The Outnet will celebrate five years with the help of designers and brands like Balmain, Chloé, Alexander McQueen, Oscar de la Renta, Jason Wu, Eddie Borgo and Nicholas Kirkwood.
On April 29, the e-tailer will release an exclusive 17-piece apparel and accessories collection to fete the anniversary. The reissued signature items, developed by each designer in collaboration with The Outnet, include a biker-style muscle T from Balmain, Chloé wedge sandals, an Alexander McQueen patent leather bow-tie-shaped clutch, an Oscar de la Renta rose acetate statement necklace, a Jason Wu floral dress, an Eddie Borgo cuff and Nicholas Kirkwood cage sandals. Antonio Berardi, Equipment, Haizhen Wang, Issa, Joseph, J.W. Anderson, Preen by Thornton Bregazzi, Roland Mouret and Vionnet also created pieces for the occasion.
Chanel Iman has been tapped as the face of the collection, and will be featured in an accompanying global campaign. In addition, a video featuring seven industry insiders — Garance Doré, Leandra Medine, Alexandra Richards, Jessica Hart, Caroline Issa, Leigh Lezark and Harley Viera-Newton — will go live on the site April 22.
“You think five years isn’t a long time, but on the Internet five years is quite a lot of time, especially in the discount high-fashion space. It’s like dog years,” Stephanie Phair, president of The Outnet, told WWD.
Phair’s been at the helm of the company since its inception. She positions the discount and previous-season merchandise carried at Theoutnet.com through the lens of editorial partnerships and an editorial eye, she explained.
“It’s not a liquidation site. It’s not an online outlet. Our sister site Net-a-porter has always been known as a partner to the designers, and it’s all about editorial. We wanted to do a similar thing but for The Outnet,” said Phair, who, along with Shira Suveyke, vice president of global buying, was instrumental in facilitating the partnerships with the brands participating in the anniversary collection.
“We started the process of approaching and working together with these brands to select iconic pieces to be re-issued and become part of a collection that would represent our past five years,” said Suveyke.
The site has also seen a significant shift in its business model.
For Phair, being a partner to the brands in the online space is a priority as 80 percent of stock is bought directly from brands. This is a significant departure from the site upon its launch in 2009, when 90 percent of the merchandise came from Net-a-porter, with just 10 percent coming from brands directly. While Theoutnet.com began as an outlet for Net-a-porter — and it still remains the sole outlet for the luxury destination — it’s seen significant growth resulting from its work with brands. Industry sources estimate The Outnet’s sales to be about $150 million and steadily growing in the double digits.
“Outlet stock is bittier, but when we work with designers you can fill the gaps a lot more. You have more stock or can produce stock,” Phair added. “That is a credit to a strong buying team.”
Phair noted that The Outnet’s core customer — one who buys discount at a high-end level — is an extremely valuable one. She might have a different mind-set than those who prefer to go the full-price retail route, but she travels a lot. The Outnet’s customer travels, on average, nine times a year for leisure — and more than ever, brands are realizing this is an important woman to talk to. The limited-edition pieces speak to these relationships and “bring this together in one collection,” she said.
Currently, about 30 percent of the business comes from the U.S., followed by the U.K. and Australia. The fastest-growing markets, according to Phair, are Hong Kong, Singapore and Russia — but a key strategy in the near future is leveraging its already mature markets. In the U.S., for example, The Outnet has a strong presence and has put marketing efforts behind promoting the brand in New York and Los Angeles, but Phair also wants to tap into cities like San Francisco, Houston, Dallas, Palm Beach, Fla., and Miami.
Taking the final spot on the mens’ portion of New York Fashion Week calendar next month will be none other than @tomford. Though he’s shown his men’s wear in New York in the past, this will mark the first time the designer has shown his men’s collection alone during New York Fashion Week: Men’s. His runway show will debut on February 6 at the Park Avenue Armory. #wwdfashion
London-based couture house @ralphandrusso has certainly been in the spotlight, having its dresses worn by @beyonce, Angelina Jolie, Meghan Markle in her engagement photos and more. For couture, Tamara Ralph focused on ornamentation — think: feathers with chain mail, jet embroidery and clusters of pearls and crystals. See the rest of the collection on WWD.com #wwdfashion #couture (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo)
Minnie Mouse celebrated her 90th birthday by getting her own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. For her celebratory luncheon, @coach’s creative director @stuartvevers dressed her in a custom made prairie dress, complete with Vever’s take on the polka dot – black sequined versions – under a cropped motorcycle jacket. The designer also put his own mark on Minnie’s classic red shoes, infusing the color with sparkles and adding some Coach crystals. “We chose colors that were very Minnie and also represented quintessential Coach elements,” said Vevers. #wwdfashion #nationalpolkadotday (📷: George Chinsee)
@nickjonas is unveiling his first-ever apparel collection through a partnership with John Varvatos. The limited-edition capsule, which makes its debut in spring, also marks the first time the designer has collaborated with anyone on a line. “The process in working with Nick is amazing. It’s inspiring to be around someone who is not only connected with the trade that they do, but also with what’s happening in the environment around him, and how that connects to what we do with style,” said Varvatos. (RG: @johnvarvatos) #wwdfashion
@margotrobbie steps out onto the red carpet wearing @miumiu. The actress is nominated for “Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role” in “I, Tonya” at the #SagAwards. (📷: Stewart Cook) #wwdfashion
For @massimogiorgetti of @msgm, the Nineties are his favorite decade. “They had a huge impact on my personal growth. What I like of the Nineties is that they are not so precise in terms of style as other decades…there was actually a bit of everything,” he said. As seen on MSGM’s Spring 2018 show: tie-dye and a bit of grunge, two styles that are synonymous with the decade #wwdfashion #wwddecades (📷: @kukukuba)