The Amazon of Fashion
Chic digital merchant Net-a-porter is proving that women will buy a $2,000 dress with just a click of a BlackBerry.
Traditionally designers have shown their spring collections in the fall (and fall collections in the spring) so that store buyers could place orders six months in advance (and magazine editors could likewise prepare their coverage). In the era of the iPhone, consumers can’t understand why they must wait so long for a product they have already seen on the runway.
Nor do consumers appreciate the mixed messages they receive from department stores and fashion magazines: Buyers at department stores generally base their orders on sales figures from the past, hoping to repeat their successes, while fashion editors often gravitate to the most avant-garde pieces, which will make dramatic pictures.
“So you have one industry that was very forward-thinking and one that was very backward-thinking, and stuck in the middle is the consumer who was being told what to buy but not necessarily where to find it,” says Massenet, whose editorial and buying teams travel to shows together. “So by creating a site that does both, we think the place where the time-starved consumer gets her fashion news will also be the place where she chooses to shop.”