Thursday, 22 July 2010

Shaping/Shopping the Future

Net-a-porter magazine - launch of a new iPad app 

“The best way to predict the future is to create it.” Abraham Lincoln once said - but some people live in compliance to that bon mot more than others.
I have just finished watching the live streaming of Natalie Massenet interview for Business of Fashion's Fashion Pioneers series. It was a truly inspiring interview with the "visionary on stilettos", who is the founder of the worldwide most successful online shop for designer fashion, Net-a-Porter.  Not only has Net-a-Porter been fronting the crisis (the sales numbers are proof to that) but also has she been launching an outlet for designer fashion in 2009 ( ) and is about to launch an equivalent to Net-a-Porter for male designer fashion (, which will go online in January 2011.
In my opinion, the entire audience who was watching the life stream has just witnessed a solution for the dilemma that fashion magazines are finding themselves in - possibly even THE solution.
Somebody once said that the publishing houses worldwide owe Steve Jobs big time - due to his iPad, people will continue to read books and magazines. Maybe, there is a few more who have to thank Steve Jobs and his unperturbed intuition and vision. But let's not give all the credit to Steve Jobs, shall we - like the iPhone, the iPad's value stands and falls to a considerable extent with the apps developers create for it. So for this particular treat, we'll have to thank the think tank working for Natalie Massenet:

Net-a-porters latest magnum opus  is to combine fashion magazines and e-commerce directly - as an application for the iPad called Net-a-Porter Magazine. The app was presented during the live streaming interview by Net-a-Porters founder in person tonight and will be officially launched tomorrow. What Natalie Massenet pulled out of her couture hat is - in her own words "to offer a magazine-like experience", which is directly combined with etailing. The app will give you the possibility to "read, watch and shop wherever you are" according to the description in the iTunes store.The clou is, as opposed to most glossy magazines, offering actual couture photo spreads once a month, Net-a-Porter will update its app every week - yes, you heard right -52 times a year. One thing we can assume for sure: Natalie Massenet is not going to waste our time with cheap productions. Having had her origins in fashion journalism working for the fashion bible WWD and other magazines as well as being a stylist, we even can expect great editorials for the new webzine.

I am very happy about the idea and I am curious to see whether or not this will set a precedent in the etailing industry. I strongly believe that creating a hybrid between online retailing and glossy magazines is a great step into the future for both industries. Also, I am truly curious of how and when other online retailers will be jumping on the bandwagon.


Sources:,, iTunes Store

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