Saturday, April 3, 2010

Net-A-Porter Sold!

High end fashion is huge business.  Fashion in general is one of the biggest economic drivers on the planet.  No matter how silly people make it out to be, the business of deciding what to wear is part of what makes the world go round.  It accounts for about 5% of all household spending in the US, which, in aggregate terms adds up "lots of money".  Just like every other industry on the planet, the fashion industry is subject to take overs, mergers and deals.  The most recent huge one was Richemont SA bought a controlling stake in Net-A-Porter!

Why is this a big deal?  Net-A-Porter is easily the most major player in the high-end fashion internet market, and it was independent from any of the conglomerates so it was able to carry designers from all of the different conglomerates.  Most of the fashion retail websites aren't able to carry the kind of range of products or can only carry them after their season has passed.  NAP has been able to get a huge range of products in their current season and get designer exclusives--they've done a magnificent job carving a niche for themselves.  People make a big deal about their online magazine that they put out every week, but honestly as a regular consumer of theirs, I don't care two straws about their magazine.  All I care about is whether they were able to get in stock any of the particular hard to find item that I MUST HAVE.  So far, they've always been able to.

Richemont, a Swiss Conglomerate that owns Cartier and other high-end brands has promised that they are leaving NAP's founder Natalie Massenet in charge and will not be integrating it with their other companies.  It is hoped that this will allow for NAP to broker retail deals with competing conglomerates and continue with their success.  I'm not sure that it will pan out like that.  One of the things that made NAP so successful was that it was a third party to the fashion houses and now it will lose that advantageous aspect.  I'm really curious if the other conglomerates will buy into the idea that Richemont isn't meddling in NAP and allow for it to continue to be a retail outlet.  I think that Richemont will maintain this kind of hands-off approach for the next while but I think that over the long term they will probably seek to slowly integrate it with their other brands and use it as a huge internet portal to sell their goods--this would give them a massive advantage over the other conglomerates because none of the others have been able to either acquire such a portal or build one on their own.  LVMH tried with eluxury but failed.  With internet commerce becoming such an important aspect of luxury retail I think over time the concept of further brand integration will prove to be simply too irresistible to Richemont.  I'm not sure if that will be a great thing or not, but it will be different.  That kinda makes me sad.

Pictures of Stella McCartney items from Net-A-Porter.  Thanks to a faithful reader to suggesting the topic!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Links of The Week!

Hey everyone!  Guess what?!

I was featured as one of the links of the week for the Independent Fashion Bloggers!  Holy smokes, go figure!  And, thanks to one of my readers who gave me the topic that got me in--my post about Qiviut.  :-)

links a la mode

Thinking Fashion

Edited by Retro Chick

It never ceases to amaze me the quality and variety of links that get submitted to IFB each week and how hard it is to pick just 20. Fashion & Style Bloggers are intelligent, thoughtful and insightful people who really understand their subject. Whether it’s Second Hand Shopper questioning the distinction between fashion and style, Shrimp Salad Circus discussing how much of ourselves we should put into our blogs or a whole plethora of posts on the subject of body image.

Of course, we also love a bargain and this week we have a DIY Pillbox Hat, tips on thrift shopping the Spring trends and a gorgeous giveaway.

I really would urge you to take the time to check out the links that didn’t make it in the forums. I don’t think there’s a bad post among them….

Links à la Mode : April 1

  • Alyson Is Neat – Revealing secrets on how to go into a store and not purchase clothing.
  • Awakened Aesthetic – How to live green, without giving up the “unethical” stuff you already have.
  • blackdog finds – How to Thrift Shop for Spring 2010 Fashion Trends:
  • British Style Bloggers – A preview of the final√© of British Style Bloggers’ Body Image Season, including a random and rambling tour of BSB’s head office (aka my house).
  • DailyDivaDish – Spanx for Men: Is shapewear for men really going mainstream? Why I think it’s a bad idea.
  • Despising Life is So Passe – Pillbox Hat DIY
  • Eternal Masquerade – Monroe Monday: A Look At What the Wardrobe Should Mean to Every Woman
  • Grit and Glamour – A signature fragrance is your invisible identity—it becomes part of your brand
  • High Fashion Girl – I write about Lady Gaga like you’ve NEVER read about her before.
  • Idiosyncratic Style – A Peek at the life and style of illustrator Rachelle Scarfo
  • Independent Fashion Bloggers – How to make your blog mobile friendly
  • Oh, the Places You'll Go! – Fatsionable Art and Inspiration from Eva Hannah.
  • Retro Chick – How every girl can be a Princess
  • Second Hand Shopper – Second hand shopper pits the escapism of fashion against the expressionism of style
  • Shoulderache & The Closet – The most expensive wool in the world!
  • Shrimp Salad Circus – How much of yourself should you put ‘out there?’
  • The Demoiselles – Graceful Empowerment Comes in All Forms (including that of eating the other guy’s tacos).
  • The Greyest Ghost – Behind the scenes of the Chanel f/w 2010 ad campaign in NYC with Abbey Lee Kershaw, Freja Beha Erichsen, and Karl Lagerfeld.
  • The New Wave – Going once, going twice, SOLD! A visit to the Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection auction.
  • The Well-Appointed Catwalk – Highlights and my impressions of “Health Matters: Weight and Wellness in the World of Fashion,” a panel discussion I attended featuring Anna Wintour, Michael Kors and Natalia Vodianova.
  • True Queen – Examining the use of fur by designers on the runways of the Fall 2010 fashion shows.
  • Unfunded – Unfunded teams up with the U.K. retailer NEXT for an awesome giveaway!
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