With 90% of Farfetch purchases crossing borders, the search for
something that your friends won't be wearing is a big motivation
for customers. "People who come to our site tend to be looking for
that slight edge," Ms. Horton said. "Even from our top 20 brands,
which are probably similar to everyone else's, you are going to see
a different selection on Farfetch, because a buyer in Tokyo is
going to choose completely different pieces to a buyer in the
The "Unfollow" advertising campaign, developed with Droga5 Europe, positions Farfetch as a
brand "for fashion lovers, not followers." In the print campaign,
models are shown from the back. Ms. Horton explained, "We want to
put the focus on the clothes rather than the person -- our
customers are looking for things to help set them apart, not blend
The most recent campaign stars designer Vera Wang talking about
how fashion enables people to express themselves, while previous
videos have featured albino model Shaun Ross and Tokyo-based
fashion power couple Verbal and Yoon.
In store, Farfetch branding is subtle. "We have no ambitions to
become 'Farfetch the store'," Ms. Horton said. "The platform works
because the boutiques are so individual, and they bring their own
point-of-view to the site."
Most boutiques carry signs letting customers know they can shop
the store 24 hours a day on Farfetch, and the Farfetch brand is
also represented in a series of three $25 coffee-table books
focusing on art, food and design, branded "Farfetch Curates."
An app, Farfetch Discover, continues the curation theme,
capitalizing on the local knowledge of boutique owners by providing
insider guides to many of the cities in its network.
Ms. Horton says her biggest challenge is scaling growth. "It's
being able to keep the pace of growth and make sure that we are not
sacrificing the quality of customer experience," she said.
In a bid to truly understand the customer experience, Farfetch
recently bought iconic London boutique Browns for an undisclosed
sum with the intention of creating a "store of the future."
"Obviously we want to make the shopping experience as fresh as
it can be, but it's not about gimmicks -- you are not going to come
in and see mirrors doing weird things," Ms. Horton said. "It's
about technology making the customer experience the best it can be:
same-day delivery, locating different sizes, a till-free checkout,
click and collect."
Chicago-born Ms. Horton started her career in luxury as an
account director at Draft Worldwide in Chicago, working on
automotive brands Audi and Cadillac. From there, she moved to
become marketing director at the New York Times, then to Vogue and
on to Shopbop before moving to Farfetch as CMO two years ago.