Net-A-Porter fashion director Lisa Aiken is heading out for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia 2017.
What is your previous experience in the industry?
I started my career as an intern in 2005. I was involved in every element from styling to content, customer care to site design. In 2011 I joined Net-A-Porter as market editor, before making the leap from editorial to retail as fashion director.
What is your day to day role?
I can honestly say that no two days are the same. During fashion month, I travel non-stop to New York, London, Milan and Paris. I cover all the shows, as well as visiting as many showrooms as possible. It is my responsibility to guide the buy from a fashion and retail point-of-view. I work across all categories from power designer to contemporary, denim to shoes and accessories; aligning what we believe will be our key messages for the season ahead.
What is the most rewarding aspect?
Finding new brands. I love discovering unknown talent, meeting the designers and finding out their story. So many emerging designers tell me that launching at Net-A-Porter is their dream. I am in the very fortunate position of being able to make that happen.
What is the most challenging aspect?
The industry calendar is non-stop now so we’re always moving on to the next thing and whilst that is part of the excitement it is becoming increasingly challenging for designers, buyers and customers to keep up with the pace.
What is most attractive about Australian designers?
The Australian designers we currently work with at Net-A-Porter including Ellery, Dion Lee and Tome all have a very defined aesthetic and strong design signature. In an industry saturated with so many options having this clarity of vision is essential. I have a personal love for these brands as they appeal to my minimalist style with an unexpected fashion twist.
What is the biggest change in the industry?
For me, the biggest change in recent years is the democratization of content through online and social media. Women now look to so many different sources for their fashion inspiration and in response Net-A-Porter operates on so many different platforms, from our bimonthly print publication Porter and weekly online magazine The Edit to our weekly customer emails, social media channels and even the styling of individual pieces onsite.
What do you see as the biggest change coming?
The recent conversation around ‘see now, buy now’ runway formats is certain to become more prevalent. At the moment designers are handling this in different ways so there is sure to be a period of change before a consistent format emerges.