Sébastien Fabre from Vestiaire Collective on how modern consumer redefines ownership and brings new values to luxury and pre-loved market
Sharing economy, circular solutions and the profound understanding of consumer data are the driving force of the pre-loved fashion marketplaces. Vestiaire Collective, undoubtedly one of the most popular and globally present, curated community turns out to be the biggest disruptor for luxury brands (above Stella-von-Senger for Vestiaire Collective).
Ola: Who is your consumer?
Sébastien: We have 2 types of consumers. There are people looking for a precise product, that is sold out in other boutiques. On the other hand, we have consumers below 35 years old, who have a different vision of what does it mean to poses the product. They find the product they are interested in, wear it for 3 months and resell it. So from the start they have in mind, that there is a market for the product after they use it. This group is dynamically growing.
"On the other hand, we have consumers below 35 years old, who have a different vision of what does it mean to poses the product. They find the product they are interested in, wear it for 3 months and resell it. So from the start they have in mind, that there is a market for the product after they use it. This group is dynamically growing."
Ola: Is Asian consumer a particularly a big buying force for you?
Sebastien: We recently opened a Hong Kong office because of that. We started with Japan as a supply market and Korea as a buying market. We need to first understand what is the pace of fashion there. Often things are popular globally, but not at the same time and we must precisely know if it is going to be now or 3 months after.
Ola: Can you give an example?
Sebastien: 85% of the products cross borders. So we managed to activate the „sleeping supply” that was stored in peoples wardrobes and find new markets. For example, we were in Spain when Loewe became hot like 2 years ago. So we were able to have a big supply of Loewe bags and bring them to the market place just in time.
Ola: What kind of buyers work for you?
Sébastien: We have an international team of 30 stylists who accept the product and anticipate what will be interesting for us in the future. They are supported by data, such as: volume of the search, desirability statistics, wish lists and likes. They analyse all this data and select key products. Somehow the human selection is always key for us, not only data and machine learning. It must be a collaborative process between human and AI.
Ola: How this model will expand in the future?
Sébastien: We will be launching this year a service of giving the data back to the user, so that the sellers can become even more active participants of the community. We want to share with them the desirability and value of the product, so that they decide themselves where and when to sell. After our ultra successful partnerships with super models we also hope for partnerships with brands and designers. We aim to show them the real lifecycle of their product, which in fact they can sell up to 4 times instead of once. They could certify and refurbish the vintage goods, that we could source for them. Just like we sourced vintage products for the exhibition of Martin Margiela in Paris.