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Our New Friend, Mr. Porter

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Following in the footsteps of big sister, Net-A-Porter, Mr. Porter was launched last week as a standalone site targeted to men who prefer style over fashion. Carrying over 80 brands that range from Band of Outsiders and Burberry Prorsum to Dries Van Noten and Turnbull & Asser, the new company is hoping to be the crown jewel of high-end menswear e-tailing.  Editor-in-Chief Jeremy Langmead (formerly of Esquire magazine)  says the idea is about filling a gap in the market and providing a dedicated online men’s store that’s as much about buying clothes as it is inspiration and information.

“At the moment, shopping online for men means entering a unisex environment and finding a little tab for menswear at the top left of a homepage,” he told the press. “We don’t want that. It’s the online equivalent of having to walk through the beauty hall of a department store in order to find the men’s suits. Mr. Porter is designed, created and curated to make it a totally guy-friendly shopping experience.” The site is designed to resemble a broadsheet newspaper, figuring that men find that format more reassuring than a glitzy magazine design. Since men tend to be fact geeks, product pages will have a few historical facts about specific garments, such as when the blazer was first invented.

Mr. Porter offers a style directory, wardrobe manager and weekly magazine, all with the simple aim to make shopping for men easy. Also included is a Style Council, full of tips from some of the world’s most stylish and best-connected men, as well as Style Icons blog with old pictures of famous dapper dudes and links to current-selling clothes and accessories that epitomize the head-to-toe look.  Same-day delivery is available for customers in London and New York.

If the launch is successful, look for more “merchantainment” ventures in the future — mixing product and editorial in a way that reads like a magazine.

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