Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Changing the Face of Retail Therapy; Net-a-Porter Is Tipped to Win at the British Fashion Awards Next Week. NATALIE Massenet on Why Her Online Fashion Store Is Such a Runaway Success

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Changing the Face of Retail Therapy; Net-a-Porter Is Tipped to Win at the British Fashion Awards Next Week. NATALIE Massenet on Why Her Online Fashion Store Is Such a Runaway Success

Article excerpt

Byline: EMINE SANER

NATALIE Massenet loves fashion so much it can move her to tears. Yes, really. At a Missoni fashion show earlier this month she confesses to crying.

"Maybe I was a bit tired," she says, laughing. "But it was very beautiful."

As managing director of Net-a-porter, the luxury fashion "e-tailer", Massenet, 39, is one of the most successful and fashionable women in London.

The company, hotly tipped to win "best shop" at next week's British Fashion Awards, is run from an old building near Regent's Park which is positively bursting with the most covetous pieces of the season. It must be a dangerous place to work.

"I've calmed down in terms of my spending but it's very tempting," says Massenet.

Today, she is stylishly dressed in a tweed Miu Miu jacket, Seven jeans tucked into Le Flesh black boots, a strand of pearls around her neck.

Massenet and her team keep different style icons in mind when they're buying the collection from their current stable of 75 designers. "This season, we're inspired by Sienna Miller and Princess Marie Chantal of Greece. My all-time favourite is Audrey Hepburn."

So, what's hot this season? "We've got a waiting list that's getting out of control for Mukluk boots," she says happily. "Every season there's a runaway hit. When we launched with Chloe we had 600 names on the waiting list for a [pounds sterling]1,000 handbag."

She would like to bring menswear, vintage and perhaps, one day, key high-street pieces to Net-a-porter, "but for now, we're concentrating on high fashion".

Just four years ago, when Massenet had left her job as senior fashion editor on Tatler to become a freelance stylist, she had never even been on the internet. "I borrowed my husband's laptop to buy something from New York but there wasn't a site that allowed me to do that. I told everyone I knew in the business that it was a good opportunity, but they said I had no idea what I was talking about. It was out of frustration that I thought, fine, I'll do it then."

Having raised [pounds sterling]890,000 from family, acquaintances and an "angel" backer, Massenet launched Net-a-porter with four friends in 2000. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.