How Natalie Massenet Changed the Way We Shop for Fashion

Updated: 17/03/2023

March is Women's History Month and as we celebrate women's achievements in various fields, we're shining the spotlight on one woman who completely changed fashion retail as we know it. Dame Natalie Massenet, DBE is a highly inluential figure in the fashion industry who has been widely recognized for revolutionizing luxury fashion retail by introduing the concept of online shopping for fashion.  

Founder of Net-a-Porter, she introduced a new approach to luxury fashion retail with her e-commerce venture back in 2000. Having left the company in 2015, she served as non-executive co-chairman at Farfetch until 2020, working closely alongside its founder and chief executive, José Neves. In 2018, she co-founded Imaginary Ventures, a venture capital firm, with Nick Brown , and serves on the board of various portfolio brands.  

Today, fashion afficionados all over the world use the platforms she created and inspired to purchase their favorite designer clothing, shoes, and accessories. forward2me is offering you a chance to shop from major fashion retailers like Net-a-Porter, Farfetch, and the different fashion brands Massenet's new company is investing in. Simply register for a free UK address and start the shopping extravaganza today. 

Changing Fashion Retail 

Natalie Massenet Net-a-Porter

Massenet was born in the United States to a British model mother and a Californian journalist father. After studying English Literature at UCLA, she spent a year working in Tokyo as a model and a stylist. Soon after she relocated to London, where she worked as Isabella Blow’s assistant at Tatler.

In 2000, Massenet launched what would go on to become the world’s premier online luxury destination, adding off-price e-tailer The Outnet and menswear platform Mr Porter to the Net-a-Porter Group umbrella in 2009 and 2011 respectively. In 2013, a beauty component was launched, and the following year, print publication Porter Magazine debuted.

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.

Further Fashion Ventures

Natalie Massenet Fashion Ventures

In February 2017, the entrepreneur confirmed she would be joining fashion e-commerce platform Farfetch as non executive co-chairman. She served as non-executive co-chairman at Farfetch for three years and stepped down in 2020.

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 a chair 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.

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