PARIS — Online fashion resale platform Vestiaire Collective said on Wednesday it is expanding into South Korea, choosing the fast-growing luxury market as a springboard for a deeper push into Asia.
The expansion of the Paris-based tech start-up that hit unicorn status last year comes as pre-owned fashion sales continue to grow quickly, fueled by young, environmentally conscious shoppers seeking bargains for second-hand clothing.
The platform will be available in Korean and the company is adding an authentication site to its operations in Seoul.
While luxury labels have traditionally been wary of secondhand sellers, an increasing number are exploring ways of getting involved in the market, partly as a way to engage with younger consumers or to provide an extra service to high-spending shoppers.
Investors in Vestiaire Collective include French luxury group Kering SA which took a 5% stake last year, as well as private equity firm Eurazeo SE, Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp, U.S. investment firm Tiger Global Management and Vogue publisher Conde Nast.
Founded in Paris in 2009, the platform sells fashion and leather accessories from luxury labels such as Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Prada and Dior, and in May marked its highest transaction – a Birkin handbag from Hermes that sold for 158,000 euros ($160,117). ($1 = 0.9868 euros) (Reporting by Mimosa Spencer; Editing by Christopher Cushing)