Online luxury giant Net-a-Porter is taking a step out of the digital world and into the publishing one. This Friday, the company will debut Porter on newsstands across the world, 60 countries in all, as the magazine is uniquely positioned as a global edit in English.
The cover star is a glowing Gisele Bündchen, whose natural radiance shines. Styled by Alex White, the cover and editorial feature was shot by Inez & Vinoodh. Porter will be produced 6 times a year and live on newsstands for 8 weeks rather than the monthly features from most publications. Another difference is the price at $9.99 an issue or $48 for a yearly subscription. American Vogue is $5.99 in comparison.
The current magazine landscape is crowded one, yet experiencing decline as readers turn to the digital arena to get their fix. It makes you wonder why such a pioneer in luxury e-commerce would take this route. Natalie Massenet, founder and executive chairman told BoF, “We’ve talked about how the Net-a-Porter Group is actually not just a retail company, but it’s a media company. And if we’re a serious media company we couldn’t ignore one of the most important existing media, which is print. We said if we’re going to do a print magazine, let’s do a great print magazine… and then the wizardry of the Net-a-Porter Group comes behind the scenes in shopability, personal service, customer care, globalness.”
The inaugural issue will be about 65% editorial content and 35% advertising. Companies are excited about the global tilt that Porter will have. Advertisers – including top luxury brands like Chanel, Dior, Saint Laurent – have responded positively. “What we’ve done is talk to brands about a global buy — it’s a very good value print buy for what you are getting globally,” said publishing director Tess McLeod Smith. This vehicle will allow for a partnership with brands that have resisted selling on Net-a-Porter.com, and also allow access for those brands to the Net-a-Porter customer. Without overtly pushing product the glossy will push consumers to the e-commerce site, as well as to the e-commerce and brick-and-mortar stores of advertised brands. The price of an ad in Porter will cost a brand $57,000 but will offer both a print and digital presence, in addition to links back to the brand’s own e-commerce websites.
So what do I think? I’m excited about the debut of Porter. I’ve always admired the way that Net-a-Porter does things in the luxury space. With their innovation, they have created a huge following of high spenders. This is another innovation for them, as they put their spin on the print publishing world. The big buzz right now is for companies is to make the shift to become omni-channel and this is the Net-a-Porter Group’s way of doing it. I love the cover and can’t wait to get a peek inside.