Moda Operandi plans China showroom

Luxury fashion marketplace Moda Operandi is planning to open a showroom in China as it targets growth in Asia.

The US-headquartered company, which allows customers to pre-order looks directly from designers immediately after their runway show, has appointed former Burberry and Tesla executive Puja Clarke in a new role as senior VP of fashion buying and e-commerce.

Since achieving success with its pre-order concept – which has a flip side of helping fashion brands assess consumer reaction to its new collections – the e-commerce company has been evolving into a broader fashion marketplace.

Next year Moda Operandi will open its first brick-and-mortar store in China in a city yet to be disclosed.

The rapid expansion of the company has been helped by a US$165 million investment round last year, led by the Hong Kong-based  founder of K11 and C Ventures, Adrian Cheng.

Clarke said in an interview with Glossy that new shopping behaviours and digital platforms are especially prevalent in China, where Moda’s customers generally aren’t interacting through a website. Instead, a Chinese shopper might buy a $500,000 necklace on an app, and consumers are more familiar with buying through live video sessions and chat platforms, than websites. She predicts this style of shopping will become more common all over the world in the future.

“The customer knows what she wants, and the ones that listen will have productive, successful businesses,” Clarke said. “A younger designer can get a lot of people whispering in their ear about what they want to do with the collection, but [the Moda customer] is putting her deposit down, she’s favorite-ing – there are so many data points that can tell a designer whether something is great.”

International markets comprise one-third of Moda Operandi’s sales with Asia the largest region ahead of the Middle East. While the company’s average order value is about $1400, Clarke said that number “skyrockets” in China.

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