She created an empire with Net-A-Porter but she’s leaving it all behind. Her next move? WGSN’s senior team shares their predictions
Natalie Massenet didn’t just quit Net-A-Porter this week – she ended an era in luxury retail where a woman was at the top and innovation was everything.
Without her, the brand will undoubtedly change post-Yoox merger. But what will Massenet do now? WGSN’s senior team shares their predictions on what she could take on next…
Change the world via public service
Carla Buzasi, Global Chief Content Officer, says: “There’s a talent drain from the fashion world to the world’s biggest tech companies, and I think it would be the industry’s loss if Natalie follows suit, but I’m sure Apple, Google and Amazon’s head-hunters are already tracking down her number. I’d personally love to see her follow in the footsteps of Martha Lane-Fox and take her expertise into government in some shape or form.”
Shake up big businesses
Catriona McNab, Chief Creative Officer, says: “There are a number of huge corporations where Natalie could make a difference – Yahoo, Burberry, Alibaba and Amazon. Jeff Bezos could do with a dose of glamour over there as they build their fashion capabilities and product for the masses. Equally, she could do something more philanthropic, take stock and slow down.”
Lead luxury into a new era
Lorna Hall, Head of Market Intelligence, says: “With $200m to invest, the world’s her oyster. Commentators pointing out Net-A-Porter never really made a profit will undoubtedly rankle, but she has nothing to prove. She built a global luxury brand from scratch in 15 years. I sincerely hope she does not feel the need to try and go do it all over again, but lets her journalistic curiosity take her on some more diverse journeys in the luxury and lifestyle sector.
“Whether they admit it or not some of the world’s biggest luxury brands are having an identity crisis, driven by a consumer with a whole new attitude to what luxury means to them. Her innate knowledge could be applied to so many sectors beyond fashion and that is where the growth is.”
Teach behemoths the art of curation
Chris Coleman, Head of Design and Youth Culture, says: “It would be interesting to see her add a bit of that boutique fashion sensibility to global giant Amazon.”
Make a triumphant return to publishing
Lauretta Roberts, Director of Brands and Propositions, says: “I understand she has a one-year non-compete with Richemont, so we won’t see her at another etailer for a while at least. I have a sneaky feeling she may end up in publishing, where her heart lies and where her career began. She looked so proud and excited when she launched Porter last year and content has always been front and centre at Net-A-Porter. Rumours are already circulating she may return to the US and is being lined up as a successor to Anna Wintour at Vogue.
“It was interesting to see she resigned the same day Nick Robertson confirmed he was stepping down as CEO of Asos. Neither move was a surprise but it’s interesting that they set up their companies at the same time (2000) and ended up resigning in sync. They are both pioneers and they get on well, maybe they should team up on a new venture!”
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