News is trickling in of hires at Net-a-Porter’s sibling site, Mr Porter. Toby Bateman, currently buying manager at Selfridges has been appointed by Natalie Massenet as buying director for the new menswear site which launches in January. Working alongside Bateman will be buyer Katja Delaloye, previously at Brunschwig & Cie and Hofstetter Sports.
I’m very interested to see who will make the grade for Mr Porter’s editorial division. Net-a-porter is as well known for its magazine (made up of mostly ex-Elle staffers) as its buying and it will be fascinating to see what kind of content is deemed appropriate for the Mr Porter man. Incidentally, the editor hasn’t been appointed yet so if you fancy your chances, apply here!
When I mentioned the opening of the Louis Vuitton UK flagship to D (aka Mr Disneyrollergirl) on Tuesday, he didn’t hide his disdain. “I’ve seen it. I passed it yesterday, it looks like something out of Dubai airport via Stanstead. Deeply tacky,” was his damning assessment. He may have curled his lip. (more…)
Despite my not-so-subtle hints, Bicester Village has sadly not fallen for my self-serving genius idea of a pop-up shop in London. I shouldn’t cry too hard though as it has gone for something else, even cleverer.
Last Wednesday saw the launch of the British Designer Collective, a Bicester Village pop-up shop (open 31 Mar – 7 May) to celebrate emerging British design talent and expose it to the quality-conscious customer who loves original design but would like it not to be super-expensive. The beauty of Bicester Village is that its collections are two seasons old. So if you’re buying in April 10, you’ll be buying April 09’s collection. For young British designers like Erdem, Emma Cook and Atlanta Weller, it’s a way to make money on the pieces that didn’t sell while giving customers a second chance to buy from a past collection.
Like a sample sale then? God no! Unlike a sample sale, the merchandise is beautifully presented in a boutique setting. There are fitting rooms! They take credit cards! You can return it if you change your mind! Yes, it’s exactly like a proper shop, except the prices are generously reduced. In the current still-cautious climate, these value-conscious initiatives are more than welcome. For online customers there is Brand Alley, Gilt Groupe, Vente-Privee, The Outnet and Ebay’s new ‘flash fashion’ sales. For those who like shopping in shops, there’s Bicester Village. And for those who favour Maria Francesca Pepe over Marni, there’s the British Designer Collective.