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.
Harrods plans to remove the famous statue of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed from the bottom of the Egyptian escalators and hand it back to Mohamed Al-Fayed. “We are very proud to have played our role in celebrating the lives of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed at Harrods and to have welcomed people from around the world to visit the memorial for the past 20 years,” said Michael Ward, Harrods managing director. “With the announcement of the new official memorial statue to Diana, Princess of Wales at Kensington Palace, we feel that the time is right to return this memorial to Mr. Al Fayed and for the public to be invited to pay their respects at the palace.” More on the news, with reporting by @loreleimarfil, at WWD.com. #wwdnews
@prada is introducing a new project at its men’s fall 2018 show this Sunday: “Prada Invites.” The fashion house invited four celebrated creative minds – @ronanaerwanbouroullec, Konstantin Grcic, @herzogdemeuron and @rem.koolhaas – to each create a unique item with its iconic nylon material. The designs will be unveiled on the runway show, which will take place at the company’s warehouse in Viale Ortles 25. #wwdfashion #mfwm (📷: @martinocarrera)
@kering_official is spinning off its stake in puma in an effort to focus on its luxury brands, the brand operator announced yesterday. “We are proud to have supported the turnaround of Puma, which now has unrivaled capabilities to take full advantage of the specific dynamics of its global markets and is poised to achieve substantial growth,” said François-Henri Pinault, Kering’s chief executive officer and chairman. Artémis will become a “long-term strategic shareholder” of Puma with a 29 percent stake. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
The fashion world mourns for celebrated street style photographer, Nabile Quenum, who died at age 32 in Paris.
Quenum, creator of the fashion blog “J’ai Perdu Ma Veste,” was a fashion week fixture, and regularly shot for New York magazine’s The Cut, among other outlets, and brands such as Louis Vuitton, Moncler and Adidas. He was also actively involved in the #NoFreePhotos initiative, which kicked off in the fall. Read more about Quenum in @kbsmoke's story on WWD.com. #wwdnews
@verwanggang and @maisonladuree have teamed up on a dessert collab called Vera Wang Pour Ladurée. The collection, which launched this week, features a specialty macaroon, as well as a wedding cake inspired by one of the designer’s gowns. “I could not imagine a more delicate or sophisticated creation to grace any couple’s celebration,” said Wang. #wwdfashion