PARIS — Vestiaire Collective is cashing in on K-pop cool with the launch of local services in South Korea.
The French luxury resale platform cited the country’s growing cultural cachet as one of the reasons it’s targeting the market, as well as opening a new office and authentication center in Seoul.
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In revealing the launch, the company called South Korea “a country that is having a critical moment in the global spotlight with its powerful culture exploding in all areas, from K-pop and K-dramas to fashion, beauty and beyond. The expressive and individual fashion taste from South Korea is quickly spreading across the globe.”
South Korea’s luxury market size is valued at $15.2 billion, and is one of the 10 largest markets for personal luxury goods, according to the most recent numbers from Bain & Co., which said the country is “undergoing a profound transformation” and replacing tourist spending with local demand.
“South Korea is a very dynamic country leading global trends in tech, fashion and sustainability,” said president and cofounder Fanny Moizant. “It also strengthens our commitment to being a force for good in the global fashion ecosystem, by offering affordable and sustainable alternatives to fast fashion. We expect this positive influence and good energy to highly appeal to the South Korean community, so that we can jointly contribute to building a better future.”
“With its rapid growth and innovative multichannel market, South Korea has such a great potential,” added chief executive officer Max Bittner. “We expect this strategic launch to highly benefit other markets within the Asia-Pacific region.”
Seoul marks the company’s sixth announced global authentication center, following France, Hong Kong, the U.K. and two in the U.S., the second of which will be operational by the end of 2022. It will allow Vestiaire to offer an added level of trust to consumers in the highly label-driven market.
Courtesy Vestiare Collective
Vestiaire will offer upscaled services in South Korea, including courier pick-up and drop-off locations. Transactions will be in local currency and language, and the site will offer easy sign-up through lifestyle portals Naver and Kakao.
The move into Korea is significant for Vestiaire, as it’s the first time the platform is expanding a localized service to non-English-speaking Asia following Singapore and Hong Kong, and marks a growth plan for the market which has been in the works through successive investment rounds.
Kering and Tiger Global Management injected a $216 million funding round into the resale platform in 2021 with an aim to focus on global expansion. In 2020, the company received a $64 million round of funding with investment from Korelya Capital, the Asian-focused French firm cofounded by former minister of culture Fleur Pellerin and backed by Korean tech giant Naver, with the intent to expand in Japan and Korea.