Fast Company

A FASHIONABLE ENTRANCE

ON THE HEELS OF HIS COMPANY’S RECENT IPO, FARFETCH CEO JOSÉ NEVES TALKS ABOUT THE FUTURE OF FASHION, THE INDUSTRY’S PROBLEM WITH WASTE, AND THE UNEXPECTED BENEFITS OF A GLOBAL RECESSION.

IN SEPTEMBER, A DECADE AFTER HE BEGAN KNITTING TOGETHER an online marketplace for independent boutiques across the globe, Farfetch founder and CEO José Neves took the company public. It’s now worth more than $7 billion and encompasses the original platform (which sells items from more than 980 stores and brands), white-label e-commerce services for designers such as Thom Browne and Derek Lam, and even physical retail.

You launched Farfetch two weeks after Lehman Brothers collapsed in 2008. What was it like to debut a company that championed luxury fashion at such a moment?

Starting a company is already scary. Starting a company in the middle of a financial storm was terrifying. There was this fear of Armageddon in the [fashion] industry. And here we were trying to start a very ambitious project: to create a platform for boutiques and

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