Dame Natalie Massenet, a fashion entrepreneur and former journalist, spoke at Qatar Foundation (QF) as part of its Education City Speaker Series.
Dame Natalie founded the luxury online fashion retailer Net-A-Porter in 2000 and, over the years, went on to build one of the world’s most influential fashion businesses operating across retail, media, and publishing platforms.
Following her departure from Net-A-Porter, she joined luxury fashion platform Farfetch as Non-Executive Co-Chairman and launched her own venture capital firm, Imaginary Ventures.
During the talk – which was held in the Assembly Area in Biznest (Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar building) at Education City – she spoke about the world of e-commerce, entrepreneurship in the fashion industry, and innovation in technology, sharing her experiences and insights with the audience.
Offering advice to audience members, Dame Natalie said:
The businesses that start today and survive in the future will have sustainability at heart. You have to create something you believe in. There has never been a better time to be a creative thinker.’
The talk, moderated by Kimberly Guthrie, Interim Chair of Fashion Design, Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts in Qatar – a QF partner university – concluded with an in-depth Q and A session.
The Education City Speaker Series is a platform for Qatar’s youth and the wider community to learn from and engage with experts and thought-leaders from a range of fields. Previous series speakers include United Nations Secretary-General HE António Guterres and US Olympic fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad.