Wardrobe: Gentleman’s Clique

  • Ross Moore

Since the dawn of the Internet, the only thing that has distinguished the luxury online shopping experience for men has been the price tag. Looking for a Louis Vuitton scarf or Hermès necktie has meant trolling the digital equivalent of the local shopping mall, a landscape of cluttered windows, empty shelves, and nearly nonexistent customer service.

Now the group behind Net-a-Porter.com, the groundbreaking luxury site for women, has created Mr Porter, a menswear and accessories site that strives to be the e-commerce equivalent of Bond Street. Mr Porter offers a highly selective, and often exclusive, portfolio of designer merchandise, backed by impeccable customer service and a visually rich format reminiscent of a glossy men’s magazine.

Backed by the Swiss luxury group Richemont, Mr Porter arrives a decade after Natalie Massenet set the gold standard for online shopping with Net-a-Porter, and many of the luxury touches she pioneered there carry over to the new property. Chief among these is a skilled and discerning team of buyers, who can be found front row at the European and New York menswear shows. Yet their selections steer clear of trendy styles and present a cohesive, classically modern wardrobe. The aesthetic is given voice with polished editorial content produced under the aegis of Jeremy Langmead, former editor of Esquire magazine’s UK edition.

Since its February launch, the site’s stable of luxury brands has nearly doubled, to 150, and now includes Brioni, Canali, Dunhill, Yves Saint Laurent, John Lobb, and the debut season of Jimmy Choo’s shoe collection for men. Among the many items created exclusively for Mr Porter are an onyx-and-red-gold-plate tie bar by Lanvin ($130), a knitted silk tie by Charvet ($155), a zipped iPad case by Want Les Essentiels de la Vie ($295), and a slim-fit double-cuff shirt by Turnbull & Asser ($235).

To help sort through it all, a cadre of style advisers is available 24/7, and returns are accepted without charge, no questions asked. Orders arrive within 48 hours—or on the same day, if you happen to live in London or Manhattan—in packaging nearly as solid and elegant as its contents.

 

Mr Porter, www.mrporter.com

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