by Stephen Garner
Max Bittner, CEO of Vestiaire Collective

The pre-owned fashion sector has experienced rapid growth over the last three years with a further acceleration during the pandemic. This has been predominantly driven by younger consumers’ increased focus on sustainability and a growing trend for social shopping and online communities. The number of secondhand pieces in people’s closets is predicted to grow from 21 percent in 2021 to 27 percent in 2023 with the value of the secondhand sector forecasted to be worth over $60 billion by 2025.

So, it’s no surprise to hear that today, luxury secondhand platform Vestiaire Collective has received €178 million ($216 million) of new financing in a round backed by global French luxury group Kering and U.S. investment firm Tiger Global Management.

Existing shareholders including Vestiaire Collective’s CEO, Max Bittner, Bpifrance (Large Venture), Condé Nast, the Eurazeo Group (Eurazeo Growth and Idinvest Venture), certain funds managed by Fidelity International, Korelya Capital (backed by NAVER), Luxury Tech Fund (LTF & Cuir Invest) and Vitruvian Partners also reinvested. Following a strong year that saw the platform’s transaction volume grow over 100 percent year-on-year, this financing round confirms Vestiaire Collective as a unicorn and ideally positions it for its next cycle of accelerated growth.

“This latest round of investment confirms the incredible trajectory of Vestiaire Collective, founded during the 2008 crisis, the model has clearly demonstrated its ability to continue to thrive during challenging conditions,” said Bittner. “The resale sector as a whole is experiencing rapid growth, especially amongst Millennial and Gen Z consumers, which will come to shape the retail landscape of the future. We are incredibly excited to welcome Kering and Tiger Global Management, both of which will be instrumental in our mission to build a more sustainable fashion industry and further grow our incredible global community.”

“Pre-owned luxury is now a real and deeply rooted trend, especially among younger customers,” added François-Henri Pinault, chairman and CEO of Kering. “Rather than ignoring it, our wish is to seize this opportunity to enhance the value we offer our customers and influence the future of our industry towards more innovative and more sustainable practices. This fits naturally with our entrepreneurial spirit, our pioneering sustainability strategy, and our modern vision of luxury.”

Griffin Schroeder, partner at Tiger Global, commented: “We are excited to support Vestiaire Collective’s continued global expansion plans, which focus on seizing the momentum of already spectacular growth in the United States and Asia Pacific. As of January 2021, local sellers in those regions had increased their items sold by more than 250 percent year-over-year.”

Since its inception in 2009, Vestiaire Collective’s mission has been to extend the lifecycle of products in the fashion industry, supporting a disruptive move towards a circular economy by empowering a community of ‘fashion activists’ to drive profound change. With its combined pillars of global community, strong fashion and sustainability DNA, and the high level of trust it has built on the platform, Vestiaire Collective is uniquely positioned to capture an increasing share of the global resale market, demonstrated by its 90 percent year-on-year membership growth achieved in 2020.

Vestiaire Collective will use this financing round to scale up its technology and data innovation roadmap, accelerating its circularity vision along with initiating strategic change in the fashion industry. This will be supported by a two-year sustainability roadmap focused on four main pillars.