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Industry Fashion
Founded 2000 (2000)
Founders Natalie Massenet
Headquarters London, UK
Area served global
Employees 2,600
Parent Richemont

Net-a-Porter is a high-fashion retailer that operates via a website designed in the style of a magazine. It was launched in London in June, 2000 by Natalie Massenet. Now a global operation, with multiple fashion retailing sites and some 2,600 employees, it is part of the Swiss holding company Richemont. The website garners approximately 2.5 million unique visits in internet traffic to their website every month. [1]


Massenet is an American-born former fashion journalist with Women's Wear Daily and Tatler.[2] She developed the concept of a magazine in website format where users could 'click' to buy while trying to source product online for a fashion shoot.[3] Having raised the £1.2m (approx $2m) start-up costs with the assistance of her then husband, Massenet launched the company from their flat in Chelsea.[2]

In the early days, the operation was so low-key that the company's black delivery boxes were stacked up in the bathtub.[2] Initially, designers and investors were reluctant to support Net-a-Porter because it lacked a physical retail outlet. Massenet recalled the credibility gap in a 2013 interview in The Observer: "They'd listen and they'd nod and then afterwards they'd say, 'Just tell me one more thing: where is your store?'" However, in 2001, Roland Mouret was persuaded to sell his collection via the website.[2] By 2004, the same year in which it won best fashion shop at the British Fashion Awards, the company was profitable.[2]

In 2010, Massenet sold a majority stake in Net-a-Porter to Swiss designer goods holding company Richemont for an estimated £50m.[2] She remains an investor and executive chairwoman.[3]

In 2014, retiring CEO Mark Sebba was sent off by employees in a popular viral video.[4]

Current operation[edit]

At the time it was bought by Richemont in 2010, Net-a-Porter was valued at $533 million.[5][6]

The business continues to grow and in 2013 it retailed products from more than 350 designers, attracted more than two million weekly visitors to the site and an average spend of £500 (around $850).[2] Brands it retails include Stella McCartney, Yves Saint Laurent and Diane von Furstenberg. Labels such as Alexander Wang, Yves Saint Laurent and RM by Roland Mouret have created capsule collections specifically for the site. Writing in The Observer in 2010, Eva Wiseman noted that being stocked by Net-a-Porter is becoming important to designers as it: "not only guarantees new customers but its [Net-a-Porter's] credibility gives a fashion brand value".[3]

As of September 2013, Net-a-Porter employed 2,600 people in the UK, US and Hong Kong, with further offices in Shanghai and fulfillment centres on the outskirts of three cities.[2][7]

In August of 2014 CEO Mark Sebba stepped down. His employees produced a video that went viral as an "Epic Sendoff."[8]

Brand extensions[edit]

The Outnet, a site focusing on previous seasons' designs at discount prices was launched in 2009; in 2011, a menswear site Mr Porter was established and in 2013 a small beauty website was launched.[2]

In early 2014, Net-a-Porter launched a print magazine called Porter, with an associated app and digital version of the magazine.[9] Some 400,000 copies will be distributed six times a year in 60 countries.[10]

Playing off of its name, Net-a-Porter recently added a sportswear section to their website called Net-a-Sporter. The sportswear section of the website was launched in July 2014 and hosts athletic wear from a variety of high end luxury brands. Net-a-Sporter features 10 different sections for activities such as the gym and cross train, run, yoga and dance, tennis, equestrian, swim and surf, sailing, après sport, and golf.[11] When speaking of the addition of Net-a-Sporter to the e-tailer's online roster, the company's President Alison Loehnis said "We spotted a gap in the market for being a one-stop shop for workout wear where fashion meets function and where performance and style are equally valued."[12]

Charity work[edit]

In August 2014, The Outnet launched a partnership with fashion icon Victoria Beckham to sell items of her clothing to raise funds for the non profit organization Mothers2Mothers to educate women in Africa on HIV prevention. [13]


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i Groskop, Viv. "Natalie Massenet: style leader who means business". The Observer. Retrieved 21 July 2014. 
  3. ^ a b c Wiseman, Eva (11 July 2010). "One click wonder: the rise of Net-a-Porter". The Observer. Retrieved 21 July 2014. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ Chevalier, Michel (2012). Luxury Brand Management. Singapore: John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 978-1-118-17176-9. 
  6. ^ Muller, Tom; Andrew Roberts (1 April 2010). "Richemont Buys Net-a-Porter, Valuing Web Fashion Retailer at $533. Million". Bloomberg. Retrieved 20 March 2013. 
  7. ^ Reardon, Kate. "V.F. portrait: Natalie Massenet". Vanity Fair (September 2012). Retrieved 21 July 2014. 
  8. ^
  9. ^ Binkley, Christina. "Net-A-Porter launches magazine". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 21 July 2014. 
  10. ^ "Timeline Natalie Massenet". Vogue. 2014. Retrieved 21 July 2014. 
  11. ^
  12. ^,31583
  13. ^ Mother 2 Mother, "VICTORIA BECKHAM Presents an Exclusive Sale at THE OUTNET.COM for mothers2mothers", Mother 2 Mother