Natalie Massenet is unknown to many people outside of the fashion industry, entrepreneurs or fashionistas. But the petit and extremely stylish woman is the mastermind behind the Net-A-Porter Empire. As former fashion editor at Tatler, Massenet set up Net-A-Porter in 2000 on a borrowed laptop. Shulman credited her with not only changing the face of luxury retail but also the way we buy our clothes and the way we interact with fashion. Over the year Natalie Massenet changed ecommerce over and over again with the introduction of Outnet in 2009, Mr Porter in 2011, and the ceration of Mr Porter and Net-A-Porter magazine. Shulman also reminded us that Massenet had sold Net-A-Porter.com in 2010 for £350 million.
Massenet entered the stage in a sleek black Victoria Beckham dress and once again proved that she was and is ahead of her time: taking a different approach on the typical presentation, Ms Massenet introduced the worlds first Instagram biography to describe her life and journey in the fashion industry. From early on in her presentation it became clear that Natalie was born into the world of fashion, crediting her success to being the logical result of a model mother and a journalist father calling them “content and commerce”. But she also noted that her entrepreneurialism came from her time in California:
“Moving to LA when I was 11, was when my entrepreneurialism started, because it’s the land of the American dream”.
It is obvious that the Net-A-Porter.com founder is something extraordinary, having car-pooled with Lenny Kravitz for her first post-high school job, or giving Angelina Jolie and Tyra Banks their first modelling jobs during her first magazine job. But Ms Massenet appears to be one of the most grounded and thankful woman in fashion. The 41-year-old multi millionaire currently holds the position of executive chairmen of the Net-A-Porter Group and has taken on the role of chairmen of the British Fashion Council.
She sees the Fashion Council as a way to ”give back” to an industry that has been so supportive. While also seizing the opportunity to shape the UK fashion industry, which is currently a £21 billion industry “- it’s bigger than the car industry – [she] think[s] [that] we can double it in the next five years.” Furthermore, she believes that there will be many more changes in the industry, noting the disconnect between “what we see on the runway and what is in the stores” but also the dyer need for a change in the fashion cycles. It will be interesting to follow Ms Massenet and her next move in the fashion industry; she is already combining publishing with shopping, having introduced her Net-A-Porter magazine.
Click here if you want to know some of Natalie Massenet’s Life Lessons and her book suggestions.
Take a look by Vogue editor Alexandra Shulman introduction:
Images curtsey of Vogue.com, Christian S. and Instagram Nataporter_mystorysofar