LONDON – Matchesfashion is making changes to the front and back of the business as it positions itself for digital and physical commerce in the wake of COVID-19.
New Matches CEO Paolo De Cesare wasted no time building his management team, appointing Amazon and Farfetch veteran Dave Murray as CFO and Prenisha Harry, formerly of Pandora and Inditex, as CFO. Human Resources Director.
After a two-year hiatus due to lockdown, the retailer is also resuming its partnership with Marie-Louise Sciò and once again taking Matches to Italy for a series of immersive consumer events.
Grand Tour Italy Part Two will see Matches host parties, dinners and pop-ups in Rome, Florence, Naples and Ischia, following an initiative launched in 2019.
Matches’ new chief financial officer, Murray, hails from Farfetch, where he was senior vice president of finance. He will take up his new duties in the fall, succeeding Sean Glithero, who will be taking a break from his career. Glithero had been in the business since September 2020.
Murray has 20 years of experience in the luxury and retail sectors, including three years at Farfetch, where he worked alongside the company’s CFO, with operational responsibility for all areas of finance.
Prior to Farfetch, he held senior finance roles at Amazon UK, first as CFO of UK Operations and later as European CFO of Amazon Logistics.
De Cesare described Murray as “one of the most respected finance professionals in the luxury industry. He will bring us invaluable expertise in e-commerce.
De Cesare said the next $100 billion in luxury market growth will come from deeper digital penetration, “and Dave’s vast experience in this area will be extremely valuable.”
In an interview this week, De Cesare said he’s made it his mission to attract top digital, retail and fashion talent. The two new appointments reflect this.
De Cesare said Murray will work to optimize Matches’ supply chain, which accounts for a third of the company’s costs in areas such as returns, duties and shipping.
De Cesare said supply chain is an area where there are “many opportunities and challenges,” and the goal is to find ways to better serve the customer and save money.
Matches has hired Harry, its new human resources manager, from Pandora. Harry has nearly 16 years’ experience in HR roles in large retail companies, having started his career at Inditex, parent company to brands such as Zara and Massimo Dutti.
When asked why he hired HR, De Cesare said the market was very competitive and Matches was striving to become “the most ambitious multi-brand fashion and luxury site” it needed to find and retain new talent.
He also wants Harry to help “create a sense of place and purpose” at the retailer.
As part of its growth ambitions, Matches is taking over the sparkling spring lifestyle event it first launched in 2019. It will host the Grand Tour Italy Part Two in partnership with Issimo founder Sciò and CEO and Creative Director of the Pellicano Hotels Group. .
The three-part tour of Italy is meant to celebrate “the return of world travel” and showcase Matches’ exclusive vacation capsules. The store will host cocktail parties, dinner parties, private art tours, cultural experiences and pop-up shops on the peninsula.
The outlet said the trip will be captured in a “cinematic mini-series”, which will be shared with Matchesfashion on its media channels.
The retailer has collaborated with designers such as Gabriela Hearst, Johanna Ortiz, Emilia Wickstead, Etro and Commas to launch over 45 exclusive holiday capsules across womenswear, menswear and homewear.
The launch of holiday editions by Sciò and designer Robert Rabensteiner online, and at the Matches pop-up in Rome, will mark the first leg of the tour.
It will be followed by an event and installation at 5 Carlos Place in London before heading south to Florence and Naples.
The Matches pop-up in Rome will be in Piazza De’Ricci, near Piazza Navona. There will be a cocktail and dinner at the famous fish restaurant Pierluigi followed by a weekend of “shopping, eating and dancing” at the La Posta Vecchia hotel.
In Florence, Sciò and Rabensteiner will host a dinner at Palazzo Corsini and a series of cultural events for Matches VIP clients.
The last stop will be on the island of Ischia, off Naples, where Matches will organize a four-day holiday residence at the Hotel Mezzatorre. Guests will travel by boat from Naples to Ischia for a weekend of shopping, dining and entertainment.
In 2019, the Il Pellicano x Matchesfashion.com Italian Grand Tour saw customers spending time vacationing on the Italian coast on a 1930s yacht that was transformed into a pop-up resort clothing boutique.
The boat sailed from Il Pellicano in Porto Ercole, Tuscany, to La Posta Vecchia, outside Rome, to Il Mezzatorre.