Natalie Massenet BoF

Natalie Massenet

Founder & Executive Chairman, The Net-a-Porter Group

The BFC chairman started one of the first luxury fashion e-tailers in the world, which she and investors sold to Richemont for over $500 million.

United States Fashion 2.0 2013 BoF 500 2013 2014 BoF 500 2014

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The BFC chairman started one of the first luxury fashion e-tailers in the world, which she and investors sold to Richemont for over $500 million.

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Biography

Natalie Massenet is the founder and executive chairman of Net-a-Porter Group, a leading fashion e-tailer, known for its tightly curated edit and integration of commerce and content, which was valued at $530 million when Richemont bought the remaining shares in 2010, after having invested in the business early on. The fashion e-commerce company comprises womenswear site Net-a-Porter, menswear platform Mr Porter and off-price e-tailer The Outnet.

"People always say to me 'You've really strived to redefine retail,'" Massenet told the Evening Standard, "but the reality is I wanted to redefine magazines."

Massenet has hired former Harper's Bazaar editor Lucy Yeomans and ex-Esquire editor Jeremy Langmead to oversee the group’s editorial content, both online and offline. Net-a-Porter has been experimenting with a print product and plans to launch a full-fledged consumer magazine called Porter in early 2014.

Since January 2013, Massenet has been chairman of the British Fashion Council, where she aims to bring her her Internet experience and commercial savvy to bear.

"It's undisputed that we have the most dynamic, creative designers here — luxury businesses everywhere are infused with our talent — but we haven't championed our industry as a business," Massenet told British Vogue. "Fashion is bigger here than the car industry. It needs to be celebrated as such so we'll see more jobs, more exports and more stores opening on our streets, as designers develop into self-sustaining, independent businesses. The BFC is here to improve their chances of success by adapting and advising them properly in the context of a new global economy. We have a generation of young designers who have grown-up in the digital age, but they're in the business of making clothes so they don't necessarily have access to this world. My day job gives me access to these people - it's a killer advantage."

 

Massenet was born in the United States to a British ex-Chanel model mother and a Californian journalist father. Massenet began her career at Women's Wear Daily and worked as Isabella Blow’s assistant at Tatler.

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