NET-A-PORTER REACHES OFFLINE
I was a total Net-A-Porter junkie long before the kind folks at the powerhouse online retailer wined and dined me last week in the Hamptons.
I have often said, and without provocation, I think Net –A- Porter is the best department store in the world; be it online or bricks and mortar. All you have to do is scroll through any of my blogs where I suggest items to buy; you will always see several things from their site.
For those of you who don’t like to shop, or don’t know exactly what Net-A-Porter is, it’s an online store that was started out of an apartment in London by a very clever woman called Natalie Massenet fourteen years ago.
Today it sells products from more than 350 designers and it attracts more than two million weekly visitors. To put it in perspective, Bergdorf Goodman gets 1,920,000 visitors per year.
If you live in New York, LA, London and now Hong Kong you can see its black and white vans moving through traffic to make good on its promise of same day hand delivery.
Not only is the selection amazingly well curated and vast, they make returns ridiculously easy and you get a full refund on whatever you choose not to keep.
The overnight or same day delivery feeds the immediate satisfaction need of the compulsive shopper or just the person who is desperate for something to wear that night. It also allows you to try things on in your home, which permits you to see how it will work in your wardrobe.
Despite the fact I live in one of the great shopping neighborhoods in the world, it has become my preferred way to shop.
The only thing you could say they were missing was some form of personal interaction with their clients. They have bridged that in two ways. They now have personal shoppers, one person who is your liaison to the company. They will find you what you want, order for you and somehow make something that was already easy that much easier.
And last week in the style of that old favorite, the bricks and mortar, meet and greet the designer and get first crack at their new collection trunk show, Net-a-Porter had two of their designers do exclusive collections for them and they invited some of their lucky customers to meet them and get first crack at the merch.
Trust me I felt very privileged to be included in these groups.
The first luncheon was last Tuesday in honor of Calvin Klein’s Francisco Costa. Much like the older school designers he worked for early on his career, Bill Blass and Oscar de la Renta, Francisco was there full of enthusiasm to meet his clients, charm them and help them select pieces from his collection.
This has been the missing link in high end shopping online world: And how genius of Net-A-Porter President Alison Loehnis to figure that out.
I was very happy to be invited to the Francisco Costa event, imagine my elation at also being included in Friday’s luncheon at the Topping Rose House in honor of swimsuit designer Lisa Marie Fernandez.
When Lucy heard I was meeting Lisa Marie Fernandez she was very impressed. It shows you how Net-A-Porter appeals to all age groups, with such a vast inventory. Lisa does classic, swimwear with an edge. Lisa is now branching out into resort clothes and lounge items that will be available on Net-A-Porter. This event was in honor of the small collection she has designed exclusively for them.
I found myself having so much fun chatting with Alison Loehnis I started getting texts from Lucy, I was late collecting her from camp.
Time does fly when you are having fun with the fine folks at Net-A-Porter.
I’m kind of sad it’s the end of their summer lunches. I’m just hoping they invite me back next year!