Radar: Net-a-porter debuts Mr Porter in January
Net-a-porter, the self proclaimed “World's premier online luxury fashion destination” has decided that online shopping isn't just for the ladies. Now couples can shop side by side, with the launch of their new men's shopping site—Mr Porter. Set to launch next winter, the site will offer the same amount of styles as the femme counterpart with a mix of 60 brand names. Natalie Massenet, founder of Net-a-porter and its executive chairman, admits her shoppers might be savvier than they thought, “This idea did not come from a bunch of people sitting in a boardroom looking at a spreadsheet. It was our customers, our target market, that was asking for this.”
Scheduled to kick off at the same time as the 10 year anniversary of Net-a-porter, Mr Porter is looking to hire 35 employees so they can get started appealing to their mass male market. Massenet told WWD that they plan to attend the men's shows in Milan and Paris and that everyone from Net-a-porter will be hands-on in the development of their new men's site. She said, “At Mr Porter, we’ll be telling a story just like we do on Net-a-porter”.
The third web site under the company's name, along with Outnet, there's rumor that they might start a children or beauty site. “We want to focus on men’s wear now,” Massenet said. However, they do own Petit-a-porter and -Net-a-Beaute domain names.
Although it's a societal assumption that men don't enjoy shopping, perhaps online will appeal to their grab-and-go mentality. Only accounting for 20 percent of department store earnings, men tend to be a small market in luxury retail. However, Massenet is optimistic and thinks the same-day delivery and round-the-clock shopping will be just what the stylish Manhattan man needs. Plus, they're totally tailoring the site's needs for the men. Versus Net-a-porter, which features pages upon pages of the clothing, Mr Porter will carefully edit so that men will be wading through 20 blazers instead of 200. Already visible in the branding, the site will be more clean and neat in black and white, less colorful or covered in art than the sister site.