“Raise your hands if you want to create the future of fashion!”. These were the words of Net a Porter.com founder Natalie Massenet as she announced the sites merger with Italian rival, online shopping destination, Yoox.com last week. Fashion styling, how women shop and how they get inspired for their own personal style is changing at a rapid pace and a woman in the know is leading the way.
It is quite a distance she has come from her kitchen table in London’s Chelsea when she founded Net a Porter as a way for women to have access to designer fashion online. Non believers exclaimed it would never work that ‘women wanted to touch and feel the clothes they buy’. Massenet didn’t agree and with 6 million unique visitors per month selling over 450 fashion and beauty brands it seems others don’t either.
Natalie Massenet is a fashion visionary (and kind of my hero:-). She see’s what women want before they even want it, sense their personal styling needs and the conversations and fashion wishes they have in their heads as lives get busier and busier.
Making fashion accessible and updating your personal style and fast is the world of online shopping. You see a handbag online in the morning, you can be rocking it the next day (or even later that same day!). But with all sorts of competition hotting up (Conde Nast’s Style.com has just last week announced it’s plans to launch as a designer commerce site) and sites such as Matchesfashion.com, MyTheresa.com all expanding, the world of ecommerce is one that must be embraced by all who work in fashion and we can learn a hell of a lot from this lady, Natalie Massenet.
This week she is expected to unveil what will be the future of shopping. Her latest conquest. A mobile app that combines social media and shopping in one seamless place. (why did I not think of this first?!) Called the ‘Net Set’, her app promises women the kind of functionality that does not exist anywhere else. Unlike Instagram for example you will be able to shop everything you see and even the items other users are wearing in their posts. You will be able to create your own profile and find and talk to like-minded friends with similar or inspiring personal style.
It is undeniably true that women always, now matter what the time of day or the place love to talk about fashion and so imagine seeing a pair of denims worn on someone in the states and being able to instantly ask ‘What do you wear them with?’. That connectivity, ability to shop and gaining styling inspiration is fashion perfection right now. Never mind the ability for brands to make big decisions off trends they see emerging through conversations being had. If 80,000 are talking about a top that has just been discontinued what designer won’t listen to that market?!
From a personal styling point of view it proves another step is being taken towards a new way of inspiring others and being inspired. Personal Stylists can have their voices heard, their own style taken notice of while tracking trends and brands for clients. But my personal favourite, it will move us towards a shopping experience that is free from the tyranny of trends, towards women influencing each others personal style and being encouraged to be individual, shop the things you love and learn from each other.
What did I say. Fashion perfection.