As Farfetch grows in new and more varied ways — chasing founder José Neves’ dream of becoming the operating system for the global luxury sector — a key pillar of its business is being powered by a modern luxury stalwart.

Off-White looms large in both the fashion imagination and Farfetch’s finances. 

Virgil Abloh founded the brand in 2013, putting himself on a path to become artistic director of Louis Vuitton’s menswear collections and set the pace in fashion at large before his passing at age 41 in 2021.

The brand carries on and has become a powerful element of Abloh’s legacy.

RELATED: Off-White RTW Fall 2023

A recent regulatory filing from Farfetch showed that Off-White accounted for “a majority of our brand platform” gross merchandise volume last year, when GMV tallied $455.2 million. Farfetch’s brand platform is made up of its New Guards division and its revenues are “generally equal to GMV.” 

That puts Off-White at annual sales of at least $227.6 million — or more than 9.8 percent of Farfetch’s top line, although the company does not break out Off-White’s results itself.

Farfetch picked up the license to sell Off-White with its $675 million deal to buy New Guards in 2019. At the time, Off-White accounted for three-quarters of GMV at New Guards, which has also seen growth with Palm Angels and other brands. A deal last year with Authentic Brands Group to make and sell Reebok goods will also help build the division going forward.

The Off-White license expires in 2035 and includes the right for either side to opt out of the agreement as of Jan. 1, 2026, subject to notice provisions.

Those terms haven’t changed, but while the party on the other side has, the two sides seem synced up. 

Off-White RTW Fall 2023

Off-White RTW Fall 2023

Giovanni Giannoni/WWD

A few months before he died, Abloh sold LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton an additional stake in Off-White, giving the luxury giant a controlling 60 percent interest in the brand. 

Michael Burke, former chairman and chief executive officer of Louis Vuitton, lauded the relationship at the time. 

We’re absolutely happy and, at times, positively surprised at how they have taken Virgil’s then-brand and then turned it into a very, very successful business,” Burke said. “There are very, very few that have achieved what they have achieved. So we wouldn’t be doing this deal if we thought the first thing we needed to do was changing a key partner.”

Clearly, Farfetch is looking to replicate some of the magic that helped build Off-White at other brands. 

At the Bank of America Consumer & Retail Conference on Monday, Farfetch’s chief financial officer, Elliot Jordan, pointed to Reebok’s upcoming launch into luxury as an “exciting opportunity.”

“We’ve done a lot of collaborations already with Off-White and Palm Angels and just with some of the competing brands,” Jordan said. “And therefore we would expect to do the same with Reebok, which will grow their business next year and in the margins as well. But this year it’s about taking over European distribution, powering European e-commerce for Reebok, which [will] drive sort of somewhere between $250 million to $350 million of GMV across the brand platform and the digital platform from Q2 onwards.”

That puts another big player beside Off-White on Farfetch’s brand platform.

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