What Net-a-Porter’s new mentorship scheme will do for the careers of young designers

What Net-a-Porter’s new mentorship scheme will do for the careers of young designers

It is the opportunity of a lifetime

Image: Courtesy of Net-a-Porter

Being stocked on Net-a-Porter – the world’s largest global luxury retailer – is a major coup for any emerging fashion brand and can dramatically improve the outlook of its business, both in terms of sales and in terms of visibility. And now, the e-tailor is going one step further in attempting to offer support to these growing brands with a mentorship scheme, entitled The Vanguard.

The two-tier initiative will first aim to highlight lesser-known labels that Net-a-Porter feels have great potential, which will be displayed as a list on the site dedicated to new talent.

The second tier of the programme – the accelerator scheme – will provide further, dedicated support to a handful of brands each season through comprehensive mentorship. They will be offered meetings with the most senior members of Net-a-Porter’s staff, including the president and the MD, among others – and through this will receive marketing, buying and business mentorship.

In addition to this, these brands will be given coveted promotional spots by appearing in campaigns, on the homepage banner, in marketing emails and they will also have a presence in the showroom and in lookbooks.

The aim is that all this will give emerging brands a platform and exposure, but also give the teams behind-the-scenes the knowledge of how to make their business a success.

“We have so much to offer at Net-a-Porter by way of expertise, so by working closely with these designers on the areas they may not have as much insight into, we are hoping to be able to help them on their journey of building a lasting and successful brand,” Lisa Aiken, Net-a-Porter’s retail fashion director tells us.

Image: Courtesy of Net-a-Porter

For the first instalment of The Vanguard, the luxury e-tailor has chosen to support New York-based Les Rêveries, Italian womenswear label Rūh, Gu_de from South Korea and Spanish footwear brand Martinez.

“In terms of the designers chosen, they each have a unique design aesthetic that will contribute to the fashion conversation,” Aiken says. “We carefully consider all talent and selects brands based on their authenticity of design and directional brand perspective.”

Indeed, this year’s chosen four have remarkably different aesthetics: Rūh offers a grown-up elegance while Les Rêveries describes itself as being all about “love and daydreams”. Martinez offers classic silhouettes and Mediterranean touches, while Gu_de is inspired by the 1970s.

Image: Courtesy of Net-a-Porter

“We felt that the duality of Les Rêveries’ floral designs was unlike anything we had previously seen and that Martinez’s use of traditional Spanish craftsmanship and original design would lend itself to a new take on the classic pump altogether. Throughout the mentorship period we believe a brand will gain the experience and guidance needed to find themselves in a strong position for future success.”

And the brands themselves are in no doubt about what this opportunity could mean for the future of their business.

“Our involvement with the mentorship will help build our brand exposure and provide us with valuable resources and mentorship to guide us to building a sustainable business,” sisters Ai and Wayne of Les Rêveries tell us.


From: Harper’s BAZAAR UK

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