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Stephanie explains it all via Getty
Imagine a website where you can find an under-$100 silk shell that pairs perfectly with the drastically discounted Proenza Schouler jacket you just snagged. It's not a Monday morning day dream, it's the business plan behind Iris & Ink, The Outnet's new in-house collection.
When the recession hit a few years back and the fashion industry knew they were in a tight spot, the enduring message from editors was to cleverly mix high and low fashion, finding a balance between lustworthy—but expensive—designer pieces, and high street brands. As the more frugal outlet version of parent site Net-a-Porter, the high-low thing has been a big part of The Outnet philosophy since its inception. In fact Stephanie Phair, the site's director, told us recently that practicing what the site preaches got her the job in the first place:
"In my job interview, Natalie Massenet [Net-a-Porter's founder] asked me what I was wearing. My skirt was from Loehmann's and my Dolce & Gabbana shoes were from a sample sale. I am a dedicated discount shopper who loves to mix and match brands, rather like The Outnet customer. I think that's what sealed the deal."
The 35-piece collection, which was designed to complement high fashion's biggest names —like Balmain, Jil Sander, and Marni, which regular appear in the site's inventory—is the next logical step to completing that picture. Or as Phair told WWD, "We really wanted to answer the question 'How do I wear it?' We want to help our customers style their amazing designer pieces."
That translates to colorful pussy-bow blouses, a shearling gilet, a crepe cocktail dress, a leather top, skinny jeans, a trench and a blazer at a price range between about $99 for a silk top to $517 for the gilet. But just because the collection hits a high street price point (compared to the designer pieces on the site which, even after large percentages are chopped off, can reach almost $7,000), The Outnet insists that they haven't sacrificed quality. Phair explains, "Sophistication is important to us. These clothes need to be a worthy complement to the designer clothing already on the site."
Look for Iris & Ink on September 18 exclusively at The Outnet.
· The Outnet.com to Launch Own Line [WWD]
· The Outnet.com's Stephanie Phair on Shopping Tips, Interview Outfits, and the Best Deal She's Ever Found [Racked]
· First Look: Nasty Gal's Debut Collection [Racked]