Farfetch Debuts First In-House Label With New Guards Group

·4 min read

LONDON — Farfetch is turning its hand to design now, with its first in-house label making its debut today.

Dubbed There Was One — or TWO — the new brand was created alongside the New Guards Group, marking the first time the retailer is working with the brand platform after acquiring it in 2019 for $675 million.

More from WWD

The aim was to tap into the Off White licensee’s design and production capabilities, as well as Farfetch’s data, to create a brand that responds to modern customers’ needs.

This means sustainability is at the core of the new label, which will use certified and eco-friendly materials and focus on designs that are “fashion focused yet not trend-driven.” There will be a drop model instead of a seasonal one and “minimal packaging,” which is also said to be compostable or recyclable.

A campaign image from Farfetch’s new brand There Was One. - Credit: Courtesy of Farfetch
A campaign image from Farfetch’s new brand There Was One. - Credit: Courtesy of Farfetch

Courtesy of Farfetch

“After seeing consumer behavior and the conversations around sustainability in the last year, it was clear that if you’re going to put something new out there it needs to be in the sustainable space,” said Holli Rogers, chief brand officer at Farfetch, pointing to traffic quadrupling on Farfetch’s conscious pages and sales of sustainable products growing three times as fast as regular products.

“It’s a massive number when you look at it and it’s a result of designers putting better selections out there and some people deciding that this is the only way to shop.”

She added that the project was in the works for a while and the team believes that despite market saturation, there’s still space for new labels that can move the conversation forward.

“There is a lot of stuff out there, but a lot of it isn’t great. We shouldn’t stop ourselves from putting something great out there, just to be conscientious or simply because there’s already a lot out there. There should be better product and better choices for people,” said Rogers.

This is why the collection will focus on pieces that can work across seasons and stand the test of time.

“The idea is not head-to-toe dressing, these are hard-working pieces that you can keep in your closet for years,” explained Rogers, adding that the production, which was spearheaded by the New Guards Group, was all done in Europe using high-end materials.

A campaign image from Farfetch’s new brand There Was One. - Credit: Courtesy of Farfetch
A campaign image from Farfetch’s new brand There Was One. - Credit: Courtesy of Farfetch

Courtesy of Farfetch

This meant that price points are in the premium luxury space — between 100 to 2,000 pounds — with some more entry-level prices added to the mix to ensure greater accessibility.

“Given the quality of the pieces, we needed to be in the premium space and talk to a certain level of luxury audience. You want to have certain elements that make people dream, but at the same time ensure that customers can purchase something they can put on their backs,” added Rogers.

The line will also be produced in more limited quantities to avoid having excess inventory and too many markdowns.

“The industry has been talking about this for so long, because we’ve got to this proliferation of product. But with new brands like ours, you can hopefully start stepping away from those cycles with more meaningful product, so you don’t feel the need to wait for the sale as a consumer.”

To mark the launch and highlight the brand’s timeless ethos, Farfetch has joined forces with Penny Martin, editor in chief of the independent magazine The Gentlewoman, to create a campaign spotlighting modern-day women and their individual styles.

The campaign, shot by Katja Rahlwes, tapped three stylists: Karen Binns, Ellie Grace Cumming and Emilie Kareh. They each chose a muse to style in a mix of new pieces by There Was One and the models’ own wardrobe staples.

DJ and electronic musician Honey Dijon; Lebanese and Ivorian designer Rym Beydoun, and the musician and composer Lucinda Chua all feature in the campaign.

“It’s not about loud clothes but about these incredible women’s style, how they wear the clothes, and this idea of finding the perfect piece. It’s important for us to celebrate people with style instead of dictating trends to them — and there’s no age attached to that,” added Rogers.

Best of WWD

Sign up for WWD's Newsletter. For the latest news, follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.