Last month, Paris-based Vestiaire Collective acquired American competitor Tradesy, greatly expanding its shopper base in the states and putting it head-to-head with The RealReal.
Now, the U.S. is Vestiaire Collective’s largest market. Even prior to the deal, its U.S. gross merchandise volume (GMV) was on the rise: It increased 75% year-over-year in the first quarter of 2022, according to Fanny Moizant, co-founder and president of Vestiaire Collective.
“Our ambition is to build the leading global resale marketplace,” Moizant said on the latest episode of the Glossy Podcast. “[We want] to transform the fashion industry and the way people consume fashion. That’s what motivates us and makes us wake up happy every morning.”
The company is well on its way. With Tradesy, Vestiaire Collective now offers 5 million products by 10,000 brands, and it’s set to sell $1 billion in GMV on an annual basis.
“We are this massive platform, where everybody – at their own budget, taste and style – can find something really appealing,” Moizant said.
There are five types of shoppers who frequent the retailer, she said. And puppets in the company’s latest campaign are meant to depict each of them: “There’s Miss Classic, who’s the very chic lady who thrives on buying luxury and really wants the trust component. We also have Hunter, who’s the bargain hunter; she’s after the good deals. We have Rich, who’s the seller. He knows that, on Vestiaire, he’ll find the right community who appreciates fashion and will understand the value of his products. We also have Lady Green, who’s our fashion activist. And we have Drops, who’s the edgy girl who’s after the sold-out products or the very rare-to-find items.”
The company, which became a certified B Corp in September, also has specific goals around sustainability. For example, it wants to be carbon positive by 2025.
Below are additional highlights from the conversation, which have been lightly edited for clarity.
Winning over sellers
“Sellers are looking for many things. We’re dealing with designer luxury products, and even as a seller, trust really matters. [They care about] where their item is going to be featured and by whom it will be [seen] — and we’re reaching a community of 23 million members across 80 countries. So, for sellers, [we provide] an incredible chance to reach those buyers. Obviously, on the financial side, the sellers are after a very competitive commission. I think we are among the most competitive in the U.S., in terms of our model. We have an average commission of 15%, which is pretty aggressive. And [they also appreciate] the whole user experience that you can find on Vestiaire, where we engage with people and leverage various social components. And that’s because we are, first and foremost, a community of fashion lovers.”
“There’s [now] huge interest among the financial community in resale because everybody’s started to understand that resale is not a trend, but it’s here to stay. It’s a real, different way of consuming fashion… In the past year, we’ve been super lucky to welcome [as an investor] Kering, which really put a huge credibility stamp on the Vestiaire business. That was a real milestone for us, and that’s when we became a unicorn. So that was a very emotional step. And more recently, we welcomed SoftBank and also Generation [as investors]… It was an exciting year. But it also means we have a lot of things to deliver on our side, [now that] we have big partners like this counting on us to change the world. There are great opportunities to grow with them.”
The rise of brand partnerships
“I truly believe that the whole industry will adopt resale. All [brands] are still going to produce amazing and beautiful items in their amazing craftsmanship. But at some point, it makes sense for the brands to also provide that different offering or provide a solution for their clients to be able to recycle and start selling. So last year, we launched what we call ‘resale as a service.’ It’s a new service that we offer to brands and e-tailers, [allowing them] to leverage their community of buyers and start entering the circular economy. We launched that with the Alexander McQueen brand, and then we did a couple of other partnerships. A very successful one that we are always very happy to talk about is the [partnership with] MyTheresa, the German e-tailer. They’re doing an amazing job. When they promote the offering to their clients, there’s an amazing success rate; an amazing group of people is now starting to offload their wardrobes and enter this circular model. And we are very proud to see that those sellers don’t just benefit from it as a one-off [experience], but they come back. So it means they’re really eager to start seeing their wardrobes as assets and not consumables and to, hopefully, start consuming more consciously.”