As Condé Nast International’s largest e-commerce investment ever, the publisher is putting $20 million worth of funding into Farfetch.com, “an online marketplace for high-end, independent fashion boutiques worldwide,” WWD writes. The marketplace comprises 250 shops in seventeen countries, and Farfetch keeps a portion of money made through its platform. José Neves, CEO and founder of the shopping site, said the CNI’s contribution would further its growth in the U.S., Germany, Eastern Europe, and Scandinavia.
Though Farfetch is a British company, the U.S. brings in 25 percent of sales — which should amount to more than $70 million in 2013. About 35 American stores are part of marketplace, including New York’s FiveStory and L.A.’s Confederacy. Farfetch also formed a yearlong partnership with the British Fashion Council to support London’s emerging talent (the U.K. accounts for 12 percent of its business). It remains to be seen — or explained — how Condé plans to integrate Farfetch online or in print, but per the terms of the investment, the two must remain separate entities; still, James Bilefield, president of Condé Nast International Digital, will sit on Farfetch’s board.