FOUNDER: NATALIE MASSENET
INVESTMENT: 1999 - 2015
The Net-A-Porter Group is the world’s premier online luxury fashion retailer, offering the style-savvy customer unprecedented access to over 400 of the world’s leading designer brands.
Famously conceived in 2000 by former fashion journalist Natalie Massenet at her kitchen table, Net-A-Porter has, against all the odds, successfully changed the way consumers shop for designer fashion.
At a time when there was no culture of buying designer clothes online, and given the implosion of the first internet bubble, securing essential investment in the fledgling fashion website was almost impossible. However, with Massenet’s determination and drive, and the vision of Carmen Busquets, an early champion of the fashion-tech space and founding Net-A-Porter investor, the start up has since grown into a global brand, and its award winning website is viewed by over 2.5 million women each month.
The Net-A-Porter Group is now home to three style destinations. In 2009, Net-A-Porter was joined by The Outnet, a luxury fashion outlet stocking previous season designer fashions, and 2011 saw the launch of Mr Porter, the Group’s dedicated style hub for men.
The Group launched fashion and lifestyle magazine Porter in 2014. Available in both print and digital editions, the title offers readers a unique, global point of view from shoppable pages.
The Net-A-Porter Group was acquired by luxury brand owner Compagnie Financière Richemont SA in 2010. It has since been merged with Italian eCommerce site Yoox, creating the world’s largest online luxury brands retailer.
ABOUT THE FOUNDER
Natalie began her career as a journalist and fashion editor, working at Women’s Wear Daily, W and, later, at Tatler. In 2000, she left journalism to found Net-A-Porter, and the group is now a highly successful and profitable global business, employing over 2,500 people.
In September 2015, following the merger with Yoox, Natalie announced her decision to step down from her role at the Net-A-Porter Group to explore new ideas and opportunities, and has subsequently filed papers to set up a new company, Imaginary Ventures Ltd.
Natalie has been recognised for her services to the UK fashion and retail industries in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours List, first in 2009 when she was awarded an MBE, and again in 2016 when she was made a Dame. Her other awards and recognitions include a ranking of 20th in the 2011 WIRED 100 list of Britain’s digital power players, one of the Wall Street Journal’s 10 women to watch in Europe, winner of the Harper’s Bazaar Innovator of the Year award in 2010 and she is listed in Vanity Fair’s 2013 Hall of Fame after having marked number 21 in their 2012 New Establishment List. Natalie also won Glamour magazine’s 2013 Woman of the Year award and was among Time Magazine’s list of 100 Most Influential People in 2014.
Natalie has been chairman of the British Fashion Council since 2013, a role in which she tirelessly champions the country’s fashion industry and its contribution to the economy.