Massenet and McKee boost Aston Martin fashion links with seats on the board
Aston Martin has deepened its fashion sector links with the appointment of two big names to sit on its board. Net-A-Porter founder Natalie Massenet has joined the director line-up at the luxury British car marque, alongside former Harrods, Saks 5th Avenue and Estée Lauder exec Marigay McKee.
The move is part of the company’s recovery drive through ultra-luxury and also ups its equality credentials as far as female representation on its board is concerned.
But it also increases its fashion edge, which makes one wonder what any future plans for the brand are, especially given major shareholder Lawrence Stroll’s fashion background. Stroll wants to make Aston “one of the greatest luxury car brands in the world” and part of this is a drive to boost its exclusivity.
Given the recent deeper dive of Ferrari into the fashion sector, it’s not unthinkable that Aston Martin might do the same, once its car recovery is well under way. It already sells a selection of clothing and accessories linked to its F1 participation and this includes a deal with Hackett. But the potential to go further is certainly there.
Massenet certainly knows a lot about both fashion and luxury, having been one of the prime movers in convincing luxury labels that online was a suitable channel for them to use. Her later roles with the British Fashion Council, at Farfetch and as an investor in brands such as Good American, Skims and Glossier also boosted her credentials.
Aston Martin highlighted how she grew Net-A-Porter “into one of the world's most influential fashion businesses operating across retail, media and publishing platforms, in the process shaping an extraordinary experience for the global luxury fashion consumer”.
Meanwhile McKee was at Harrods for 14 years with the remit to run strategy and identify key brands and trends. She was headhunted to join Saks.
They’re interesting appointments given the involvement of billionaire Stroll in putting Aston Martin back on track. He was formerly a fashion mover and shaker, being instrumental in launching Pierre Cardin and Ralph Lauren in Canada and spearheading Ralph Lauren’s launch in Europe via his Sportswear Holdings company.
He’s also been an investor in Tommy Hilfiger, Michael Kors and Asprey & Garrard, and his wife Claire-Anne Stroll runs the Callens fashion business.
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