Having already expanded into men’s wear and the off-price market in addition to its core women’s wear, the global e-tailer is now moving into beauty with the launch March 20 of The Quintessential Edit. The offering will include brands such as 3Lab, Aesop, Beauty Works West, Chantecaille, Ilia, James Read, Joya Ames Soeurs, Le Métier de Beauté, Natura Bissé, Philip B and Sarah Chapman.
“The proposition is really where the beauty-meets-fashion aspect, and we see it as so symbiotic with the rest of our offerings. As we’ve developed our content, beauty is such a big part of fashion,” Alison Loehnis, the company’s managing director, told WWD. “As we started to expand it was a disconnect to not be able to offer beauty. By being at the front lines, we have an enormous amount of insight and exposure to talent and also product.”
Spanning makeup, hair care, skin care, nail polish and fragrances, items range from Chantecaille’s $35 lipstick and gloss hybrid Lip Chic to $500 Joya Ames Soeurs solid perfume. Philip B’s luxe Russian Amber Imperial Shampoo will retail for $140 and a Le Métier de Beauté antiaging complex for $125.
The Quintessential Edit will live on the netaporter.com site rather than on a separate one, and David Olsen will serve as vice president, beauty at the site. Loehnis explained that it’s not a new business — just a new category — and this was a deliberate decision on the company’s part.
Although the e-tailer has “strong aspirations,” to hit aggressive sales targets, there are no plans to become a stand-alone beauty destination, Loehnis said, noting that Net-a-porter will always first and foremost be a fashion business.
She acknowledged the large number of players already in the beauty space that are excelling online — citing Sephora and Blue Mercury as examples — but insisted that Net-a-porter’s approach is different. The beauty selection was born from the site’s content and commerce approach, and the index will always be kept tight and rolled out gradually.
Loehnis believes the integration of fashion and beauty is “the most interesting part,” as consumers are coming to the destination in search of an entire look. For her, it’s important not to separate beauty because it’s part of the head-to-toe look.
“It’s so interesting because we have this panel of just under 10,000 customers that are superusers who provide us with amazing insight. Beauty is the chart topper without fail,” Loehnis said, adding that the top categories customers have asked about the past three years are men’s, beauty and children’s wear. “We’ve known this, and hearing it from customers again and again was additional encouragement.”
Next week, Net-a-porter will unveil translated Web sites in Mandarin, French and German. The site has already maintained customer care and a support team across 22 languages (the e-tailer sells to 172 counties), but on Tuesday it will be the first time the majority of the site will be multilingual.
“It’s fascinating operationally to see how things do get easier, and from a customer perspective to see what’s moving and to see what people are responding to and when. I’ve been surgically attached to the screens and Net-a-porter Live,” Loehnis said, adding that the company opened its third distribution center in Hong Kong on Thursday.
The Hong Kong center will improve express delivery times by about one day, and will also allow shoppers from Hong Kong, Australia, China, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, New Zealand, India, Indonesia, Philippines, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam to transact in either Hong Kong, Australian or U.S. dollars.
A grooming moment between @tanfrance and @antoni last night at the The LGBT Community Center Trailblazer Awards honoring Anna Wintour, Ricky Martin and more. See more photos at WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)
“It was a very surreal feeling. It wasn’t like we were in the studio together coming up with it — it’s more like he discovered it and loved it. I didn’t let myself get my hopes up, but then it happened it was very exciting,” said singer-songwriter @nombe on discovering that @pharrell would be using his song, “Cant Catch Me” on his HBO documentary series “Outpost.” The German-born singer — named Noah MacBeth — talked to WWD about feminism, using art as a platform for political expression and personal style. Read more on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
This season, denim is going west – in influence. Brands like @fathersdaughterla (pictured here), @tommyhilfiger Jeans, @levis and more are opting for raw, top-stitching styles. (Styled by @thealexbadia; 📷: @ryanplett)
20-year-old British singer @jorjasmith_ made her debut at Coachella last weekend. We caught up with her and talked about her love for Amy Winehouse, working with Kendrick Lamar on the “Black Panther” album and her fashion philosophy. Read the interview on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @katiedaisyla)
Supermodel @helenachristensen teamed up with longtime friend and designer @camillastaerk on a joint @paredeyewear collaboration. The lineup features three styles and 11 offerings, all of which embody a vintage feel. Get all the details on how they celebrated the collab on WWD.com. #wwdaccessories #wwdeye (📷: @slovekinpics)
“It’s a hard industry to keep motivated, as well, so finding different subjects and people is what makes it worth it – when you’re like, oh, I’ve met great people, I feel like I’ve done something good, and I feel proud of having done this,” said French actress Stacy Martin on being grateful for the variety of roles she’s take on. Read @ktauer’s full interview with Martin on her her latest film “Godard Mon Amour.” #wwdeye (📷: @danieldorsa)