Dame Natalie Massenet, co-founder and the former “face” of Net-a-Porter, had her 51st birthday last month [May].
The American-born DBE (Dame of the British Empire) conceived the idea of a fashion website delivering cutting-edge designer clothing direct to your door in 2000 when e-commerce was still in its infancy.
With the help of an ace accountant-businessman, she and her business partner Megan Quinn grew Net-a-Porter and in 2010 sold it to Richemont for mega-bucks after which Dame Natalie remained involved with the company as executive chairman. Net-a-Porter has since been sold to its Italian counterpart, Yoox and Dame Natalie now devotes her time to the British Fashion Council, of which she became chair in 2013. Appointed DBE in the New Year’s Honours list 2015 for services to fashion, Dame Natalie combines an all-American entrepreneurial spirit (She was born in Los Angeles , the child of an American journalist-turned publicist and an ex-model) with a very French sensibility for fashion (she lived in Paris as a child and her ex-husband, Arnaud Massenet, was French).
If one had to define her style, it would be Jackie Kennedy meets Isabel Marant – i.e. polished and definitively on-trend but with a rebellious twist. It would be easy to suggest she looks so good because she has access (and the funds) to wear designer clothes but we know, don’t we, that cash and designer-labels are no guarantee of looking fabulous or there wouldn’t be so many Red Carpet car-crashes…No, Massenet has good taste wired into her DNA.
This is how to steal her style: Always be a little understated. That doesn’t mean, by the way, don’t make an effort; it may mean following Coco Chanel’s doctrine “Always take something off” (unless you are naturally very understated when it may mean in no circumstances do less!).
We love her office outfit of monochrome layers which looks chic, effortless and timeless.
We also love that 1960s-influenced red skirt suit – which is hard to get right without splashing lots of cash. Except…
What do you think of Natalie Massenet’s style?
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