“Streetwear came through last season, it continues to dominate as an influence, and we will be standing behind it in a big way. It’s really going to drive our business,” said Sarah Rutson, vice president of global buying at Net-a-porter, during a presentation of the company’s spring 2017 trends. “You just cannot underestimate the power and reach of Vetements.”
Rutson said cult pieces such as sweatshirts by Vetements and Off-White, and logo T-shirts by Gucci or Junya Watanabe are among the hero pieces in the retailer’s buy and Net plans to tap into the trend by focusing on individual pieces the customer can style in different ways to make their own.
Logoed accessories are another key element of the street trend, including Vetements’ signature sock boots — 500 of which were sold over a period of five days earlier this year — and bags by Loewe, J.W. Anderson and Christopher Kane with gold embossed hardware. Rutson also pointed to the success of the see-now-buy-now bags by Off-White, which launched on the site after the brand’s show in Paris last September and immediately sold out.
Vetement’s influence reached beyond hooded sweatshirts and its signature boot styles, with the satin thigh-high boots done in collaboration with Manolo Blahnik sparking a satin trend in footwear, according to Rutson.
“If winter was all about velvet, summer will be all about satin,” said the buyer, highlighting satin mules by No. 21 and Miu Miu as key styles the retailer will be pushing for spring.
Y Project, the Paris-based label by Glenn Martens, which has recently introduced women’s wear, will be among the new launches on Net-a-porter. That label taps into the streetwear aesthetic with its reworked denim pieces.
Another key trend for spring were the bold blocks of color and graphic prints seen on the runway, which Rutson described as “a natural evolution of the maximalist trend set by Gucci in the last few seasons.”
Net’s buy has focused primarily on fluid dresses by the likes of Balenciaga, Haider Ackermann, Emilio Pucci and Missoni, a brand that has grown to attract a younger customer and perform particularly well on the site.
Sara Battaglia’s handbag and ready-to-wear ranges — another new launch for the site — also tap into the color trend as the Milanese designer is known for her extensive use of colorblocking and flair for bright, feel-good fashion.
Rutson said the trend is particularly relevant to an online retailer like Net-a-porter, as bold colored pieces stand out on the screen and can catch the interest of customers, who have increasingly short attention spans.
The buyer also addressed the shifting retail landscape and said seasonality was becoming redundant. She said trends such as summer tailoring are becoming more important as they present a story that is constantly evolving. For spring, key pieces included heritage tweed blazers by Gucci and Prada, as well as a lighter, striped version of the suit by Lanvin and Tibi.
Gucci, Prada and Chloé are among the brands that Net regularly spends the most money on.
Another seasonless trend that the retailer is standing behind is that of men’s wear-inspired crisp cotton shirts, which have been reworked into dramatic silhouettes with spliced shoulders and exaggerated cuffs by contemporary labels such as Jacquemus and Marques’ Almeida.
Finding labels that offer luxury at a great price point has been another focus for Rutson and her team, who will be launching up to 90 labels for the upcoming season, many of which are in the contemporary space.
Key launches include Rixo, a London-based label known for their printed dresses priced at an average of 270 pounds, or $336, and Ulla Johnson, which stands out for its relaxed, bohemian aesthetic and has long been in the wish list of Net-a-porter customers. The brand was the third most searched-for label on the site following Gucci and Chloé.
Contemporary-priced accessories are another focus: Mansur Gavriel mini totes and wristlets by Simon Miller are among the styles the company has bought into in-depth.