Porter, the new print magazine from Net-A-Porter, just launched during New York Fashion Week and I was invited, along with a handful of top performing rewardStyle bloggers, to have breakfast with Lucy Yeomans, Editor-in-Chief of Porter, and Natalie Massenet, Founder of Net-A-Porter, as they presented their new project.
It was the highlight of my trip.
Disclaimer: Style-centric publishing is incredibly important to me; I am passionate about it. The launch of this new magazine marks a historic shift in the industry. The rest of this article is a bit more cerebral than my typical Diary posts. If you are uninterested in industry news…well, I have probably already lost you. If not, feel free to stop reading now.
The decision to launch a print magazine that competes with the very publishers that promote NAP products in their glossy pages is disruptive, surprising and incredibly strategic. To me, the launch is thrilling and it challenges retailers and publishers alike to provide more value to their respective consumers. Net-A-Porter is a model company when it comes to digital design, content, social marketing and retail technology and now they are setting a new standard in the publishing community.
The market is over saturated with print magazines and with the launch of Porter I expected to see one more that met the status quo. I could not think of a way that you could change an art that has been crafted for more than 100 years (Vogue US launched in 1892- the same year that Ellis Island opened to immigrants).
Porter is different. They have a different budget, a digital native history and mindset and they have unmatched access to designers.
Imagery is the new currency and NAP invested in it. They worked with Inez & Vanoodh to create a distinct style of photography. You know how you can just tell when an image is from The Coveteur but you can not necessarily tell which print magazine a given image is from? They acknowledged the importance of image branding and created a photography style that was fresh and identifiable. Same went for font. They had a master create a new font for the mag, “Porter.”
One of my favorite thing about Porter is the way that they source content directly from the world’s most influential designers, the ones who created the trends themselves. Among other greats, Alber Elbaz (Lanvin) and Dolce & Gabbana have submitted full trend articles. I respect the content a bit more when it is coming from these men. I listen.
Also, Net-A-Porter has launch a supporting concierge service for the magazine. Readers can call in to book the vacations they see in the magazine, source the products (even if NAP does not carry the designer). The way that Porter makes their content actionable for readers is the best example of shapable content.
Thank you to Net-A-Porter for making Lucy and Natalie accessible. Having Lucy walk us through the pages of the launch issue was an unfathomable experience for me. It was inspiring and compelling to see an industry veteran offering something new and disruptive in a mature and sometimes inflexible industry.