Net-a-Porter's The Net Set sets the future of fashion
Net-a-Porter's The Net Set helps in setting the future of fashion. Courtesy of Net-a-Porter

Fashion and retail shopping make a formidable combination on the internet landscape. This is why Net-a-Porter’s Sarah Watson, vice president of social commerce, is making sure the company is playing things right, connecting trends and brands to the world’s online buyers.

When Natalie Massenet launched the online shopping business Net-a-Porter in 2000, the biggest social platforms helping the business today were still many years away from taking shape. Today, Net-a-Porter has millions of followers on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. It also has an app that has about a hundred thousand users checking products daily -- liking and shopping -- around the world.

In an email interview with the International Business Times Australia, Watson said The Net Set, the company’s mobile app, has delivered more than what it was designed for.

“[The Net Set is] the first launch of its kind from a luxury retailer and connects our fashion-loving customers from around the world, enabling them to shop together and inspire one another,” Watson wrote, noting that global buyers have “loved” almost a million products since the app’s launch in May.

Watson knew building an app for Net-a-Porter was the natural course of action for the business, which already has over 4.5 million followers in various social media sites. Still, she did not anticipate the exact level of response from global users, as well as the bonus that came with it.

“Just over a week after launch, [The Net Set] was flooded with images, from exotic holiday snaps to style icons and party outfits. We realised we were able to see trends start before our eyes,” the fashion business exec wrote.

“There was one instance, when the Aquazzura Wild Thing shoes in poppy red were uploaded from users everywhere around the world, from New York to Sydney and everywhere in between. We were then able to feed this information to the NET-A-PORTER buyers, who immediately placed a re-order and they are now sold out again. This real time insight into explosive micro-trends just wouldn’t be possible with traditional retail tools. We were able to provide our customers with the shoes but in turn we helped propel the brand’s sales,” she continued.

Same-day delivery is one of the things that online shoppers appreciate the most. App users and buyers from London, Manhattan and Hong Kong are able to enjoy this service from The Net Set. That they can see the products they “liked” from the screen to their doorsteps in a day’s time keep them coming back, shopping for more.

Fashionistas are also able to choose from over 400 of the world’s top brands through The Net Set. Watson believes this is how the company will continue “to create the future of fashion.”

Net-a-Porter recently merged with Federico Marchetti’s Yoox Group, valued at €3.6 billion (more than AU$5 billion). The company is now known as Yoox Net-A-Porter Group. Massenet has resigned, saying in a statement that “the company will be bigger, stronger and superbly well positioned” with Yoox.

This is the first in a series of features on emerging and powerful global brands. For insights or comments, you may email