After less than a year in business, Condé Nast's relaunched Style.com has shuttered. On Tuesday, the shopping website ceased business immediately; in its place, the publishing house announced a new strategic partnership with global luxury fashion platform Farfetch.com, which Style.com now directs to.
Once the primary source for show reviews, runway images, breaking fashion news, and insightful industry comment, Style.com was reincarnated in September 2016 as a luxury e-commerce site, with fashion aficionado and street style star Yasmin Sewell at the helm as fashion director. With a $100 million planned investment by Condé Nast over the first four years, Style.com was meant to rival the world's leading retail platforms, revolutionizing the way readers of titles like Vogue and GQ shopped. However, it was evident from the beginning that things weren't going as planned — its launch was pushed back by a year in the UK, while a US launch never even happened.
“As an early investor in Farfetch, this partnership is the next step in our evolving business relationship. It further unites two leaders in their respective sectors, combining best-in-class content with the world’s leading online luxury shopping destination,” chairman and chief executive of Condé Nast International, Jonathan Newhouse, (who will be joining the board of Farfetch), said.
José Neves, Farfetch's founder and CEO, added: “We have long felt that inspirational content is a natural part of any luxury shopping experience. In the same way as we empower the fashion industry and connect consumers with the world’s best brands and boutiques, we want to connect them with outstanding content. This global partnership with Condé Nast will significantly augment the retail experience for our customers, and we see it as a natural step in Farfetch’s approach to commerce and our strategic vision to connect those who create fashion, curate fashion and develop fashion content."
While there's no specifics on the type of content the site will be hosting just yet, a press release notes that the partnership will bring "seamless technology connection to easily enable Farfetch product integration into Condé Nast's content; shopping guides created by Condé Nast publications, highlighting products from Farfetch; and distribution of shoppable content across Condé Nast digital and social platforms."
Eyes are also on Natalie Massenet, the co-chairman of Farfetch; Massenet joined the company in February after leaving Net-A-Porter, which she founded in 2000. "Since 1999 I have believed in the importance of combining content and commerce in order to elevate the digital shopping experience," she said. During her time at Net-A-Porter, Massenet created an umbrella retail group that included The Outnet and Mr. Porter, and launched online magazine The Edit, as well as the retailer's print publication, Porter. Perhaps a similar strategy will apply here?
It has not yet been disclosed what will happen to Sewell and the 75 members of staff employed by Style.com, though some will reportedly be able to interview for vacancies at Farfetch. As for the company's next steps? Let's just say the industry will be carefully watching to see how the fashion giant will challenge the status quo.