NEW YORK — Online fashion boutique Net-A-Porter’s persistent pursuit of Chloé, Marc Jacobs and Marni has paid off with just-struck agreements to start selling roughly 20 items under the Chloé and Marni labels for fall 2002, plus four handbag styles and four kinds of footwear from Marc Jacobs.
This story first appeared in the August 19, 2002 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
In addition to those arrangements, London-based Net-A-Porter has sealed deals with Pucci, Missoni and Sophia Kokosalaki to add some of their merchandise to its e-boutique.
The moves make two-year-old Net-A-Porter the first e-tailer to hammer out pacts with Chloé, Pucci and Marni to sell their goods in cyberspace.
“We have been in talks with Chloé, Marni and Marc Jacobs since we launched,” said Net-A-Porter’s managing director Natalie Massenet. “A brand like Chloé was in our original business plan as it has limited worldwide distribution. It wasn’t until we met with them after the [most recent] runway shows that they said yes.
“They’ve been reluctant to get involved with the Internet,” Massenet added. “Chloé is a waiting-list label and stores that carry it sell out quickly.” For example, prior to the arrival of Chloé’s bracelet bag at the e-boutique, said Massenet, 235 Net-A-Porter visitors had signed up to purchase the item.
Net-A-Porter has been zeroing in on what Massenet described as “cult items,” such as various runway looks from Marni, as well as about 20 Pucci items.
Some of the goods under the labels new to Net-A-Porter will be added to the online boutique between now and Sept. 30, while others have already gone live, including the Chloé bracelet bag e-tailing for $815; two handbags from Marc Jacobs; some Missoni items and most of the offerings from Marni and Pucci.
Net-A-Porter will rely mostly on word-of-mouth to publicize the brands’ availability, while also targeting key customers through an e-mail campaign. “When we introduce a brand, we tend to draw new customers,” Massenet related. “This happened most recently with the introduction of Chloé, as some of our registered users became purchasers.”
With its addition of a half-dozen designer names, Net-a-Porter will carry 38 labels, including Anna Sui, Katayone Adeli, Lambertson Truex, Narciso Rodriguez, Cacharel, Diane Von Furstenberg, Earl Jean, Paul Smith, and Philosophy by Alberta Ferretti. It also operates online boutiques for Jimmy Choo and Vogue.co.uk.