German streetwear and youth culture media platform Highsnobiety announced the layoffs of 24 employees last week, about 10 percent of its workforce, people close to the matter told BoF.
Founder and CEO David Fischer and chief operating officer Jürgen Hopfgartner announced the news on an internal call last week, citing unfavorable economic conditions and the need for cost-cutting measures, according to these sources.
The job cuts affected employees across departments including editorial, commerce, data and marketing, as well as the company’s in-house creative agency, HS+.
Highsnobiety confirmed the layoffs in a statement released exclusively to BoF saying the company is “streamlining our global structure to more closely align with the shifting industry as well as internal needs as the publishing, the e-commerce and the agency elements of our company continue to individually evolve and expand.” The company added that its “longer-term vision remains unchanged by any of these measures.”
The restructuring comes amidst uncertainty regarding the company’s retail business. The opening of Highsnobiety’s first-ever permanent flagship store in Berlin was originally slated for June, but has now been pushed back until towards the end of 2023, sources told BoF.
The company, which was founded by Fischer in 2005 as a streetwear-focused blog, was acquired by Zalando in June 2022. The German e-commerce giant was enticed by Highsnobiety’s connections to high-end luxury and streetwear brands, along with the platform’s content -driven retail business, which comprises its multibrand e-commerce site and other retail pop-ups.
Financial terms weren’t disclosed, but the deal reportedly valued Highsnobiety between $180 million and $250 million.
Last week, Highsnobiety threw a large party at Paris Fashion Week in collaboration with sneaker resale platform StockX and hosted by Canadian model Winnie Harlow, as part of its five-day long “Not In Paris” retail and cultural pop-up.
Meanwhile, the platform launched verticals dedicated to beauty and sports in February this year and May 2022, respectively.