Farfetch adds luxury beauty, massive launch underlines huge ambitions in sector
Farfetch made a major move in beauty as of April 20 with the online retail giant launching the super-category on its e-tail marketplace and via its Browns and New Guards Group subsidiaries.
The company — which also acquired beauty retailer Violet grey earlier this year — launched 100+ prestige beauty brands on its platform on Wednesday.
Browns is also launching an online beauty edit and a select beauty offer in its physical stores at the same time. And the Off-White label is unveiling fragrances.
It’s a major development that reflects the strength of the global prestige beauty market in recent years and also comes as rival retailers and fashion brands have dived deep into the category.
The overall offer from the group includes massive and niche brands such as African Botanics, Chanel, Chantecaille, Charlotte Tilbury, Frédéric Malle, Gucci, Joanna Vargas, La Mer, Olaplex, Prada, Sam McKnight, Sisley Paris, Tom Ford, Vintner’s Daughter, Westman Atelier, and Yves Saint Laurent Beauté, among others.
The aim is to take “the experience beyond boundaries, with a one-stop destination to inspire the next generation of luxury fashion and beauty lovers. Farfetch will provide its extensive luxury audience an immersive crossover between fashion and beauty with a unique opportunity for discovering and shopping beauty online through a curated selection of products and community voices — serving customers across ages, races, cultures, and genders”.
The offer will cover skincare, make-up, hair, fragrance, bath and body, and wellbeing.
The company has also announced the formation of the Farfetch Beauty Global Collective, “a community of brand founders, industry experts, creatives and visionaries shaping a new approach to beauty”.
The Collective includes founder of Violet Grey, Cassandra Grey; make-up artists Erin Parsons and Isamaya Ffrench; hairstylist and i-D’s senior beauty editor at large Jawara; Dazed China’s style director Mia Kong; dermatologist Dr Michelle Henry; cosmetic chemist Michelle Wong; actor Nico Hiraga; and drag artist Violet Chachki.
The company will be using technology to its best advantage for the launch with virtual try-ons via the Farfetch website and a first-of-its-kind Beauty Global Community Platform. The community platform invites its “engaged luxury customer base to feel informed, empowered, and connected to multiple beauty experts and peers through authentic multi-way conversations and interactions as well as earning benefits”.
And it’s also engaging UGC creators in The Sims 4 and Roblox “to explore what beauty means for them and how real beauty inspires virtual self-expression through the creation of 2D and 3D skins”.
It all comes with a new campaign to support the launch, dubbed Your Choice. Your Beauty. Your Farfetch. This features Amya Powell, Aweng Chuol, Isamaya Ffrench, Nacho Penin, Olivia Francis, and Stevan Journey.
It “celebrates the transformational nature of beauty as a mode of identity in contemporary culture, while championing the emotional connection of how modern beauty makes you feel and not just how you look”.
Farfetch brand chief Holli Rogers said: “Beauty is such an important way for people to be able to express themselves and their individuality – it’s transformative. We took this as an opportunity to shake up the online beauty retail experience by bridging fashion and beauty to appeal to our existing audience of fashion lovers. We knew we had to offer beauty in an ‘Only On Farfetch’ way – combining our know-how in bringing together a diverse community of expert voices that resonate with the modern beauty customer and their needs.”
It’s all important for exposing the company to a much wider consumer group than its fashion customers. And its multiple business streams mean it has the flexibility to reach many varied consumers around the world with Farfetch itself targeting a very broad luxury customer, while Browns and New Guards reach a more specific consumer. And Violet grey can continue on its existing expansion trajectory with a laser-focus (for now) on US consumers.
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