Natalie Massenet: Biography highlights
Natalie Massenet is one of the world’s most successful and respected entrepreneurs. As the founder of NET-A-PORTER, the online luxury fashion retailer, she is a hugely influential figure in the global fashion industry.
Full biography of Natalie Massenet
Natalie Massenet’s background
Today NET-A-PORTER is referred to as the “barometer of fashion” by the Financial Times and is credited by Vogue as “revolutionizing the way we buy designer clothes.” NET-A-PORTER is a dynamic business, founded on the principle of being the first retailer in the world to offer a global customer base unlimited access to the latest designer collections.
Natalie began her career as a journalist and fashion editor, working at Women’s Wear Daily, W and, later, at Tatler. In 2000, Natalie left journalism to found NET-A-PORTER from a small artist’s studio in Chelsea in London, against all advice from experts who said consumers of luxury fashion would never shop online. She proved the doubters spectacularly wrong. NET-A-PORTER grew to become the NET-A-PORTER GROUP, a highly successful, profitable global business employing over 2,500 people, partnering with 390 of the world’s leading fashion designers and attracting nine million visitors every month.
Under Natalie’s leadership the business grew to 1 billion in sales (gross) and extended its online presence from NET-A-PORTER to the designer discount site THE OUTNET and to MR PORTER, the world’s first global online menswear destination. As a former editor with an intuitive understanding of the relationship between media, digital technology and retail Natalie also built a media division at the group, launching in 2014 PORTER, the first shoppable magazine in print and digital, a woman’s luxury fashion magazine. In 2015, Natalie established the NET SET, the world’s first shopable social media network.
In 2015, NET-A-PORTER announced a merger with Italy’s online fashion group YOOX to create an industry behemoth with more than two million high-spending customers, over 24 million monthly unique visitors worldwide. In September 2015, Natalie announced her decision to step down from her role at the NET-A-PORTER GROUP to explore new ideas and opportunities.
In 2009, Natalie was awarded an MBE, and in January 2016 she was made a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire; both awards were in recognition of her contributions to the UK fashion and retail industries.
Among her other awards and recognitions, she ranked 20th in the 2011 WIRED 100 list of Britain’s digital power players, she was named as one of 10 women to watch in Europe by the Wall Street Journal, won Harper’s Bazaar Innovator of the Year award in 2010, is listed in Vanity Fair’s 2013 Hall of Fame after having marked number 21 in their 2012 New Establishment List. She won Glamour magazine’s 2013 Women of the Year award and was listed in Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in 2014.
Natalie has been chairman of the British Fashion Council since 2013, a role in which she tirelessly champions the country’s fashion industry and its contribution to the economy.