37 posts tagged "Net-a-Porter"
Esteban Cortazar caused a sensation when he landed on the New York catwalks back in 2002. His very first collection was snapped up by Bloomingdale’s, and he found himself face-to-face with Oprah, the youngest designer ever, at 18, to stage a fashion show. Fast-forward twelve years (which included a brief stint at Emanuel Ungaro) and Cortazar is angling for the headlines again. This time the news is the manner in which he’s presenting his expanded eponymous range.
For two seasons, he distributed his collection strictly through Net-a-Porter. Now, with new investors, London’s MH Luxe, behind him, he’s got Barneys and The Webster signed on, too. Those stores have already previewed his Spring collection (normally seen in September and October) and placed orders that he’s currently in the midst of producing. Come Paris fashion week, he’ll present the collection to the press, and, as he puts it, “the first drops will start right after [the show] at the beginning of October. When all the communications start happening, the client can know she can have it right away.” (The collection, which ranges from a molded saddle leather top to a soft T-shirt with a good yard of fringe circling the hem and includes more traditional tailoring, is designed to be trans-seasonal.)
Fashion has been griping for years about the lag time between runway shows and store deliveries. “Why not do something that speaks to the future?” Cortazar asks. “It doesn’t make sense anymore to show a collection that won’t be in stores for six months—the momentum and the desire dissipate. Everyone likes to see everything instantly now, but [up until now] no one’s been able to buy instantly.” Will other designers follow Cortazar’s lead? If they do, the trickle-down effect could be huge for traditional fashion magazines, which need production time of their own to turn around new issues. But he reports that buyers “are responding in a really positive way.”
Style.com debuts a video about the project exclusively here.
Titan luxury etailer, publisher of a modish new glossy, wearable tech pioneer, and soon, go-to for those who’d like to sweat chicly, Net-a-Porter has today announced the upcoming launch of a new division, Net-a-Sporter. Poised to bow July 9, it will offer 37 activewear brands, covering eleven pastimes, from tennis to surfing. Labels include big dogs such as Adidas by Stella McCartney and Nike, as well as more niche fare from the likes of MONREAL London and L’Etoile Sport. Customers can expect capsules exclusive to the site, too, from such favorites as Lisa Marie Fernandez and Zimmermann. Ms. Massenet, you may get us to that early Saturday morning Pilates class yet.
Wearables are no longer a hypothetical. They’re here. They’re happening. And now, they’re available at Net-a-Porter. This week, the luxury e-tailer officially began selling DVF Made for Glass, a collection of men’s and women’s smart specs and shades that Diane von Furstenberg (who sent Google Glass down her Spring ’13 runway) has created in collaboration with Google. “Our eyes were on a few different products,” said Net-a-Porter president Alison Loehnis. “But when Diane partnered with Google Glass two years ago, it was amazing. It was the perfect balance of fashion and technology.” Net-a-Porter is the first independent online retailer to sell Glass, and according to Loehnis, this particular project has been in the works for about a year.
Net-a-Porter’s shoppers are discerning, and considering the website’s selection of high-fashion wares, they have pretty great taste. But will the woman who’s filling her shopping bag with Alexander McQueen dresses, Nicholas Kirkwood shoes, and Givenchy handbags buy Google Glass, a product that most would argue has yet to reach its aesthetic peak? “We really think [Google Glass] complements what we already have on the site. Our customers want things first. They embrace newness across all categories,” Loehnis said. As for the specs’ appearance (how does one make camera-embellished frames elegant?), Loehnis thinks Glass is getting there. “They’ve evolved so much from the original product,” she said of DVF Made for Glass, which comes in a range of colors and slim styles. “It’s a hybrid—we look at it as an accessory that’s also a technology piece.” She does, however, admit that Google’s smart shades serve a very different purpose than fashion frames. They’re not a replacement, but a supplement, so don’t fret—Net-a-Porter will still stock your favorite Prada and Chloé sunnies.
I’ve been pretty hard on wearable tech. And I’m still not sold on the idea of being connected to everyone and everything all day via a face computer. But the fact of the matter is, the wearables market is expanding (Apple announced its forthcoming smart watch last week, and yesterday, Google discussed its own line of watches, dubbed Android Wear), and Net-a-Porter’s embrace of Glass lends it a certain fashion cachet. Brands often see NAP as the holy grail of retailers, not only because of its outreach but because of its ability to make products instantly covetable. It’s still early days, but NAP is confident the glasses will sell—and sell well. Though it’s worth noting that for Glass’ $1,800 price tag you could buy a Miu Miu tote, a Rick Owens dress, or two pairs of Nicholas Kirkwood pumps instead.
During our conversation at Net-a-Porter’s New York headquarters, Loehnis made a smart comparison, likening the wearables of now to the tech cases of yore. “If you look back at the accessories market, years ago no one was making tech cases. It was like, you’ve got this new device, but where can you put it? It became quite a big deal when the industry created a whole category around this,” she said. “Technology is part of our world. It’s integrated seamlessly into our lives, so I would imagine that most people—not everyone—but most people are considering [wearable tech]. In meeting rooms around the world, I suspect these conversations are happening.”
And she’s probably (OK, certainly) right. But I had to ask Loehnis how she’ll go about converting Net-a-Porter addicts who are otherwise tech-phobic, like myself, to click buy. “To be honest, our customers tend to be ahead of the pack. I don’t think it will take a huge amount of convincing. And you don’t need to think about Google Glass as a continuous news feed. It can be used in a very targeted way,” she explained when I expressed my concern about being unable to escape the Internet. “For instance, earlier, we were talking about cooking. I think it’s the cutest idea that you could be sitting there making brownies with your children, and you might say, ‘Oh, how do I do this?’ and you can just look it up. So if you’re saying you would find it daunting, I’d say that you’re in control of how you’re using them.” I suppose in this particular baking scenario, Google Glass would help avoid a touchscreen or keyboard or—gasp! —cookbook marred by flour.
Soon enough, you might be able to get more than DVF’s Glass styles at the online shopping destination. Said Loehnis: “I think the [Google Glass] take-up will be very strong, and [wearables] are something we’re looking to develop. So watch this space!” We will—maybe even through Google Glass.
In case you had any doubts, fashion is still heading West. After debuting at Chanel’s Métiers d’Art show in Dallas and picking up speed at the Cannes Film Festival, Western-inspired fringe, suede, and desert boots are still at the top of our wish list. It’s a trend that can quickly look costume-y—or worse, watered down—which is why Alessandra Rich’s new capsule collection for Net-a-Porter feels like a breath of fresh air.
Instead of trying her hand at ten-gallon hats and clunky cowboy boots, Rich infused her trademark aesthetic with subtle, seventies-inflected Western nods. Her signature curve-hugging dresses, fluttery ruffles, and miles of French lace were teamed with snap-front shirts, silk head scarves, studded leather belts, and pale blue chambray accents. While other designers are aiming for a rugged, androgynous vibe, Rich is focused on the femme fatale in floor-sweeping skirts and Victorian blouses. That’s a role we wouldn’t mind playing.
A first look at the collection premieres exclusively here on Style.com.
The Alessandra Rich capsule collection will be available exclusively at www.net-a-porter.com in July.
It’s happening. Fashion is fully embracing wearable tech. Today, Net-a-Porter and Mr Porter announced that, come June 23, they will be selling a range of DVF-designed Google Glasses on their websites for $1,700 a pop. If you’ll remember, von Furstenberg sent a gaggle of Google Glasses down her Spring ’13 runway, and at her Resort presentation today, she was sporting the latest style. (She’s pictured here with Style.com’s Nicole Phelps.)
Net-a-Porter’s luxury his-and-hers shopping platforms are the first third-party retailers to sell the high-fashion face computers. “We are thrilled to offer Glass to our tech-savvy customers who are true leaders and innovators in style and lifestyle,” said Net-a-Porter founder Natalie Massenet. Will loyal customers actually add Google’s smart frames to their shopping carts along with their Kenzo frocks and Kirkwood heels? Only time will tell.