German fashion platform Zalando acquired a majority stake in Highsnobiety, further expanding the latter’s burgeoning reach beyond streetwear- and luxury-centric media deeper into the business of retail.
Berlin-based Highsnobiety will now act as a strategic and creative consultant to Zalando.
The deal comes after Highsnobiety in May signed a joint venture deal with Gebr Heinemann to flex its muscle in retail after bursting on the scene in 2005 as a niche media brand chronicling the intersection of streetwear and high-end fashion. The deal paved the way for Highsnobiety to open its first permanent physical store, Gate Zero, at Copenhagen’s Kastrup International Airport the same month after popping up in Zurich Airport last year.
The two companies said combining Highsnobiety’s “cultural relevance” with Zalando’s “fashion authority and operational capabilities” will deliver engaging experiences for modern consumers.
“Both of our companies share a passion for building strong brand partnerships and enabling brands to inspire audiences with their products and stories,” said David Schneider, Zalando founder and co-CEO. “Partnering with Highsnobiety will allow us to execute much faster on our ambition to offer the most relevant and engaging—as well as convenient—shopping experience to our customers. I’m excited to see our joint vision materialize and to shape the future of fashion content in commerce together.”
Highsnobiety has grown into an influential force in fashion. It worked with Lyst, the global fashion search platform, to name 20 next-gen brands to watch in 2020, giving brands from Jacquemus to Fear of God to Marine Serre to Arc’teryx their seal of approval.
Zalando, meanwhile, is no slouch in the sustainability department. It’s been busy investing in sustainable and circular materials, working to trace the cotton it consumes, and fighting deforestation. In its 2021 sustainability report, Schneider wrote that “sustainability has moved well beyond being an ‘on top’ investment,” and is now a “core consideration in everything we do.”
Highsnobiety founder David Fischer said his 17-year-old-company “has mastered the art of turning stories into products and products into stories.”
“I am very excited to bring our capabilities to Zalando’s commitment towards fashion inspiration and together reimagine the future of content and commerce,” he added, while “Zalando’s unrivaled expertise in scaling e-commerce platforms” will “bring my lifetime’s passion work to the next level.”