Zalando acquires stake in virtual showroom Le New Black
France-based B2B e-commerce platform Le New Black is now partly owned by Zalando, after the German e-retailer acquired a minority interest in it. Zalando defines itself as the leading digital platform dedicated to fashion.
The business people who have supported Le New Black from its inception still remain as shareholders, like Céline Lippi, the Fashion Capital Partners director who made her first investment in digital fashion with Le New Black on a personal basis. Le New Black's two founders, Vidya Narine and her associate Bernard Coulombel, still own between them a majority stake in the company.
Le New Black has enjoyed remarkable success since its launch at the end of the 2000s, and today the website features 250 fashion brands (AMI Alexandre Mattiussi, Jacquemus, Lanvin, Lemaire, Hugo Boss, Paco Rabanne, Sessun, etc.).
On the users' side, the website boasts 10,000 multi-brand retail subscribers, including Colette, Dover Street Market, Galeries Lafayette, Harvey Nichols, Yoox Net-à-Porter, Zalando (of course!), etc. The website and its app are available in English, French, Italian and Japanese.
Le New Black also emphasizes the continuing support it benefits from by institutions such as the DEFI, the Fédération Française de la Couture (the French couture federation) and the Fédération de la Chaussure de France (the French footwear federation).
Le New Black is clearly expecting an acceleration in its European expansion now that Zalando is a shareholder.
The German company's financial muscle and its technical skills ought to also allow the young B2B platform to bolster its services.
The online marketplace's new version will go live in the course of 2016: professional subscribers will enjoy a new user experience and will have access to new editorial content, to discover the market's main trends and brands, and the fashion calendar's key dates. The software for wholesale business management, used by brand and agency subscribers, both emerging and established, will include new features.
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