Moda Operandi shapes up for Asia

Expanding into menswear, luxury trunk show and e-commerce company Moda Operandi is preparing to enter Asia next year.

With menswear proving to be a key battleground in the market, according to Business of Fashion, the New York-based e-tailer is up against larger players.

In the past two years, Moda Operandi has expanded into home goods and fine jewellery, and last year the company reported about $165 million in revenue, compared with MatchesFashion’s nearly $400 million and Yoox Net-a-Porter’s $2.5 billion.

CEO Deborah Nicodemus expects the company to grow another 54 per cent this year, fuelled in part by the new men’s offering. The company is also planning to open more townhouse store locations in key cities in Asia as well as the Middle East, Europe and North America.

From June 22, shoppers on ModaOperandi.com will be given the option to enter mirror-image women’s or men’s sites and pre-order the men’s spring 2019 collections from 50 brands as they come off the runways in Paris, Milan, London and New York.

For Moda Operandi, the men’s launch and its plans to expand in Asia go hand-in-hand, as Chinese male millennials are helping drive the region’s rapid growth. Chinese consumers also represent 32 per cent of global luxury consumption.

To support its international ambitions, Moda Operandi raised an extra $165 million in December from Apax Digital and Hong Kong investor Adrian Cheng, among others, putting its total raised at more than $300 million.

The company will release its first marketing campaign in China in the first quarter of next year, followed by the release of a Mandarin website. In the third quarter, it plans to launch a showroom location in Hong Kong, followed by the opening of a warehouse in the region by the end of the year. 

Nicodemus expects the Asian region, which accounts for 8 per cent of sales, to grow to represent more than 20 per cent of the business by 2022.

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