Despite recession, Estonian fashion brand is taking on the global luxury goods market

  • 2020-06-12
  • Vootele Päi

Regardless difficult times for retail sector, the luxury clothing brand ÉSTIE has launched a co-financing campaign on the Fundwise platform looking to establish itself as a well-known brand in the Nordic countries and Asia, where Northern European design is becoming increasingly popular alongside Western European cult brands. The company not only invests in traditional retail business, but also uses innovative sales techniques to compete with major brands by integrating IT solutions into the company's business from the early phase.

Today, the ESTIE trademark is registered in both Europe and Hong Kong, and products under this brand have already been sold in the UK, Finland and the USA in addition to Estonia. "Our goal in raising co-financing is to aggressively expand to foreign markets. We see Sweden, Norway and Hong Kong as strategic points, where we already work through sales agents,” said Samuel Vard, CEO of ÉSTIE.

According to the founders of ÉSTIE, around 20% of the market needs of the luxury segment are currently unmet, as the large fashion houses in France and Italy are designed primarily for the weather conditions in southern Europe. "In France, for example, the weather is already warm in April, but the Scandinavians do not wear their swimming trunks until August. Thus, the timing and structure of the entire collections are in a strong shift, which does not correspond to the actual weather conditions in Scandinavia and much of Asia," explained Vard. According to the founders of ÉSTIE, Asia is becoming more and more aware of the design and quality of Northern Europe, and there is a growing interest in local products. "There are already several Asian success stories from the Nordic countries today - Ecco, Marimekko and J. Lindeberg, for example," added Vard, who said that both the Financial Times and the BBC have reported on the triumphs of Nordic design in Asia.

While brand’s product portfolio has been focusing mainly on bags and accessories, it is now constantly expanding - primarily adding products that are scarce in the Scandinavian luxury market. "This year, we are supplementing the existing collection with a backpack, hand luggage suitcase and perfume, but of course we will also continue to work with existing products to enter the market with a fresh and improved collection. We also produce the first samples of the clothing collection for retailers, which can be ordered in advance by 2022," said Vard. ÉSTIE's products are manufactured in Spain, Italy and France - in the same factories as Louis Vuitton, Prada and Dolce & Gabbana. "So in terms of quality, our bags can compete with items by Louis Vuitton, for example," added Vard.

To accelerate expansion, ÉSTIE launched a co-financing campaign on the Fundwise platform to raise the capital necessary to update and expand the product range and develop a new full collection. "If we want to successfully sell our brand abroad, we need to replenish our inventories, increase marketing volumes, involve specialists to enter foreign markets and develop an interactive online store," explains Hains Tooming, Member of the Board.

"We like ÉSTIE's ambitious expansion plan, but also their product range and quality. We believe that their quality products will have an impact on the international market and we want to help them on this journey," commented Henri Laupmaa, CEO of Fundwise.