In Brief was a luxury e-commerce marketplace owned by Condé Nast, eventually absorbed by It combined personalised and curated content with emerging and established luxury and fashion brands.

My Role

Fashioned as a start-up, I joined in their early prototype phase as part of a small, multidisciplinary engineering team. From POC, we built a wider team of engineers and developed a complex, high-traffic, custom e-commerce platform. This was tightly integrated with the company's online and print publishing, and interfaced with hundreds of vendor's stock systems.

During the very early stages of development, I joined their small R&D team piecing together a prototype which transformed data from a Hybris e-commerce engine. This later developed to two distinct teams: a UI team responsible for the front end (of which I was a senior member), and an API team who used HapiJS and Node to transform data not only from our own Hybris source, but also from our customers’ own e-commerce platforms. This allowed to display and sell stock directly from their vendors in a marketplace-type arrangement.

Once proven as viable, the project quickly outgrew the rooms we had been squatting in and moved to brand new premises in Camden whilst onboarding a complete new team of developers, editors and data scientists – many joining us from other areas of the publishing giant.

On the front end we made the decision not to carry on developing the final product on top of our prototype, and instead shifted to a standalone isomorphic web application using Clojure and ClojureScript. This used HTML5 and CSS animations to produce a slick, high-quality interface suitable for the aspirational customers expected to shop there, and reflective of the overall brand.

As a side project my team and I also produced a single-file JavaScript plugin (using ClojureScript) which was installed into the company’s online publications. This used a bespoke AI engine to provide context and opportunities within editorial content: displaying relevant products from within the marketplace directly within the publication.

Less than a year after launch, Condé Nast and Farfetch forged a partnership which saw the trademarks, platform and website acquired by Farfetch. Much of the original work we did at remains in use on the Farfetch website today.