Net-a-porter is bringing the Estée Lauder Cos. Inc.-owned brands Aerin Beauty and Bobbi Brown to its tightly edited beauty Web site.
This raises a question: Is Net-a-porter no longer considered an indie beauty e-tailer?
“We define [our Net-a-porter beauty range] as a tightly curated assortment of things from around the world,” said David Olsen, global vice president of beauty at Net-a-porter, who added that the site also sells more established brands like YSL, Givenchy and Lancôme. “As long as it’s a great brand, we want to offer it to the Net-a-porter woman.”
Aerin Beauty, which was added to the site Wednesday and has exceeded Net-a-porter’s expectations in terms of sales, consists of an exclusive lipstick, a new scent and a handful of other items.
In terms of Bobbi Brown, which will be unveiled on March 16, the company has created exclusive kits for the Web site. Plus Net-a-porter will carry 10 percent of Brown’s entire line.
“This agreement with Net-a-porter is an exciting moment for Aerin Beauty and Bobbi Brown,” said John Demsey, group president, The Estée Lauder Cos. “Net-a-porter is compatible with and complements the brands’ high-touch service and reputation.”
But does a niche retailer need established brands to survive?
“If [a company goes] in and says we are X, Y and Z and we sell indie brands, I don’t think that’s a clear enough point of view,” noted Olsen, who added that he would like to add La Mer and Tom Ford to the company’s beauty selection. “You have to really focus on the ‘why’ to differentiate yourself and be successful. If you do that, you don’t have to carry the wider-known brands. You can’t be everything to everyone, and we’re not trying to be. We just want to give our customer what she really wants and needs.”