Net-a-Porter is a world-famous online designer fashion boutique. If you haven’t heard of it (or it’s brother company Mr Porter, or sister company The Outnet) you’ve been living under a fashion deprived rock.
Natalie Massenet, 49, started Net-a-Porter in 2000 after a career in fashion journalism, and had the idea after trying to source designer items for a photoshoot. She was told over and over again it wouldn’t work (from industry experts to fashion designers) and it nearly failed twice. She raised the start-up costs ($2m) and ran the company from her flat in Chelsea, London.
Despite this she has really been the pioneer in luxury online retail – an area pretty much unheard of before her arrival.
“The best way to predict the future of fashion is to create it” – Natalie Massenet
“The CEO [Massenet] holds stand-up meetings in her central glass office against a backdrop of live feeds from Hong Kong. This is the headquarters of Natalie Massenet’s Net-a-Porter fashion empire”. – Evening Standard
Having sold the company to Richemont in 2010 for $350 million, making $77 million in the process, she has also recently agreed to a $2 billion mega-merger, which will bring her personally another $107 million. Talk about a female boss.
All this, and she throws twice monthly Margarita parties in the office…Can I come and work there?
“She is a team player, a grafter and of course a “visionary”. It was a completely new world and she saw it so clearly. NAP was tiny when she started. I get a sense of awe every time I walk through her offices. It is very much carried by her.” – Anya Hindmarch