After launching less than a year ago in September 2016, Condé Nast's e-commerce site, Style.com has closed. Style.com has ceased business immediately and the website already redirects to Farfetch.com, as Condé Nast forges a new strategic partnership with the global luxury fashion online platform.
“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 is joining the board of Farfetch, explained to Business of Fashion. “I would like to take this opportunity to thank the entire Style.com team for their dedication, energy and commitment.”
With a $100 million planned investment by Condé Nast in Style.com over the first four years, the e-tailer was supposed to rival Net-A-Porter and the world's other leading retail platforms, revolutionising the way readers of titles such as Vogue and GQ shopped. However, it was evident from the outset that things weren't going to plan – its launch was pushed back by a year in the UK, and a US launch never happened. Once the primary source for show reviews, catwalk images, breaking fashion news and insightful industry comment, Style.com was reincarnated as a luxury e-commerce site, with fashion aficionado and street style star Yasmin Sewell at the helm as fashion director.
It has not yet been disclosed what will happen to Sewell and the 75 members of staff employed by Style.com, though reportedly some will be able to interview for vacancies at Farfetch. According to a press release: "Condé Nast and Farfetch will partner to create a best-in-class content-to-commerce shopping experience, which will include a 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."
Natalie Massenet, co-chairman of Farfetch (who joined the company in February after leaving Net-a-Porter, which she founded in 2000), stated: "We are thrilled to be partnering with Condé Nast. Since 1999 I have believed in the importance of combining content and commerce in order to elevate the digital shopping experience... It will be thrilling to develop the next evolution of content and commerce with Anna Wintour and all the brilliant talented minds at Condé Nast."
Anna Wintour, artistic director at Condé Nast, added: "I've always believed that what sets Condé Nast apart is our voice and our vision. Partnering with Farfetch only enhances that, and brings a new dimension to all that we offer the world." All eyes on Farfetch to see how the fashion giant evolves for its next step.