5 Minutes With: farfetch.com Founder, Jose Neves

I’m sure I probably don’t need to tell you about farfetch.com. Bringing together 250 of the world’s coolest independent boutiques on one equally chic platform, thereby supporting emerging businesses while delivering the hottest designer buys all over the world, it’s become one of the hottest online style destinations around. If you want to hear more about quite how awesome the site is, click here, but if you’ve had enough of my musings (and frankly I don’t blame you) then hear what farfetch.com’s dynamic Founder and CEO, José Neves has to say…


LPA: You’ve been involved in fashion start ups since the 1990’s, how different do you feel it is to launch a fashion brand now than it was, say, ten years ago? Do you think that the rise of digital media and online retail has made it harder or easier to get a new business off the ground?

JN: Launching a fashion brand now is very different to ten years ago. Any new start-up has the potential to tap a global audience straight away, due to the rise of online retail. Local businesses are no longer restricted to local trading and can be braver and bolder. This makes it ever more important for brands to establish their own DNA, decide what it is they are trying to achieve and define and stay true to their brand values in order to enable them to standout in a highly competitive market.

LPA: When you launched farfetch in 2008 it was a unique concept in that it didn’t just offer multiple brands a platform from which to retail online, but also multiple independent boutiques. Many of these boutiques also have their own e-commerce platforms too so what advantages do feel being part of FarFetch.com offers them that perhaps their own sites don’t?

JN: In addition to instant access to a ready-made e-commerce infrastructure, and support from experienced and multi-lingual staff in four offices (London, Porto, Los Angeles and São Paulo), farfetch allows global exposure for boutiques allowing instant online presence worldwide to our established customer base; in essence, more ‘eyes on the prize’, the prize being their boutique and their collections. The concept creates a truly exciting proposition for a fashion hungry global audience who are able to shop an unrivalled collection of the world’s best brands in one easy to navigate space. I learnt first-hand the huge challenges facing a bricks and mortar retailer wanting to expand into the hugely competitive online environment. farfetch acts as a single portal offering independent fashion boutiques and designers an opportunity to compete in the online arena with the leaders of fashion e-tail.

LPA: To what extent do you feel that the landscape of luxury fashion e-tail is dominated by sites like Net-a-Porter and MATCHESFASHION.com? Could you ever see this balance changing in the future?

JN: Since farfetch launched in 2008 e-commerce has developed rapidly as a hugely competitive environment, with key players naturally emerging. Whilst the e-commerce market has increased with expansions and new ventures, farfetch has maintained an advantageous position through its unique business model, by uniting the very best boutiques and giving them an online platform on which to grow and flourish. farfetch is naturally at an advantage with an unrivalled product offer in excess of 82, 000 units of stock. We have an extensive fashion view point due to our portfolio of boutiques buying in such a varied manner.

LPA: How are the boutiques farfetch takes on board selected? And how much involvement do you have in the process?

JN: Each one of the boutiques in our community has been carefully selected for their unique approach, forward-thinking attitude and diversity. I have a personal interest, and take an active role in selecting new boutiques, especially internationally. In addition to boutiques proactively applying to join our network, we have a fantastic business development team who are responsible for finding the best boutiques in each territory we work within. Keeping in mind our mantra of quality over quantity they work tirelessly to ensure we are continually working with the best boutiques around the world.

LPA: Having been heavily involved in the success of SWEAR, bStore, SIX London and countless other fashion businesses besides, I imagine that you really know clothes. How would you describe your personal style? Are there any brands you particularly love at the moment?

JN: I shop on farfetch all the time, I don’t think you can beat having a highly curated edit of the best brands’ collections each season, as selected by some of the best boutiques’ buyers out there. I find it easy to shop specifically for brands I know I love; some of my go-to brands are Balmain, Kenzo and Qasimi, but I also like that while browsing I can discover up-and-coming talent alongside world renowned brands.

LPA: This summer farfetch has teamed up Paper Mâché Tiger to create BEACH IN THE EAST, a showcase for independent designers in Shoreditch. How did this project, and farfetch’s involvement in it, come about?

JN: Yasmin (Sewell) approached farfetch with the concept of a pop-up summer boutique she was creating, and expressed that she was really keen for it to be a part of the farfetch community. For the first time on the farfetch platform we created a virtual boutique showcasing the truly unique and creative visions of the designers; allowing a global audience of 150,000 customers from over 200 countries the chance to discover BEACH IN THE EAST. This project demonstrates quite tangibly how farfetch can enable a local project to become global.

LPA; How important is it to you to support up-and-coming design talent through initiatives like this? In what ways do you feel that BEACH IN THE EAST will help the designers whose work is featured develop their businesses?

JN: farfetch prides itself on connecting the global fashion community with the most exciting and unique products and new designers out there. The Beach in the East partnership unites Yasmin’s impeccable eye with farfetch’s global fashion hunters. The collaboration enables up-and-coming designers to access a customer base all over the world, alongside established brands.

LPA: What advice would you give to someone hoping or planning to launch an independent fashion business within the next few years?

JN: It’s important to acknowledge that start-ups involve a huge degree of risk, so once you have your idea don’t be afraid to go all-in!

Love Ella. X

Ps) Google Reader is closing down so Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Posted on by Ella Catliff in Interviews 1 Comment

LPA Loves: Print Denim

I know I talk about this a lot and really should have gotten over it by now but isn’t it SO frustrating that the weather refuses to comply with the fashion seasons? The fash mags are bursting with pastels, florals, lightweight jackets and even a bit of broderie anglaise but much to my endless irritation it’s still too bloody cold to wear any of it! There is, however, one solution. Well actually there are two. The first is just to be seriously brave/foolish and just wear it all now, regardless of whether the result might be hypothermia. The second, rather more feasible option is to channel the new season vibe while not risking hypothermia… How? Print denim. Until last year I wasn’t all that in to denim due to my deep seated and entirely misguided belief that skirts were chicer, sexier and generally more glamourous. But all of that changed thanks to a pair of pastel blue J Brands which I wore to parties, press days, meetings, hot dates, picnics and basically every other conceivable occasion. Since then I’ve experimented with lengths, washes, leather finishes and eye-popping hues but this season I’m going to be all about print denim. Not only is it a failsafe way to update your wardrobe but, as I noted at the press days way back last autumn, SS13 brings with is some truly awesome styles. Here are a few I’m currently coveting…

print denim

print denim1) Michael Michael Kors Palm Print Skinny Jeans, £150, click here to buy
2) Isabel Marant Etoile Deacon Low Rise Skinny Jeans, £210, click here to buy
3) Christopher Kane X J Brand Floral Print Skinny Jeans, £475, click here to buy
4) Current/Elliott Dusty Olive Leopard Skinny Jeans, £190, click here to buy
5) A.P.C Leopard Biker Jeans, £155, click here to buy
6) House of Holland Purple Stripes Jeans, £150, click here to buy
7) Just Cavalli Alligator Print Jeans, £195, click here to buy
8) Elin Kling X Guess by Marciano Aztec Print Jeans, £230, click here to buy

I know some of these jeans are pretty “out there” but just work with me on this one. Imagine them dressed down with a plain white tee or pattern clashed with a bold print shirt, either way it’s FROW worthy!

Love Ella. X


Posted on by Ella Catliff in Shopping 1 Comment

LPA Styles It: Start London

As a die-hard West London girl, few things could possibly entice me to up sticks and move to Shoreditch. Not for all the rooftop swimming pools, moustached hipsters and resonably priced beverages in the world would I relinquish my Starbucks-frequenting, French Sole wearing ways. But living within walking distance of Start London? Well, that’s tempting. As I probably don’t need to tell you, Start London was launched in 2002 by TV Presenter, musician and Front Row regular Brix Smith Start and her retailer husband, Philip. Ten years on it’s basically the last word in high fashion cool, stocking the likes of Carven, Acne, Alexander Wang and Helmut Lang. With the September issues now gathering dust and Autumn basically here, never the time is ripe to shop. So with this, and now-scarily-close fashion week, in mind, I teamed up with cult multi-boutique e-tailer FarFetch.com to create my own edit of Start’s A-MAZING new season collections…

Neon Knit

Start London

Read more

Posted on by Ella Catliff in Projects 3 Comments

LPA Styles It: Feathers

As you might remember, a couple of weeks ago I introduced a new post entitled “LPA Styles It”. For those who missed out on the first installment, Jaeger London, this little feature involves me ransacking my favourite stores, styling myself in a selection of the chicest looks on offer and then sharing them with you lot. I suppose it falls somewhere between personal style and shopping, but basically it’s an excuse for me to spend a few afternoons dressing up. Spending all this time in close proximity to quite such gorgeous garments has had a pretty disastrous effect on my finances so far but getting to indulge in my favourite pastime, expand my wardrobe and reasonably call it work… Well, frankly that’s priceless. Last week I joined forces with fab multi-boutique online platform, FarFetch.com to hit up Feathers’ Knightsbridge store. These five summer-in-the-city ensembles were the result…

Cocktail Hour


Dress: Roksanda Ilincic, sold out (boo), click here to shop Roksanda’s pre fall collection
Shoes: Camilla Skovgaard reduced from £385 to £269.50, click here to buy
Clutch: Alexander Wang, click here to buy

Shopping Chic


Jumper: Markus Lupfer (new season!) £265, click here to buy
Shorts: Vince, reduced from £160 to £112, click here to buy
Shoes: Sonia Rykiel, £285, click here to buy
Bag: Massimo Palomba, reduced from £295 to £556, click hereto buy



Jacket: Carven Biker Jacker, reduced from £440 to £308, click here to buy
Jeans: Current/Elliott, reduced from £195 to £136, click here to buy
Shoes: Alexander McQueen, reduced from £655 to £458.50, click here to buy
Clutch: Alexander McQueen, reduced from £320 to £256, click here to buy
Bracelet: Alexander McQueen, £195, click here to buy

Party Perfect


Dress: Markus Lupfer, £269, click here to buy
Shoes: Camilla Skovgaard, reduced from £335 to £234.50, click here to buy
Bag: Alexander Wang, reduced from £565 to £452, click here to buy

Lady Who Lunches


Sweater: Carven, reduced from £275 to £192.50, click here to buy
Skirt: Preen, reduced from £660 to £462, click here to buy
Bag: Alexander Wang, £730, click here to buy
Shoes: Castaner, reduced from £215 to £172, click here to buy

Photography by Paul Gonzales

Love Ella. X

Ps) I’ve totally come around to the idea of flatforms! How adorable are the Sonia Rykiel pair in look 2?

Posted on by Ella Catliff in Projects 8 Comments

La Petite Weekly Wish List, May 18th

wish list

1) A.P.C striped top, £105 at FarFetch.com, click here to buy
2) A.P.C leather shorts, £150 at THE OUTNET, click here to buy
3) Proenza Schouler Medium Green Suede Satchel, £1285 at Liberty London, click here to buy
4) Red Valentino bow detail pumps, £193 at FarFetch.com, click here to buy
5) Red Valentino sequin detail dress, £585 at FarFetch.com, click here to buy
6) Beautiful Bottoms Peacock underwired bra, £54, click here to buy
7) Beautiful Bottoms Peacock ruched knickers, £29.50, click here to buy
8) Charlotte Olympia Mabel printed platform pumps, £675 at Net-a-Porter, click here to buy
9) Rag & Bone neon yellow skinny jeans, £123 at FarFetch.com, click here to buy
10) Peter Pilotto Ten top, £351 at FarFetch.com, click here to buy

Towards the end of last week it almost looked as though summer might be on it it’s way. Naturally I immediately went into a state of extreme over excitement and started manically digging out all the skimpy sundresses and barely-there broderie anglaise confections that have spent the past six months gathering dust at the back of my wardrobe. No sooner had I unearthed my holiday favourites and attempted a DIY pedicure (high-heeled ankle boots 24/7 = disgusting feet) than all at once the temperature plummeted and I was back in my winter woolies. Why this comes as a surprise after nearly 21 years in London I don’t know but every year I live in hope that I’ll actually get to wear by spring purchases some time before July.  In the hope of enticing the weather gods to catch up with the fashion calendar, here are a few more sartorial delights that will be just perfect when the sunny season finally arrives.

Love Ella. X

Posted on by Ella Catliff in Shopping 3 Comments