Clickbait Looks Rule Net-a-porter Spring 2022 Buy – WWD

LONDON – Net-a-porter has updated its purchasing strategy for the next spring 2022 season and is adapting to the post-containment landscape with sexy evening wear, platform shoes and numerous “clickbait” products and collaborations that went viral on Instagram.

Lea Cranfield, Director of Purchasing and Merchandising at Net, identified social media-driven trends and products as a key pillar of her new strategy. The retailer is starting to take a close look at viral runway moments during the last fashion month, which can translate into instant sales.

“These viral moments create deep-rooted connections with our customers, which we can then accelerate with our purchases,” said Cranfield, referring to Balenciaga’s episode “The Simpsons” as the ultimate highlight of the season.

Equally important are the accessories or “clickbait” collaborations that are making the rounds on social networks: the retailer’s audience, which has 9 million followers, has an appetite for unlikely designer couples, be it Frame and The Ritz Hotel. or Gucci and The North Face, as well as Instagram famous accessories like the Bottega Veneta quilted bags. The Cranfield team is therefore doubling up on next season’s cult accessories, which they say will be Loewe’s cracked egg heels, Balenciaga’s futuristic boots or JW Anderson’s knit tote bags.

Up to 24 exclusive capsules – featuring brands like Totême, Loewe and Khaite – will also launch by February to fuel customers’ appetites for limited collections of products and collaboration.

“We use our data intelligence and our own intuition to make sure we’re doing more with less,” Cranfield said.

Social media also informs about many trends the retailer is supporting for the coming season, especially the modern Y2K look seen on runways from Versace to Loewe and LaQuan Smith.

“These are very social looks, [designers] gave us a lesson in the art of dressing on social media, ”said Libby Page, Senior Market Editor. “The runway has been the tipping point for the trend, but it’s been bubbling up for quite some time thanks to social media, the ‘Gossip Girl’ reboot and the ‘Friends’ reunion. It is an opportunity to reflect on the cultural moment.

Becoming the “ultimate destination” for off-runway looks is another big goal, with up to 380 runway looks launching online over the next few months.

The retailer has also endorsed designers like Molly Goddard, Richard Quinn and Proenza Schouler for their use of bold, saturated colors that testify to the upbeat mood of the season. Ditto for brands like Chloe, which push handcrafting with limited edition products made from recycled or dead materials.

Accountability is another key pillar of Cranfield’s strategy and as part of its efforts to be more inclusive, the retailer said it plans to add 40 new brands to its “Conscious” edition, of which 30% are owned. to people of color. . A handful of designers like Erdem, Christopher John Rogers and Reem Accra will start offering their collections up to size 22.

“It’s a work in progress and something that we will continue to develop as we plan for the new fall season 2022,” Cranfield said.

Even as upbeat colors and evening gowns quickly take over the spring selection, the retailer said it will continue to pay attention to the kind of “staples” or “high essentials” that have become popular in recent years. whether it’s the perfect tank top from Loewe, loose suits from Jil Sander or layered shirts from The Row.

“It’s a reflection of the way we dress now. We have moved away from the formalities and these are interesting separations that also take into account the practicalities, ”explained Page.

Apart from the catwalks, the fine jewelry and watchmaking category is experiencing a special moment. Up to 75% of jewelry and watch sales were made by new customers during the year 2021, so the retailer is expanding its offering with new brands like David Morris and Charles Jourdan.

It is also increasing its homewear offering by 3,000%, with new brands such as Cabana Casa, Luisa Beccaria and exclusive capsules of “brands entering the home space for the first time”.

“Our mission is to make Net-a-porter a lifestyle destination, it has become so much more than just a fashion destination,” added Cranfield.

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