Dame Natalie Massenet, founder of the Net-A-Porter Group and chairman of the British Fashion Council, will join the board of directors of the Farfetch Group, a rival online luxury fashion platform launched in 2008.
Massenet will partner with founder and chief executive José Neves to revolutionise the way consumers shop luxury fashion through technology. The two will be co-chairmans of the Farfetch Group.
Massenet will have a particular focus on growing the global brand and strengthening its partnerships with the fashion industry. Rumours that Massenet was in talks with Farfetch over an unspecified role circulated towards the end of last year.
She founded Net-A-Porter.com, the first luxury fashion online store in 2000, going on to build the company in 15 years to include TheOutnet.com, MrPorter.com, Porter Magazine and the social shopping platform the Netset.
Meanwhile Neves, who comes from a tech background, launched Farfetch in 2008. The global e-commerce platform partners directly with over 750 designers and fashion boutiques across 40 countries. It showcases one of the world's biggest selection of luxury fashion from over 1,500 brands.
Neves said: “I have, since Net-A-Porter launched, been a huge admirer of Natalie, she really is the undisupted pioneer, paving the way for the rest of us by demonstrating that not only could luxury be sold online but also that the internet would eventually become the primary way consumers engage with brands, globally.
“Natalie has unrivalled entrepreneurial instinct, understanding of the luxury consumer and knows how to build global brands like no one else. It is simply a dream come true to have Natalie partner with me, with a shared vision and tremendous will to - yet again - shape the future of luxury.”
Massenet said: "I am honoured and excited to support José and the Farfetch team as they continue to build a unique vision of what the future of fashion and technology looks like. What Farfetch has done to rewrite the rulebook on how technology can work alongside bricks and mortar to elevate the customer experience stands out in the industry - when José asked me to come on board it was an opportunity I couldn't turn down. José is a true innovator, and I am thrilled to join him as he grows Farfetch into the online platform of choice for luxury fashion."