February 19, 2011

Mister Port Haayyyy

If you are an avid menswear online shopper like me, you would have already heard about the launch of Mr. Porter, the handsome boyfriend site to innovative internet fashion purveyor Net-A-Porter. The spawning of the mens site was highly anticipated amongst most fashionable males because of the great success of Net-A-Porter.com. The concept of the website is simple: allow worldwide access to desirable ready-to-wear (prêt-à-porter in French) styles and provide instant gratification despite the limitations of online shopping. Shipping is incredibly fast (3-5 business days max anywhere in the world, with a same day delivery option for New York) and returns are as easy as arranging for a pick up or dropping off the item at the nearest UPS store. The hassle free system revolutionized online shopping because it eliminated the anxiety of buying designer goods without trying them on first.

Net-A-Porter is designed like a magazine, guiding you through trends and highlighting key pieces along the year's fashion cycle. I was curious to see how MrPorter.com would compare to its trend-driven predecessor. A few days ago the site was revealed to select "founding" members of the site (those who registered early for updates and information). So here is a peek at the site if you didn't get to sign up in time.

My first observation was that everything from the merchandise to the features was geared toward wardrobe essentials. The concept of shopping through a magazine is still used as on Net-A-Porter, but runway trends are replaced with timeless classics and how to wear them in a variety of ways. This is a great strategy as a majority of men shop differently from women. When paying for luxury goods, straight men tend to justify high prices with quality and longevity instead of aesthetic value. Carefully selected merchandise on Mr. Porter reflects the ideology. After browsing through the goods, I toured the rest of the site and enjoyed the reading. There is a ton of information about what every man needs in his wardrobe and why. Imagery is taken from current street style and photos of male style icons. It sounds cliché but linking history and reasoning to a competitive selection of goods is effective.

Over all I am excited about Mr. Porter. Most of the offering centers on the classics with a generous sprinkling of modern cuts and embellishments. The selection is not as fashion forward as I would have hoped, but the site is still in the beginning stages. The knowledge of menswear that can be gained within one visit to the site will keep me coming back for more. My shopping habits are more like a woman's as far as desire for labels and aesthetic value, but when I buy luxury it is almost always for longevity. Mr. Porter hits that happy medium and I cannot wait to see what they bring to the virtual shopping place.

- jerome

1 comment: