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, net-a-porter.com 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, theOutnet.com, 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 net-a-porter.com, 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 net-a-porter.com. 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 my-wardrobe.com 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: www.theOutnet.com

Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
Life and Style
love + sex
Arts and Entertainment
Victoria Wood, Kayvan Novak, Alexa Chung, Chris Moyles
tvReview: No soggy bottoms, but plenty of other baking disasters on The Great Comic Relief Bake Off
Sport
Ashley Young celebrates the winner for Manchester United against Newcastle
footballNewcastle 0 Man United 1: Last minute strike seals precious victory
Life and Style
Tikka Masala has been overtaken by Jalfrezi as the nation's most popular curry
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
Seth Rogan is one of America’s most famous pot smokers
filmAmy Pascal resigned after her personal emails were leaked following a cyber-attack sparked by the actor's film The Interview
News
Benjamin Netanyahu and his cartoon bomb – the Israeli PM shows his ‘evidence’
people
Arts and Entertainment
80s trailblazer: comedian Tracey Ullman
tv
News
i100
Life and Style
A statue of the Flemish geographer Gerard Kremer, Geradus Mercator (1512 - 1594) which was unveiled at the Geographical Congree at Anvers. He was the first person to use the word atlas to describe a book of maps.
techThe 16th century cartographer created the atlas
Arts and Entertainment
Stephen Tompkinson is back as DCI Banks
tvReview: Episode one of the new series played it safe, but at least this drama has a winning formula
News
i100
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Fashion

    Recruitment Genius: UI / UX Designer

    £25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This firm are focussed on assis...

    Recruitment Genius: General Processor

    £7 per hour: Recruitment Genius: A vacancy has arisen for a General Processor ...

    Recruitment Genius: Outbound Sales Executive - B2B

    £18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A great opportunity has arisen ...

    Recruitment Genius: Online Sales and Customer Services Associate

    £14000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Full time and Part time positio...

    Day In a Page

    War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

    Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

    Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
    Living with Alzheimer's: What is it really like to be diagnosed with early-onset dementia?

    What is it like to live with Alzheimer's?

    Depicting early-onset Alzheimer's, the film 'Still Alice' had a profound effect on Joy Watson, who lives with the illness. She tells Kate Hilpern how she's coped with the diagnosis
    The Internet of Things: Meet the British salesman who gave real-world items a virtual life

    Setting in motion the Internet of Things

    British salesman Kevin Ashton gave real-world items a virtual life
    Election 2015: Latest polling reveals Tories and Labour on course to win the same number of seats - with the SNP holding the balance of power

    Election 2015: A dead heat between Mr Bean and Dick Dastardly!

    Lord Ashcroft reveals latest polling – and which character voters associate with each leader
    Audiences queue up for 'true stories told live' as cult competition The Moth goes global

    Cult competition The Moth goes global

    The non-profit 'slam storytelling' competition was founded in 1997 by the novelist George Dawes Green and has seen Malcolm Gladwell, Salman Rushdie and Molly Ringwald all take their turn at the mic
    Pakistani women come out fighting: A hard-hitting play focuses on female Muslim boxers

    Pakistani women come out fighting

    Hard-hitting new play 'No Guts, No Heart, No Glory' focuses on female Muslim boxers
    Leonora Carrington transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star

    Surreal deal: Leonora Carrington

    The artist transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star
    LGBT History Month: Pupils discuss topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage

    Education: LGBT History Month

    Pupils have been discussing topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage
    11 best gel eyeliners

    Go bold this season: 11 best gel eyeliners

    Use an ink pot eyeliner to go bold on the eyes with this season's feline flicked winged liner
    Cricket World Cup 2015: Tournament runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

    Cricket World Cup runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

    The tournament has reached its halfway mark and scores of 300 and amazing catches abound. One thing never changes, though – everyone loves beating England
    Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Heptathlete ready to jump at first major title

    Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Ready to jump at first major title

    After her 2014 was ruined by injury, 21-year-old Briton is leading pentathlete going into this week’s European Indoors. Now she intends to turn form into gold
    Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

    Climate change key in Syrian conflict

    And it will trigger more war in future
    How I outwitted the Gestapo

    How I outwitted the Gestapo

    My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
    The nation's favourite animal revealed

    The nation's favourite animal revealed

    Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
    Is this the way to get young people to vote?

    Getting young people to vote

    From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot