PIONEERS

Natalie Massenet

Fashion's online emissary

The word visionary is lofty, overused. Somewhat abused. There are few people who can really see something that doesn’t exist. Create it. Explain it. And get others to follow.

Natalie Massenet is, in fact, that visionary. She saw a world where people would pay $2,000 for a pair of jeans, a world where you can buy what you covet, where the magazine pages meet the FedEx man. You want it? You can have it. Click here. She launched Net-a-porter.com, a luxury-goods website, in 2000. Her vision was so clear and sparkling, she managed to persuade labels such as Marc Jacobs, Chloe and Jimmy Choo to sell their lines through an unproven business model. Sound obvious? It does now. Only because she did it first. The worlds of fashion and commerce have changed dramatically in the past 10 years, in part because of a woman who likens herself to a lazy rock.

I’m buying stock in rocks.

Lyons is the creative director of clothing retailer J. Crew

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