INTERVIEW: Natalie Massanet on Business of Fashion

by Mikelle S

So in case you don’t know I have an undying love for Business of Fashion. Yes, I really and truly do, it’s an undying love for a website that provides me with in depth information on an industry that I long to be in and crave information about. The site gives me detailed, well written posts in a very business like sense. In addition to that, there is always some project or another going on, some series that they are involved in. Well we’re here today to speak about the Fashion Pioneers series, and more importantly, what Natalie Massanet, the creator of Net-A-Porter, had to say on her Fashion Pioneers spotlight.
See more screenshots and the rest of our coverage below the clip
I don’t want to address everything that was said. The interview was great, as Imran Amed has an amazing presence and sense of chic professionalism about him. It was very fluid and as always delved into the interveiwee’s head. One segment that Imran delved into that got me excited was Mr. Porter. Yes yes yes, I’m not sure if I’ve even covered it on the blog but I have been hearing and paying very close attention to the whispers along the halls of fashion about this new venture for Mrs. Massanet. So I was positively GLEEFUL when Imran broached the subject. Here are a few points I jotted down about the responses

  • Net-A-Porter was, is, and always will be a woman’s brand. There aren’t alot of places that are just for women so they wanted Net-A-Porter to be such a space and didn’t want it to change.
  • Mr. Porter is not to be just a “tab” of Net-A-Porter. Mr. Porter is to have it’s own voice, tone, packaging, and service. It will have a different brand and a different experience than Net-A Porter does because the audience is different
  • Women are trendy when it comes to fashion, mini-skirts this season, full skirts the next, while men are more classic. Men usually purchase investment pieces.
  • Things are still in development and there are no specific launch dates. The website is being designed and the team is still being put in place. The business will start out as a small one and then expand, in a sense walking before running instead of just attempting to riding on Net-A-Porter’s back.

In addition to this Imran asked Natalie about an issue that has been the topic of conversation for a few seasons, and since she has sealed the trophy of the most revolutionary fashion company in our time, having recently sold Net-A-Porter for over half a billion dollars, she may be the most in the position to answer the question seriously. When asked what to do about the wacky and demanding fashion schedule, Natalie Massanet’s mantra is simply, “Skip a season!” She encourages to simply skip a season and then have designers all show in season.. Her methodology is that buyers and editors don’t need to see the shows anymore. They can simply look at the clothing on a rack or a rail and gather what they need from that. The fashion show has now moved into a production for the consumer and to show the consumer a cookie and not hand it over for an entire year… well it’s just cruel. I’d have to say… it’s a simple, yet effective plan of action.

The other thing that was a big part of the interview in my opinion was the release of the Net-A-Porter IPad app. The app really and truly shows the future in my opinion. Weekly, a new issue of the Net-A-Porter magazine will come out on the application, that’s 52 issues a year. Each issue is VERY interactive. Users will find bags that scatter themselves across the screen, and shots from runway shows that feature the models walking. Furthermore the user can click on various pictures to see and do various things, possibly the most beneficial of which is to purchase pieces. While browsing the magazine, users can click a piece in an editorial, and purchase it. This is all done while still browsing the magazine.

If one has to ask where to look for the future of fashion… I say simply to look to Net-A-Porter.