Taking on the world of luxury fashion is not so farfetched for one enterprising Kiwi designer...In the New Zealand fashion industry, the overseas luxury market can sometimes seem like an entirely different world, with Farfetch and Net-A-Porter light years away from our small industry. But the ever-innovative Vicki Taylor has jumped in feet first and partnered with Farfetch, who now stock her brand Taylor.
Apparel Magazine caught up with Taylor to discuss the new partnership. 'It took a year of talking' explains Taylor, 'I initially approached them about partnering with The Shelter and then ended up talking about stocking Taylor at the same time, so there was a lot of negotiations. For Taylor, we had to submit look books for the last four or five seasons to show that we had a consistent flow and progression of design.' When negotiations slowed down, Taylor thought that was the end of the line and was surprised when a Farfetch representative visited New Zealand and called her after visiting The Shelter. Taylor opened up the negotiations again, and the partnership was solidified. According to Taylor, Farfetch is expanding to cater to the Australian and New Zealand markets, so there may be opportunities coming up for other New Zealand designers.
After finishing negotiations the hard work was far from over. 'You can't just get your products on their website then sit back, you have to perform' says Taylor. 'It's incredible working within their systems; they have different methods for different brands. They don't work like a traditional retailer who buys and holds stock; we have to hold a certain amount of stock and guarantee that stock for them. We also still dispatch all our own orders from New Zealand.'
As for the future of The Shelter and Taylor, gaining a large international stockist has a slew of benefits. 'It was needed for us to keep growing,' says Taylor, 'we have expanded slowly and steadily throughout New Zealand. It's not that we want to corner the whole international luxury market, we just want a little piece of it.' Taylor notes that previously, New Zealand has been out of the way for foreign consumers who may not have experience with international shipping. 'Down here, we are all so used to buying things online and dealing with freight but customers overseas are not as trusting, so may be cautious about buying from a New Zealand website as they don't know if we will take their money and never send them the product. Being stocked on a large, reputable platform like Farfetch opens us up to a huge amount of consumers, who now don't have to worry about that happening. Farfetch has a million visitors a month, so the exposure is amazing.'