Last week, we were thrilled to hear the news that friend and fashion force Stephanie Phair has joined Farfetch, one of our Portfolio brands, as its first Chief Strategy Officer. Her appointment by the leading luxury etailer will see the former Founder and President of Net-A-Porter’s The Outnet assume responsibility for the company’s strategic direction, innovation, mergers and acquisitions, and corporate development.
Someone who Carmen always refers to as the “rare gem in e-commerce”, Stephanie’s credentials are impressive. An Oxford graduate, prior to launching The Outnet in April 2009, she held positions at Issey Miyake, American Vogue and Portero. Since leaving the online outlet store, during which time she was also part of the Executive Team of the Net-a-Porter Group, she has consulted for several digital start-ups and advised private equity firms on investments. She is also currently an independent board director at luxury brand Moncler and advisor to Felix Capital, and Operator, a new online personal shopping platform.
Farfetch has similarly gone from strength to strength. Following its launch in 2007 as an online marketplace for luxury stores to connect with consumers across the globe, the company has grown into a multi-channel platform, acquiring London bricks and mortar boutique Browns, and now counts more than 500 local boutiques and 200 brands among its offering, serving customers in almost 190 countries.
Stephanie is the second high-profile Net-a-Porter executive to join Farfetch in recent years, following the appointment of Holli Rogers as Chief Executive of Browns in 2015, and is aiming to keep the platform at the forefront of fashion retailing. “Farfetch has revolutionized the way we buy fashion…innovation is at the core of the Farfetch business and there is so much opportunity to continue building the global platform for the fashion industry,” she said.
Her experience and ambitions for the company were echoed by Farfetch founder and CEO José Neves, who said of his newest recruit, “Her extensive knowledge of the global e-commerce landscape, along with the operational and strategic vision that comes from having built-up and scaled a global business, will be a vital asset to ensure sustainable long-term growth as we continue to expand”. He also added, “as a business we need to keep evolving and will benefit from Stephanie as a champion of innovation at the highest level.”
This year has been a particularly significant one for the London-based company. In addition to the appointment of its first Chief Strategy Officer, Farfetch has served its one millionth customer, created e-commerce sites for several high-profile fashion brands, including Manolo Blahnik and Christopher Kane, and also raised $110 million in a Series F round of funding. Its ongoing success and development is fuelling speculation that the company is gearing up for an IPO, something that José Neves has recently revealed he believes will eventually happen. Stay tuned for further updates.