link.png A new era for luxury fashion retail as Farfetch buys Browns← Back

 
Browns, one of London’s key luxury fashion boutiques, has been acquired by e-commerce giant Farfetch.
 
Farfetch was founded in 2008 by José Neves and now brings together around 300 independent boutiques from across the world, allowing consumers to buy from these boutiques online. In March, Farfetch made the headlines for becoming a “fashion unicorn”, having raised funds which valued the company at over $1 billion.
 
The acquisition of Browns comes as part of Neves’ strategy of looking towards the future of luxury retail, which he envisions as a combination of e-commerce and physical stores. The venture, which will function independently to Farfetch, will be an opportunity to explore and test various aspects of retail technology before applying them to the boutiques functioning under the Farfetch umbrella. 


Browns was founded 45 years ago, and has remained a family business until now, with various stores across London. The boutique has made a name for itself for stocking new designers, as well as focusing on menswear and bridal-wear. Joan Burnstein, founder of Browns, will be appointed Honourary Chairman, whilst her children, Simon and Caroline Burnstein, will remain involved as advisors and take seats on the board of Directors. Holli Rogers, previously Fashion Director at Net-a-Porter, has been recruited to be the new CEO of Browns.
 
Talking to the Business of Fashion, Neves said: “This is not about changing the DNA of Browns — on the contrary. It is a big strategic move from Browns’ perspective — how can we move what is a fantastic brand and DNA into the next decade and future-proof it?”
 
This new venture is the latest in a series of e-commerce-driven moves, by the likes of Net-a-Porter, Yoox or Lyst, and it could well propel Brown into the next era of luxury retail.