The melding of content and commerce has become standard practice in the digital world, with the likes of Of a Kind, One Kings Lane and ASOS proving that decent editorial doesn't just fuel sales, but also marks the difference between creating a loyal site visitor and someone who sends e-mail newsletters straight to spam. Even traditional content creators including Conde Nast are diving into e-commerce in major ways, as the publishing behemoth announced in December.
But the company that truly has set the bar for how content-meets-commerce should be done is Net-a-Porter, which will celebrate the launch of its print magazine, Porter, during the upcoming New York Fashion Week and boasts an editorial team that rivals the size of substantial fashion glossies and is helmed by former Harper's Bazaar UK chief Lucy Yeomans (Penelope Cruz, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen and Milla Jovovich have been cover stars). And the editorial operation at their men's division, Mr. Porter, is no slouch either, with a bimonthly newspaper and weekly digital publication that can be counted on to provide interesting reads (a video and profile on fashion-focused WME agent Andrew Weitz caught our fancy when it debuted in May). On Feb. 18, former Men's Health UK style director Dan Rookwood will assume a role heading U.S. editorial for the London-based e-commerce operation.
On Tuesday, the company — which, side note, just started carrying menswear hotshots J.W. Anderson and Tim Coppens — released its latest crop of stories. And one in particular — a portfolio called Modern Love — made us gush, swoon and smile all at once.
The story profiles five stylish guys — some single, some long married — and asks them candid questions about love.
The question "Where did you get your notion of love from?" is posed to 28-year-old Lee Mullins, who is the director of personal training at London's Bulgari Hotel.
"My parents have taught me a lot. They make each other laugh, and I've always loved watching their little rituals," he answers, posing for a photo with girlfriend Adena Wallingford, and dressed in a Burberry jacket, Acne jeans and Turnbull & Asser pocket square (all available for sale on the site, natch).
Another subject, Stuart Harrison (clad in a Gucci suit), talks about his wife of 40 years and how his idea of love has developed: "Being in love after all this time means being comfortable enough around each other that there's no tension at all."
The piece is truly touching, and shows how well content and commerce can work when done right — a mutually exclusive partnership that, despite having an agenda, manages to feel pure.
Modern love, indeed.