comes to expanding plus size in 2018, said Jessica Dvorett, general manager of Gwynnie Bee and head of growth for CaaStle SVP. “We were able to help them get data on some of their initial patterns and designs and adjust quickly before launch,” he said, describing it as a “very successful partnership”. One step forward and now one back: The attic trims its plus size range this week, citing “business challenges” amid Covid-19.

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