The founder and chief executive of Farfetch, one of fashion’s only "unicorns," José Neves is an entrepreneur with a career spanning over 10 years within the retail industry that has transformed the industry’s e-commerce space by providing a full-service platform for consumers to buy luxury fashion from boutiques and brands around the world.
The Portuguese retail mogul began his career with a technology business, which he founded in 1994 whilst studying Economics at Universidad de Porto. He quickly added to his portfolio, establishing contemporary shoe brand Swear in London in 1996, followed by B-Store in 2001; the latter project earned him a British Fashion Award for Retailer of the Year. The two brands formed part of the portfolio of SIX London, a wholesale and shoe showroom collective founded by Neves in 1996 that manages the licenses for Swear and B-Store along with other contemporary designs from brands such as Opening Ceremony and Ksubi.
In October 2007 Neves combined his interest in fashion and technology to launch Farfetch.com, an integrated online marketplace supporting and promoting the retail activities of independent boutiques in the e-commerce sector. The site quickly became credited as being one of the fastest growing e-commerce networks in the luxury market and currently counts nearly 500 boutiques in its directory. Initial capital was raised through investments from Advent Ventures and eVenture Capital, and to date Farfetch has secured over $700 million in funding from JD.com, DST and Vitruvian Partners. The brand has expanded globally, opening offices in 13 different cities including Tokyo, Los Angeles, Shanghai and Moscow.
In addition to acquiring renowned London boutique Browns, Farfetch also launched its Black & White business in 2015, an independently run, full service agency that allows the e-tailer to offer new technology and business solutions to luxury brands. In February 2017, Neves welcomed Natalie Massenet , founder of Net-a-Porter, to the Farfetch business as non executive co-chairman. In mid-2018, after months of speculation, Farfetch filed for an IPO at the New York Stock Exchange at an estimated valuation of $5 billion.
Neves and Farfetch have received numerous accolades, including Financial Times and ArcelorMittal Boldness in Business Smaller Company Award (2016), Fast Company 2016 list of the world’s 50 most innovative companies and Ernst & Young’s 2013 Entrepreneur of the Year. Neves also sits on the board of the British Fashion Council .