Discount dreamland: Net-a-porter's sister site offers high-end glamour at an 80 per cent markdown

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

For any IT-literate fashion lover, there is one shopping website guaranteed to be top of their browser favourites. Over the past nine years, has established itself as the web destination for designer fashion, rivalling Bond Street for choice of high-end labels and impeccable customer service, and bringing the luxury retail experience to anyone with an internet connection. The only barrier – and, for most of us, a pretty insurmountable one – is the sometimes eye-watering price tags.

So, for those forced to content themselves with scrolling wistfully through the glossy pages of seasonal must-haves, the launch of net-a-porter's sister site,, will come as a welcome addition.

Launched last month, although still in its early stages, the site will offer pieces from all of the brands on, plus a few more, but – and this is the exciting bit – at hefty discounts of up to 80 per cent. A Moschino trench coat (£239, down from £1,194), a strapless ombre cocktail dress by Alberta Ferretti (£546 from £1,821) and a pair of sequinned Miu Miu pumps (£137.20 from £343) are just some of the items that whipped cyber shoppers into a mouse-clicking frenzy when the site went live.

Not surprisingly, the clothes on the site are from past seasons, so it's not the place for snapping up the most of-the-moment styles. But what separates it from a straightforward seasonal sale, are the constant flow of desirable pieces that will arrive weekly on the site and the same rigorous selection of stock that has secured the cachet of This is a chance to pick up high-quality classics at knock-down prices, not the rag bag of sartorial dregs that is all too often the reality of a high-street sale.

Net-a-porter for the credit-crunched generation then? Natalie Massenet, the founder of both sites and the woman credited with revolutionising internet fashion-shopping, says the idea was taking shape long before the economy hit the rocks: "The launch is timely, but it isn't a reaction to the economic climate. In fact, we had been thinking about launching a dedicated outlet store for quite a while. Although the core net-a-porter business isn't price-sensitive, we found our sale section would attract a different kind of customer – someone just as passionate about fashion, but who didn't place as much emphasis on owning the must-have of the moment. TheOutnet is an opportunity for us to create a dedicated destination for her."

Stephanie Phair, who has overseen the development of the new site, says that, in the same way that net-a-porter brought about a seismic shift in the attitude of luxury brands towards internet retailing, theOutnet will deliver a change in views on discounted shopping – already seen in the willingness of such exclusive brands as Stella McCartney, Alexander McQueen and Chloé to come on board.

"Brands used to think of the discount sector only in physical terms, existing in outlets miles from cities, disconnected from the main retail experience," explains Phair. "Online shopping has changed that – brands now understand that the secondary discount market supports their primary business. If somebody buys a marked-down top that they love from a previous season, the chances are that they might later buy something new-season from that brand if they can."

Given net-a-porter paved the way for a new wave of slick fashion e-tailers, from to the celeb-led ASOS, this new merging of high end and low price is a favourable omen for the choice and value on offer in the not-too-distant future. Below are 10 of Massenet and Phair's current theOutnet favourites.

For information:

Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Fashion

    Cancer Research UK: Corporate Partnerships Volunteer Events Coordinator – London

    Voluntary: Cancer Research UK: We’re looking for someone to support our award ...

    Ashdown Group: Head of IT - Hertfordshire - £90,000

    £70000 - £90000 per annum + bonus + car allowance + benefits: Ashdown Group: H...

    Ashdown Group: Application Support Analyst - SQL Server, T-SQL

    £28000 - £32000 per annum + Excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Application Sup...

    Ashdown Group: Systems Analyst / Data Analyst (SQL Server, T-SQL, data)

    £28000 - £32000 per annum + Excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Systems Analyst...

    Day In a Page

    Major medical journal Lancet under attack for 'extremist hate propaganda' over its coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict

    Lancet accused of 'anti-Israel hate propaganda' over coverage of Gaza conflict

    Threat to free speech as publishers of renowned medical journal are accused of inciting hatred and violence
    General Election 2015: Tories and Lib Dems throw their star names west to grab votes

    All noisy on the Lib Dems' western front

    The party has deployed its big guns in Cornwall to save its seats there. Simon Usborne heads to the heart of the battle
    How Etsy became a crafty little earner: The online market has been floated for £1.2bn, but can craft and capitalism coexist?

    How Etsy became a crafty little earner

    The online market has been floated for £1.2bn, but can craft and capitalism coexist?
    Guy Ritchie is the latest filmmaker to tackle King Arthur - one of our most versatile heroes

    King Arthur is inspiring Guy Ritchie

    Raluca Radulescu explains why his many permutations - from folk hero to chick-lit hunk - never cease to fascinate
    Apple Watch: Will it live up to expectations for the man or woman on the street?

    Apple Watch: Will it live up to expectations?

    The Apple Watch has apparently sold millions even before its launch tomorrow
    Don't fear the artichoke: it's a good cook's staple, with more choice than you'd think

    Don't fear the artichoke

    Artichokes are scary - they've got spikes and hairy bits, and British cooks tend to give them a wide berth. But they're an essential and delicious part of Italian cuisine
    11 best men's socks

    11 best men's socks

    Make a statement with your accessories, starting from the bottom up
    Paul Scholes column: Eden Hazard would be my Player of the Year – but I wonder if he has that appetite for goals of Messi or Ronaldo

    Paul Scholes column

    Hazard would be my Player of the Year – but I wonder if he has that appetite for goals of Messi or Ronaldo
    Frank Warren: Tyson Fury will be closely watching Wladimir Klitschko... when he wins it'll be time to do a deal

    Frank Warren's Ringside

    Tyson Fury will be closely watching Wladimir Klitschko... when he wins it'll be time to do a deal
    London Marathon 2015: Kenya's brothers in arms Wilson Kipsang and Dennis Kimetto ready to take on world

    Kenya's brothers in arms take on world

    Last year Wilson Kipsang had his marathon record taken off him by training partner and friend Dennis Kimetto. They talk about facing off in the London Marathon
    Natalie Bennett interview: I've lost track of the last time I saw my Dad but it's not because I refuse to fly

    Natalie Bennett interview: I've lost track of the last time I saw my Dad

    Green leader prefers to stay clear of her 'painful' family memories but is more open about 'utterly unreasonable' personal attacks
    Syria conflict: Khorasan return with a fresh influx of fighters awaiting the order to start 'shooting the birds'

    Khorasan is back in Syria

    America said these al-Qaeda militants were bombed out of the country last year - but Kim Sengupta hears a different story
    General Election 2015: Is William Cash the man to woo Warwickshire North for Ukip?

    On the campaign trail with Ukip

    Is William Cash the man to woo Warwickshire North?
    Four rival Robin Hood movies get Hollywood go-head - and Friar Tuck will become a superhero

    Expect a rush on men's tights

    Studios line up four Robin Hoods productions
    Peter Kay's Car Share: BBC show is the comedian's first TV sitcom in a decade

    In the driving seat: Peter Kay

    Car Share is the comedian's first TV sitcom in a decade. The programme's co-creator Paul Coleman reveals the challenges of getting the show on the road