Fanny Moizant, co-founder of luxury fashion resale site Vestiaire Collective, takes on Asia.
With a brand new office in Hong Kong and the aim to expand the pre-loved fashion service to the Asia Pacific region, Moizant is excited to take on this new challenge. The French beauty sat down with us to talk entrepreneurship, travel attire and her fave spots to unwind from the busy fashion circuit.
WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO LAUNCH VESTIAIRE COLLECTIVE?
I was deeply passionate about entrepreneurship. I really wanted to launch my own business. It’s in the family DNA. We’re all entrepreneurs. Fashion marketing was my field. I worked for several fashion and apparel brands such as John Galliano, Dim and Mexx. My first big job was in interior decoration, but I went back to fashion and completed a degree in fashion marketing. And after the school and the kids, I decided to work for myself. And as I was reading the French press, I had this idea of doing Vestiaire Collective. And then I came to meet my brother’s friend who was interestingly working on the same idea, and we joined forces. We merged the two concepts and launched Vestiaire Collective. So now we have six co-founders. We all have very different backgrounds. Two of them are tech guys, one is logistics, etc. So we all respect each other’s field and we don’t interfere. I leave the more corporate, boring stuff to the guys [laughs].
WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO DO PRE-LOVED FASHION? DID YOU SEE A GAP IN THE MARKET?
I was intrigued by these recessionistas, mainly bloggers at the time. They were starting to find a way to resell their wardrobes online on their blogs, because they needed to recycle them, as they didn’t have the budget to continuously buy new outfits. I understood from that example that the way we consume fashion today has been evolving over generations. My mother wore her leather coat for 15 years. It was all about the quality.
I’m not a crazy shopper, but my girlfriends and I, we buy so many coats now, and it’s all about using them and letting them go and passing them on to other people. So fashion consumption has changed, and we have to have a way to unload all of that.
When I came up with the idea I was a consumer, and I was alone with the kids. I had no style, nothing. I was looking to refill my wardrobe, and I really wanted to bring all those girls onto the same platform.
I BELIEVE YOU CHECK EVERY TIME THAT IS BEING SOLD?
We check twice. If I want to sell my blouse on the site, I would first go there, describe it, take some pictures and give it a price. So there’s a first digital check. I have my team of curators in Paris. There are 600,000 pieces on the website, and every day they receive 4,000 emails from the 6 million members. So the girl in Paris will check the photos and the price and make sure it’s on demand. It’s a first check where we refuse 30%. Then the product goes online. The product, however, will stay with me (the seller) until the day it’s sold. So I get notified that it has been sold, and I’m asked to ship it to Paris or New York. So 80% of the business we don’t stock. The items sit with the sellers. And when the product arrives at the headquarters, we will have a physical check. It’s like an atelier.
See also: Charlotte Olympia – Style Maven
TELL US MORE ABOUT LAUNCHING VESTIAIRE COLLECTIVE IN ASIA. WHAT CAN WE EXPECT?
I’ve moved to Hong Kong to set up the atelier. From Hong Kong we will oversee the entire APAC market, including China, Korea, Japan, Australia, and so on. We already have buyers here but we will open the selling part.
DESCRIBE YOUR STYLE IN THREE WORDS
I normally describe it with two [laughs]. Easy Chic.
THE CHARACTERISTIC YOU LIKE LEAST IN YOURSELF
I’m very driven in my career, but it doesn’t apply to sports. I love sports, but I’m a little bit lazy when it comes to that.
WHAT DID YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU WERE YOUNG?
As a kid I really wanted to be like my mother, because my mom is one of the greatest women I know. And in my little head I was thinking that even if I could be only 20 or 40% of what my mother is, I could be super happy. She’s a very strong woman. She’s always the one I’m turning to for advice.
MOST TREASURED ITEM
The jewelry my husband gifted me when the kids were born. It’s a ring and a necklace. And the old items my mother passed on to me. Some Alaïa pieces. Those are the two things with emotional links that I would never sell. I will gift it to my daughters.
WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY WORKING ON?
I’m currently hiring the team for Hong Kong. I’m starting with five to six people this year. Next year we aim to be around 20 – 30 people.
HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH COMPETITION?
I think there’s competition all over the world. And I think we’re a bit different in the way we operate. Some are dedicated to luxury, some are accessories only. We feature pieces from Zara up to Hermès, men, women, and kids. We also have a lifestyle section with books etc. Because of the look and feel of the site, the curation and the community, Vestiaire became a real brand.
See also: Rafe Totengco – The Fashionable Traveler
WHAT’S THE BEST ADVICE YOU’VE EVER BEEN GIVEN?
Work, work, work. I’ve been raised by entrepreneurs. I think it’s a real value. With kids…you have to spark their interest. They will do whatever they want to do with it, but you have to get them interested in things. And then they can develop a passion for certain things. That’s what I’m trying to teach my kids, but it’s tough.
DO YOU USE SOCIAL MEDIA?
I really enjoy it. I have Instagram. I used to be on Facebook but closed that account. For work, Instagram is very useful. Even when recruiting people, Instagram will give you a first look of what that person is like and what their interests are.
TREASURED HOTEL OR RESORT
And a recent one I’ve been to in the Maldives is COMO Maalifushi. It was stunning. We spent a lot of time diving. The service was just amazing, and the food was really fresh.
BEST PLACE ON EARTH
It’s near my parents’ place. It’s called Mas De La Fouque. It’s in the Camargue, in the south of France. It’s stunning. There are wild horses. It’s very simple and tranquil, with lots of whites. The hotel is built into this wild reserve, and you have the beach nearby. I’ve had my best time there. It’s really quite special, and it talks to my roots.
3 THINGS YOU WOULD PACK
My Céline sunglasses, my denim shorts and a good book.
YOUR TRAVEL ATTIRE
I wear compression socks, leggings and a hoodie. I take all the make-up off and hydrate a lot, even the eyes.
YOUR BEAUTY SECRET
I have a wonderful French brand I wear all the time, Joëlle Ciocco.
YOUR FAVORITE SPA
The Sukhotai in Bangkok. The massage there was phenomenal.
FAVORITE ‘ME’ TIME
Back in London my ‘me’ time was every Sunday evening when I had a massage at my house, and the kids would spend time with their dad.
HOW DO YOU KEEP FIT?
I’m too lazy to go by myself. So I need a trainer.
YOUR SIGNATURE SCENT
Red Roses from Jo Malone London. My grandmother had a rose garden in the south of France.
YOUR FAVORITE RESTAURANT
L’ Arpège de Alain Passard in Paris. He has three stars. So it’s not somewhere you go every day. He’s very famous for vegetarian food. He even has his own garden where he grows all his vegetables. He has 20 different types of carrots. I’m craving vegetables all the time. You can have a bit of fish or meat and the rest is mainly vegetables. It’s a real experience.
FOOD YOU CRAVE
Mediterranean food. I love food so much. I’m a real foodie, I love to cook a lot.
WHAT KEEPS YOU UP AT NIGHT?
My to-do list, and I’m trying to figure out shortcuts to do everything.
ON YOUR PLAYLIST
It’s awful. It’s my girls’ playlist [laughs], as I really don’t have time.
PEOPLE YOU FOLLOW ON INSTAGRAM
I love people in fashion who are funny. Peggy Frey @peggfrey from France. She has this bisou thing where she gives everyone she meets a kiss. Laura Brown @laurabrown99 from InStyle in the US. In Hong Kong I met Kieran Ho @kieranho. I love his sense of humor. I also like Declan Chan @declanchan.
WHAT INSPIRES YOU?
Other entrepreneurs, especially women. I’m always curious to understand how they can deal with business, life, kids, travel, etc. One of the first ones in my field was Natalie Massenet. She was a visionary. She was the first one to move luxury online. She’s had a massive career and she’s up for new amazing things. That’s really someone I admire.
THE BOOK/MAGAZINE ON YOUR BEDSIDE TABLE
Alibaba: The House That Jack Ma Built. I always read books about entrepreneurs.
SOMETHING YOU CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT
My family and phone.
YOUR FAVORITE QUOTE
Something I try to practice and that I love is “Less is more”.