Net-a-Porter

A mere year after launch Moda Operandi, the etailer that allows crazed fashionistas to order directly from the runway directly after a show, is entering Stage Three of their growth plan: after carving out a niche in the US, and stealing all sorts of glamorous executives from established companies (Marie Claire, Bergdorf Goodman, Net a Porter), they are embarking on world domination with an international site, a new COO (another poach from Net-a-Porter), a European warehouse, translation services, and deals with Chinese, Japanese and Russian Vogues. Mothers, lock up your daughters.

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For an industry with its own calendar, that runs on a time six months to a year or more ahead of the norm, fashion in general has proven idiotically obtuse about technology. After being famously late to the etail and social media party, and then engaging in a headlong rush to the virtual when it was clear where consumer tides were going, now they are once again dragging their feet when it comes to mobile applications, as a new study from digital think tank L2 shows.
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Moda Operandi, the new e-commerce site that allows consumers to order whatever they want from a designer’s collection straight from the runway, full price, for delivery months in the future, is upscaling yet again: they have just lured away Net-a-Porter’s US head of marketing and sales, Ashley Bryan, to become their chief marketing officer. That’s a doubling of senior staff in a week. And, as the Once-ler says in “The Lorax,” MO plans to go on “biggering and biggering and biggering.”

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Sir Isaac Newton said it first (actually, he said it third, if we are being specific): for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. So it should come as no surprise that after the soaring popularity of internet sale sites such as Gilt, Rue La La, and Ideeli, to name a few of the much-talked-about, cut-price, get-it-now-or-lose-out-forever-etailers, comes a new raft of sites geared not toward making high-end goods accessible to the masses, but rather helping the very few become even more elite. Read more >>

Pay attention, you fashion/art/downtown people: The rein of black may be ending. The other day I was chatting with Penny Martin, editor of the Gentlewoman and she mentioned a conversation she had had with the designer Roksanda Ilincic: “She told me she can’t design half as much dark clothes as she used to or that she would like to, because the bulk of her business is now through Net-a-Porter and dark doesn’t photograph well for online consumption.”
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Last week’s Paris collections were rather over-shadowed by events off the catwalk, but one off-piste meeting has stuck in my mind, because I think it’s something to watch. I has been called up to look at a new web site called “Motilo,” the first social shopping site.  Read more >>

So eBay has gotten itself a creative director, in the form of ex-Lucky mag staffer Andrea Linett, to gloss-up its fashion offerings. At least we know they can recognize a trend when they see one.

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