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Why Afterpay’s (ASX:APT) Nick Molnar is embracing the fashion world

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There’s a reason the Afterpay Ltd (ASX: APT) share price makes headline news most every day.

In a year where most S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) shares have struggled to cope with pandemic burdens that have sent the index down 7% since 2 January, Afterpay has thrived.

Up more than 1.5% in early afternoon trading today, while the ASX 200 is slipping, the Afterpay share price has now gained a tremendous 214% for the year.

And if you were insightful, bold or just plain lucky enough to buy shares at the 23 March lows, you’d be sitting on a gain of more than 980% today.

How Afterpay is courting Millennial and Gen Z consumers

Afterpay’s buy now, pay later (BNPL) platform is dominated by younger consumers (under 40), with more women favouring BNPL options than men.

It seems like a savvy move, then, by co-founder Nick Molnar to sponsor a major event that caters to this demographic.

COVID-19 saw Australian Fashion Week cancelled this year. But the event is back on the agenda for 2021. And with major funding from Afterpay, it’s been rebadged Afterpay Australian Fashion Week.

Explaining the company’s reasoning behind supporting the fashion event, co-founder Nick Molnar says (as quoted by the Australian Financial Review):

The fashion industry was the first to embrace us. They were the ones who backed Afterpay to begin with – they got the Millennial and Gen Z attitude to money…

Our earliest adopting brands were Spell and the Gypsy Collective, Aje and Cue. It gives me immense pleasure to see Australian brands like these succeed internationally and to be a part of that story. When we started talking with Natalie (Xenita, executive director of event host IMG Australia) the thinking was, how do we leverage (Afterpay’s) reach locally and globally, working with Australian designers who are really having a moment. We feel privileged to partner with Fashion Week…

Molnar said from Afterpay’s perspective, the company was proudly Australian:

Having the ability to start with Australia gives us the right learning experience to see what opportunities exist down the track. We have 1 million users in the UK and 5 million in the United States, so we are uniquely positioned to take on something like fashion week as it becomes more consumer-facing.

With a dominant share of the BNPL market in Australia, and those kinds of growing numbers in the United States and the United Kingdom, the Afterpay share price could continue to grab headlines for a long time to come.

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Returns as of 6th October 2020

Motley Fool contributor Bernd Struben has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of AFTERPAY T FPO. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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