The online retailer for Modest Fashion The Modist has received strategic investments from Farfetch and Annabel Investment Holding, the private equity firm of Nicola Bulgari, Vice President of the jeweller Bulgari Group. The reinvestment took place one year after The Modist secured $ 15 million (approximately $ 13.3 million) in a round of financing led by Vaultier7 and a team of Net-a-Porter veterans. “I could not be more proud of announcing our latest investors. Farfetch and Mr. Nicola Bulgari (Deputy Chairman of the Bulgari Group), who join our existing investor group, are a proud moment and a tremendous vote of confidence in The Modist and what my team and I have built in a short time. ” Founder and CEO Ghizlan Guenez said on her Instagram page.
The Modist has been offering exclusive styles on the Farfetch marketplace since September, when the two companies signed a global partnership agreement ahead of Farfetch’s IPO. At that time, Farfetch CEO José Neves said that the Middle East was “a big gap” in the company’s strategy, so they decided to work with the Modest Fashion dealer. Seventy percent of Middle Eastern consumers said they had increased spending over the last five years, compared with 53 percent in the US, Europe and Japan, according to a recent report by the Deloitte consulting firm on the global luxury goods market.
In fact, Farfetch looks to invest or acquire in emerging companies to expand in promising markets. The UK ecommerce powerhouse bought the streetwear marketplace Stadium Goods for $ 250 million in December, just months after it took over the Chinese digital marketing agency CuriosityChina for an undisclosed amount.
Why are companies like Farfetch and Vaultier7 investing in The Modist?
If you think that investing in companies like The Modist is just one way to engage affluent consumers in the Middle East, you’re wrong. In the Western countries, too, sales of Modest Fashion luxury fashion are growing rapidly: The US and the United Kingdom currently contribute 45 percent to The Modist’s sales. Fashion houses in these two regions have increased their range of must fashion items since 2017, according to retail analytics company Edited by 15 percent. It’s easy to understand why: The term “modest fashion” gets 8,000 Google searches every month in the US alone.
Much of this growth is being driven by Muslim consumers: A recent report by Thomson Reuters Global predicts that spending by Muslim consumers will rise to $ 2.6 trillion by 2020, with fashion among the strongest sectors. But not only religion is the reason why modest fashion is on the rise. Edited associates the increase in retailers’ Modest Fashion range with the #MeToo movement.
According to Edited, consumers reinterpret modest fashion. The more women question the idea that fashion is a way to look sexually attractive and instead put comfort first, the more likely they are to buy loose-fitting, longer silhouettes and unobtrusive cutouts.
Who are the consumers of Modest Fashion?
Luxury brands are pioneering the Modest Fashion movement, which explains why The Modist focuses on this segment. Long silhouettes and headscarves have been featured in recent campaigns by Gucci, Kenzo and Burberry, while in 2016 Dolce & Gabbana even launched a series of Hijabs and Abayas. The US luxury market saw a 50% increase in long sleeve Blouse Models with a high neckline compared to last year, compared to an increase of 13% in the mass market, as confirmed by Edited. In Great Britain, growth was even more pronounced at 15 percent.
Even in the luxury segment, the seams are back: midi skirts make up an amazing 53 percent of the entire rock range, with Gucci, Marni, Tibi and Jil Sander leading the way. Maxi skirts still make up the smallest percentage of the market in both the US and the UK, but there are signs that some consumers no longer see them as too obscure: the silhouette has gone up in the luxury market by 67 percent and on the Mass market gained 55 percent in popularity. Retailers who wish to take advantage of an unused opportunity are encouraged by Edited to invest in modest sports and swimwear. Nike launched a “Pro Hijab” in 2017 and still has almost no competition in the field.
The demand for Modest Fashion is growing, but there is still controversy
However, serving the Muslim market may cause some controversy in some parts of the world. The sports retailer Decathlon had to give up last month on the introduction of a sports hijab in France, as the announcement caused a huge outcry. Even celebrities and politicians went into social media to argue that hijabs in French society should not be normalized, believing that they symbolized the subjection of women to men. Aurore Bergé, spokeswoman for President La République en Marche of President Emmanuel Macron, called for a boycott of the Decathlon and said: “My choice as a woman and a citizen will be to no longer rely on a brand that breaks away from our values.” ,