LONDON — Net-a-porter.com is set to unveil a new brand: a discount designer outlet that aims to celebrate seasonless fashion.
Next month, theOutnet.com will launch with a lineup of more than 200 brands familiar to luxury shoppers, including Christian Louboutin, Alberta Ferretti, Chloé, Oscar de la Renta, Diane von Furstenberg and Hervé Léger.
On offer will be a mix of the former season’s merchandise, classic pieces and greatest hits resurrected from designers’ archives, all with average discounts of 40 to 60 percent. The company also plans to give some items away for free.
“We’ve been thinking of doing a sale shop — under a separate brand — for years, and now is the right time to focus on it,” said Natalie Massenet, founder and chairman of Net-a-porter.
“We are no longer a start-up, but a mature, established business, and we want to follow in the footsteps of stores like Barneys Co-op and Neiman Marcus’ Last Call,” she said, adding the new company aims to service customers and brands alike.
For customers, “It’s going to be about ‘the find,’ and giving them what they may have missed buying in previous seasons,” Massenet said. For the brands, Net-a-porter is offering “end-to-end” service and a “360 degree partnership.”
Massenet added the new on-line store will also provide an outlet infrastructure for smaller labels, such as Temperley London, and give designers the chance to offer their classic pieces or put a new spin on old favorites from past seasons.
The site will offer merchandise including rtw, accessories, lingerie and swimwear, and will be organized by product, use and trend rather than by season.
The new company is a division of the London-based Net-a-porter Ltd. Stephanie Phair, who was previously vice president of merchandising at Portero, the luxury auction Web site, has been named director. Phair is building a separate team that will work alongside that of Net-a-porter.
“Seasons are becoming less relevant, and for a lot of customers it’s about finding the great product — no matter what the season,” said Phair.
The site will offer one-off “pop-up sales,” as well as weekly promotions and giveaways. Fresh stock will be added weekly.
TheOutnet’s branding is distinct from Net-a-porter’s, with a hot pink and black logo, and the trademarked tag line: “It’s chic-onomics!” The fully recycled white shopping bags resemble Chinese laundry carriers, and say, “Please Re-Use” on the bottom.
Massenet said the new site was a natural outgrowth of the core business, and denied the dismal economic climate was a reason behind the launch of the brand.
“Net-a-Porter has always had a very high sell-through in the sale shop,” she said, adding this was not an “opportunistic” launch. “When we do come out of this current crisis, theOutnet will still be relevant. This is really about the life cycle of fashion, and for us there are good margins to be made. It’s not about a fire sale,” she said.
Although Massenet declined to give sales projections, she said the team was expecting “healthy revenue and profits,” given the existing customer base at Net-a-porter.
She emphasized that while theOutnet may be new, it would benefit from Net-a-porter’s infrastructure, marketing, buying and customer-service know-how.
Massenet said she expected there to be some customer overlap between the two companies, but stressed the launch was an opportunity to “reach out” to a new consumer base. “The Net-a-porter customer is not price sensitive,” she said, adding the average purchase price on the site last week was more than 600 pounds, or $840 at current exchange. “We see this site as a place the sale shopper can call her own.”
Massenet said she realizes Net-a-porter is not reinventing the lightbulb. Online operations such as Yoox.com, Bluefly.com and even Amazon.com have been selling discounted designer gear for years. Most of the big Italian brands have their own brick-and-mortar outlet stores in Europe, and discount villages run by companies such as Value Retail and McArthurGlen Group, are doing roaring businesses throughout the U.K. and Continental Europe.
“There is room for a lot of players. What we’re doing is editing what’s available and offering the full service you’d get with Net-a-porter,” she said. “We want to give customers a fresh take on sales shopping and celebrating fashion.”
There'll be no rest for those headed to Europe for men's, as Paris just closed the gap with Milan. According to a provisional calendar released by the Chambre Syndicale, Paris Men's Week will now open a day earlier on January 16. See new highlights on the official lineup on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @kukukuba)
BREAKING: Jonathan Saunders is leaving @DVF. The designer has resigned from his position as chief creative officer of Diane von Furstenberg, the company said in a statement on Friday. At the time of his hire, von Furstenberg said Saunders’ arrival symbolized and facilitated her stepping back from the day-to-day duties that occupy the work of a full-time creative director. The British designer joined DVF in May 2016 and was in charge of all product categories. #wwdnews
For @versace_official’s spring ad campaign, the brand emphasized the archival prints from the spring tribute collection dedicated to the late Gianni Versace. Closing out the show were five of Gianni’s favorite models: Cindy, Naomi, Carla, Helena, and Claudia. Bowing on December 18, the new campaign is yet another tribute to supermodel-dom as the images by Steven Meisel are fronted by @iamnaomicampbell, @cturlington, @gisele and more. #wwdfashion
Four-time Oscar-nominated actress Annette Bening has been waiting 20 years to play Gloria Graham in "Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool," which will be released on December 29. The movie about Graham – a Hollywood star known for her controversial relationship with a younger Englishman named Peter Turner – is based off a memoir Turned wrote. "She felt vulnerable to him, because she loved him, she really did love him. And anyone that we really truly are in love with, we re vulnerable to in a very deep way," said Bening. Read our full interview with the modern icon of an actress on WWD.com. #wwdeye (📷: @ninebagatelles; Styled by @cristinaehrlich)
The crisp white button down: a staple that can be dressed up or down and accessorized throughout the decades. Here, on a Art Basel-goer in 2017 on the left and on the iconic Audrey Hepburn in “Roman Holiday” in 1953 on the right. #tbt #wwdfashion (📷: Andrew Morales)
Known for her work with @victoriassecret, 25-year-old model @georgiafowler is raising her profile in Hollywood. Fowler stars in @vincecamuto’s holiday campaign, which launched in partnership with “Pitch Perfect 3.” “Almost every shoot with Vince Camuto, I’ve had to face a fear…It was definitely a challenge. I’m so grateful for it, though. I’ve always wanted to be a pop star, so that was the perfect chance,” Fowler said. Head to WWD.com to read about Fowler’s experience modeling, including at the #VSFashionShow, and her relationship with Nick Jonas. #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
EXCLUSIVE: Huda Kattan just became the first beauty influencer to land a major beauty deal. Kattan's business, @hudabeauty, has received a minority investment from private equity firm TSG Consumer Partners. The brand, which industry sources say is on track to do $200 million in retail sales for 2017, will receive support on product, retail and geographic expansion through the deal. Get all the details on the deal and read @_a_collins' interview with Kattan on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: @jgreenery) #wwdbeauty #wwdnews
Peruvian model @juanaburga_official – who is known for walking the runways of @rodarte, @viviennewestwood and @torybuch – is making the move to the big screen with drama “Los Últimos.” The film premiered in Argentina in November and arrives in the U.S. and Europe in 2018. On making the switch from modeling to acting, Burga told WWD: “It’s a completely different thing – a lot of people think it’s similar or try to connect things, especially like getting used to the camera or being looked at all the time or playing these different characrers, but film is a completely different story.” #wwdeye (📷: @jgreenery)
London’s newly opened @designmuseum will look back on the life and work of Azzedine Alaïa in a show that the designer helped to curate before he died of heart failure last month. The retrospective, which Alaïa had worked on with Mark Wilson, chief curator of the @groningermuseum, will look at the impact of his work worldwide. The show, “Azzedine Alaïa: The Couturier,” will run from May 10 to October 7. Read more about the exhibit on WWD.com #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @zefashioninsider)