Mr. Porter: The new online site that will change the way men think aboutshopping
On January 11, shortly after the launch of the Verizon iPhone, Michael Williams, the legend behind A Continuous Lean and Paul + Williams, posted on his Twitter: “Fuck the iPhone and Verizon, I’m Excited for this technology: mrporter.com.”
Natalie Massenet, a former journalist and stylist, launched Net-A-Porter.com in January, 2000. The concept was revolutionary: Present a well-curated collection of trendy womenswear in the format of a fashion magazine. The site features clothing from brands like Jimmy Choo, Alexander Wang, Marc Jacobs, and Givenchy in addition to high fashion editorials written by top industry professionals.
The concept was extremely successful: Vogue wrote that the site “has revolutionized the way we buy designer clothes,” and it averages upwards of 2.5 million viewers per month.
Naturally, the blogosphere was abuzz when the launch of a male counterpart to Net-A-Porter, aptly named Mr. Porter, was announced last month. The site quietly launched today with collections from approximately 80 designers, including many of my personal favorites: A.P.C., Paul Smith, Maison Martin Margiela, S.N.S. Herning, Rag & Bone, and Quoddy.
According to an official press release, new styles will be added weekly, and the site will even carry non-designer wares from brands like J. Crew.
While the brand list is extensive, the Mr. Porter team has done a fantastic job of creating a non-overwhelming shopping experience. Instead of carrying entire collections, Mr. Porter features a few pieces from each of their designers. The user can shop designer by category, size, or color scheme. In addition, each product page features fantastic photographs and a list of items that would pair well with any given piece.
The site also features a unique Wardrobe Manager that allows registered users to view items deemed essential by the Mr. Porter team, manage a clothing inventory, and view recommendations from the personal shopping team. And above all, the site is extremely well designed and user-friendly. The simple black and white color palette puts the focus on the clothes, as opposed to the site itself.
However, the highlight of Mr. Porter is not the clothing or the excellent customer service: it’s the content featured in The Journal, a men’s digital fashion and lifestyle magazine, and the Style Directory.
Some of my favorite features are the Style Council, which highlights luxe restaurants, bars, stores, brands, and hotels selected by ultra-stylish men throughout the world, and the Video Manuals, which include style tips from designers like Paul Smith and Marcus Wainwright and David Neville of Rag & Bone.
I love fashion, technology, and retail, and few things excite me more than the combination of all three. I can’t wait to see what else Mr. Porter offers, both in content and clothing, in the coming months.