Powerful Women: Natalie Massenet

What’s more impressive than being a CEO of a company? Statistically speaking, CEO’s only get appointed after 12.8 years of experience at the average age of 55.  It’s even more impressive when a CEO of a company is younger and less experienced than statistics state is the norm. Add founding the company to your resume, and you’re pretty much unstoppable.

Natalie Massenet is only 46 years old and holds the CEO position of the company Net-A-Porter (valued at £531 Million in 2010), which she also founded twelve years ago.

So how did such a young woman become so successful? Born in 1966, Massenet is of French decent and the daughter of a former British Chanel model and Californian journalist. Splitting her upbringing between Paris and LA, Massenet was sure to be an expert of style.

At the age of 27, Massenet began her career in fashion as a fashion editor for Women’s Wear Daily advancing to be Isabella Blow’s assistant at the company Tatler. Massenet had several entrepreneurship ideas: a chain of cafes, and a luxury candle company before she settled on an idea for a high-end fashion online retailer. Massenet, with the help of her husband Arnaud Massenet, raised £1.2 million for start-up investments in the company.

In 2000, the company was launched in an apartment with a team of 15 employees and by 2004 it was turning profits and winning awards. Net-A-Porter was purchased by Richemont, a luxury goods conglomerate, in April 2010 for 350 million pounds.

Net-A-Porter is currently the premier luxury brand online retailer in the world with almost 2.5 million hits per month. They describe themselves on their website perfectly:  “Our award-winning website, presented in the style of a fashion magazine, offers the style-savvy customer exactly what she wants - unprecedented access to the hottest looks of the season from international cutting-edge labels via worldwide express delivery.” In 2010 Net-A-Porter also expanded their store to menswear, with their own website called Mr. Porter.

Natalie Massenet and her online shopping empire make her one of the most powerful and influential women in the fashion industry. Along with having one of the most prestigious positions in the business, Massenet is a devoted wife and mother of two daughters.

Ally | Elite.

Photo Credit: Getty Images