My Work: Stephanie Horton

Portrait of Stephanie Horton of Farfetch

Interview: Haris Stavridis // Portrait: Nikola Borissov for Fashion We Like

Could you please describe your role at Farfetch?

As the Chief Marketing Officer, I am responsible for developing and executing the global marketing and communications strategy. That includes handling global press, strategic partnerships, market strategy, advertising, video, digital, styling, social media, VIP and celebrity relations.

What kind of challenges do small boutiques face around the world? How are you helping them with your platform?

Getting in-store traffic and the ability to designate resources to build world class online sites. Farfetch allows these boutiques to be online and compete in the global marketplace.

How do you see the evolution of brick and mortar retail?

What we are trying to do is answer the question "how will people shop for luxury fashion five or ten years into the future?". The answer is that it won't be purely online. There will be a seamless merge of a fantastic physical experience with a powerful yet subtle technology. Brick and mortar will always exist, but it will become more of a mix between digital and physical.

What does the current acquisition of Browns mean for Farfetch?

The strategic objective of the acquisition is to evolve the Browns brand both offline and online, and create a pioneering mix of technology and in-store experiences. This will be incubated in Browns and then rolled out to the rest of the Farfetch community.

Will we see more similar acquisitions in the future or a closer partnership between Farfetch and selected boutiques around the globe?

We aren't planning any similar acquisitions. The addition of Browns will allow us to iterate with the agility and speed required to execute the vision described above.

What are your most important markets at the moment and why?

The United States, United Kingdom, China, Japan, Russia, and Australia. They are either our biggest demand markets or where we see the most growth potential.

What's the most useful thing you learned while working for brands like Vogue and Shopbop?

I would say speed and agility. Swift decision-making and being able to change and adapt with the times.

Currently, a lot of fashion brands are focusing on quality content. How important is content to you, and in your view, how is it affecting the world of fashion e-commerce?

I think it is important to create desire, while presenting new brands and trends to the consumer when they are visiting your website. The consumers' first touch point with one's website is the home page, so it is essential that the content there reflects your brand image and tone. I think everyone is trying to figure out the right balance between those two.

What kinds of tools, applications, or services make your everyday business life easier?

A great assistant and team. There are always going to be things that can be automated, but nothing makes your business life easier than having an amazing team. I am lucky.

What is the biggest setback you have faced in your career and how did you respond to it?

I got laid off once. I panicked at first, but it was a great lesson in networking and patience. It actually helped me refocus and think about what I really loved doing.

What are your three biggest headaches at work right now?

Not having enough time, dealing with a phenomenal fast growth, and balancing between five time zones.

What's the most solid, specific piece of advice you have for anyone wishing to work in fashion PR and marketing?

Never judge a book by its cover. It's our first instinct to instantly judge situations and opportunities based on financial rewards, title or status. But intrinsic value is often overlooked—and that can make you miss out on knowing some exceptional people or being part of some amazing experiences. I know it's hard to see early on, but remember a sense of purpose and passion for one's work beats out a bigger pay check every time. Plus, it will push you much further in the long run.

    

We would like to thank South Place Hotel for hosting us for this portrait.

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