THE OUTNET.COM (sister site of NET-A-PORTER.COM) is highly regarded in the fashion industry for providing ample access to discounted designer goods that speak to style-savvy women everywhere. The ever-expanding brand has also recently launched Iris & Ink, an apparel and accessory line of practical, yet chic, wardrobe essentials, which allows customers to further customize (and thus, maximize!) their entire shopping experience. We caught up with two of THE OUTNET.COM‘s talented team members, Shira Suveyke & Elizabeth Tuke, to discuss their industry success and catch a glimpse of the place where the magic happens!
Tell us a bit about THE OUTNET.COM brand and Iris & Ink. How did everything come to fruition?
THE OUTNET.COM was launched in April 2009 by the people behind NET-A-PORTER.COM and has established itself as “the most fashionable fashion outlet.” It is the go-to destination for style-conscious shoppers, as it stocks previous season designer pieces from more than 250 amazing labels — such as Alaïa, Christian Louboutin, Stella McCartney, Alexander Wang and Alexander McQueen — all at up to 75% off.
How did you each get started in the fashion industry?
SS: It all started as a simple summer job at a major department store. I loved helping customers and working with product, but I also quickly realized there was a lot happening behind the scenes to fill the demand. I dreamed about being the person who decided which dress came to the store, and now I am!
ET: I don’t think the fashion industry falls into your lap, you must be passionate about it to be successful. I felt that way from the time I was a little girl and I chased that passion by trying out every angle until I found my niche in public relations!
What was the ultimate inspiration behind Iris & Ink?
Initially, Iris & Ink was developed as a styling toolkit — a collection of items that could be paired with statement designer pieces — but now, in its third season, the collection includes an array of more fashion-forward styles that allow our customer to shop current trends such as shearling, lace and silk-satin, in of-the-moment colors like claret, cherry and midnight blue.
Any upcoming plans for Iris & Ink that you can share with us?
Iris & Ink will continue to complement THE OUTNET’s edit of past-season designer collections and exclusives with apparel and accessories. The Fall/Winter 2013 collection will introduce luxe fabrics such as calf hair and textured leathers, as well as leather accessories.
What attracted you to THE OUTNET?
SS: As a longtime fan of NET-A-PORTER, I watched closely as THE OUTNET launched to see if it would have the same DNA of content and commerce. I immediately became a customer and felt THE OUTNET had carved out a unique spot of offering luxury service in the world of discount fashion. When I discovered the business was expanding and there was an opportunity to work for the company out of New York, I knew it was right for me.
ET: Since its launch, THE OUTNET has been an industry frontrunner. I wanted to be a part of that and support the growth and expansion of a brand I feel so confident about. Singing what I like to call “THE OUTNET gospel” has become second nature to me.
What valuable lesson(s) have you learned through working at THE OUTNET so far?
SS: Be the best. Lead, don’t follow. Exceed expectations!
What’s the most rewarding part of your job?
SS: It is rewarding to watch my team grow. They work tirelessly to strengthen our brand relationships and expand the breadth of designers we work with to bring the BEST product to our customers. These are the key factors in making THE OUTNET an industry leader.
What’s the best part about coming into work each day?
SS: THE OUTNET is a global business with offices in London, New York and Shanghai. We are constantly meeting international deadlines, which can lead to long working hours, but working with some of the most coveted brands in the industry makes each early morning and late evening well worth it!
Who are your 3 favorite designers?
Just three?! Combined, we love Erdem, Valentino, Stella McCartney, Roksanda Ilincic, Alexander Wang, Oscar de la Renta… and that is not even including accessories labels!
You have a gorgeous office space! What was the goal as far as the design and aesthetic?
Our office is modeled after the HQ in London, which was designed with a strong masculine-meets-feminine aesthetic and embraces the company’s fluid work environment. There are lots of elegant pods, Murano glass chandeliers, high ceilings, a monochrome palette and a combination of matte and high-gloss finishes that all help create an environment that really embodies the brand.
How do you sparkle?
SS: Constant energy!
ET: I smile every day and try to make someone else smile every day too.