by Villa88
  • 2 minute read
  • December 20, 2019
Shop Talk: A Conversation With Alison Loehnis, President Of Net-A-Porter And Mr Porter.

Meet Alison Loehnis and you’ll be immediately struck by her effortless charm. She’s one of the most powerful women in fashion and a major player in the e-tail revolution, with NET-A-PORTER positioned as a robust multi-brand e-store, especially in the region. “We saw the women here as early adopters of luxury fashion e-commerce,” Alison says. “Now, they’ve evolved in terms of how they shop. It’s gone to the next level – everyone now has a store in their pockets through their mobiles. In fact, we get nearly 70 percent of our sales over mobile coming from the region.”

Having been with NET-A-PORTER since 2007, Alison is the force behind introducing beauty and active-wear categories and mammoth feats such as facilitating Chanel’s first foray into e-commerce. With her finger on the pulse of luxury fashion, she notes that modest wear isn’t just a regional trend, but a global phenomenon. The platform curated 17 exclusive capsule collections for Ramadan just earlier this year and ‘Modest Dress Codes’ is a dedicated subcategory on the website.

“It’s a way of fast-tracking the experience for the customer,” she shares. “There are several professions in all parts of the world that, I wouldn’t say ‘command’, but ‘suggest’ a modest way of dressing. So, whatever you’re looking for in that line, you can get to it right away, not just because it’s part of our offerings, but because we’re curating it specifically for you.”

And she sure does know her customer well. “The regional woman isn’t afraid to try new brands, but equally likes big, established ones. She buys a lot of runway pieces,” Alison says. “I think she’s dressier than those in other markets, likes jewelry, and is super glamorous – that has remained pretty consistent.”

And since they love new trends and bespoke experiences, the brand offers an exclusive personal shopping service to them. “And if you’re a super engaged customer, whom we call our EIPs – Extremely Important People – you have access to products two or three days before they go live on the site.”

With the global sustainability movement on the rise, Alison lays great emphasis on the importance of eco-conscious measures. “I think people talk about how it’s important for millennials or for Generation Z, but, frankly, it should be important to everybody.” Under her guidance, NET-A-PORTER has embarked upon several initiatives with a sustainable posture.

“For us, sustainability starts at home, so to speak,” she explains. “It’s important to us as a business, whether it’s in terms of recycling or awareness and mitigation of plastic waste from the ground up. Even in our offices, we have a group called the ‘plastic collectors’ – they’re really ‘anti-plastic collectors’ – who try and get us as plastic-free as possible.”

A case in point is that Porter magazine has launched an issue in partnership with Parley for the Oceans, dedicated to the effects of plastic pollution. “We also partnered with Adidas on selling a sneaker that was made from recycled plastics,” she notes. But that’s not all. “We also look for brands that are manufacturing and sourcing ethically, whether that’s across fashion, accessories, jewelry or cosmetics. We’re also working with brands that have sustainability at their core.”

As a powerhouse who has inspired countless others, Alison has some refreshing advice. “Follow your instincts,” she says. “Don’t be afraid to go for what you love. And if you don’t like what you’re doing, change it. It’s okay.”

Cover Image Courtesy of Net-A-Porter

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