Your sportswear upgrade
Mr Porter has done a fabulous job of upgrading men’s smart / causal wardrobes over the past five years. Now they’ve taken on what we wear in the gym with Mr Porter Sport. Buying director Toby Bateman, talks us through the new line.
Tell us a little about Mr Porter Sport?
Mr Porter Sport will offer the best and most stylish in performance wear from 25-plus brands across nine categories – including running, cycling, tennis, golf, training, outdoor, swimming, sailing and fitness accessories. More than 15 new, and around 10 existing brands will be introduced, and will be featured in a dedicated section of the site.
Why was it important for to move in this direction?
There were a number of influencing factors, but the most important one was ensuring that Mr Porter was offering the ‘complete package,’ to our customers. We already have a fantastic reputation for style but after doing a number of customer surveys we found that the feedback was unanimous: fitness and sport are part of the Mr Porter man’s day-to-day routine. We found that 90 percent of our customers do some kind of exercise every week, which is staggering. 80 percent exercise more than once a week. We’ve also seen a lot of success with our previous forays into performance-led clothing and accessories – take our Paul Smith 531 cycling range for example. Ultimately, Mr Porter will become a one-stop-shop for sport, performance and of course: style.
Will you be selling sports accessories and equipment as well as clothing?
Yes we will. As part of the launch we’re offering a diverse range of clothing, equipment and accessories. However as always it will be a considered and tightly curated edit of top products. Our buying team endeavours to consistently offer the best of the best across all of our categories and have applied this strategy to Sport too, whether it be our watches from Suunto, foam rollers from Triggerpoint or a specialist backpack from Arc’teryx.
What is different about Mr Porter Sport and more traditional sports retailers?
First and foremost, no sport retailer offers the kind of service proposition that we offer. We have approached Mr Porter Sport in much the same way that we have always approached things on a wider retail level, putting the customer experience first. What is also unique is the diversity our product offering, we’re the only retailer where you can purchase both Brioni and Arc’teryx from the same site for example.
What are some of the more niche or less distributed brands that will be included within the launch offering?
There’s a huge array of brands that we’re launching with and I wouldn’t like to focus on any one brand. They’re all equally important in their own way. However we have worked with each brand in alternative ways to ensure that we have a balanced offering across the category. We are the only retailer that is offering Peter Miller in the slimmer European fits on the US site for example. Condor, known as being a purely bespoke business have built their first ‘ready-to-ride’ bike exclusively for us.
Newton Motion Stability Mileage running hoes, mrporter.com, Dhs706
Can we anticipate regular content to be built around fitness and lifestyle moving forward?
Mr Porter Sport will be an evergreen source of content for both the weekly Journal and our bi-monthly paper Mr Porter Post. We have shot a series of short films and stills across all of our sport categories, championing ‘exceptional amateurs’, which we have launched on site.
So you will be selling Condor Bikes? Can we expect the same top-rate customer service we’ve come to expect?
In a word, yes. When we decided to offer the bike on site we had to really think it through and ensure that we could guarantee the level of service we’re so known for. The customer experience is still the same, the product arrives on your doorstep at your convenience, the only difference being that’s its Condor packaging rather than the classic white Mr Porter box!
How are the Sport product shots different than your fashion products on the site?
Although the aesthetic is very much in-keeping with the Mr Porter aesthetic, we were conscious that the sport offering needed to be presented in a slightly different way, to highlight the highly technical aspects of the manufacturing in each piece. We’ve kept our clean design and page layouts but incorporated more focus on close up detail shots as. Our site team has also had to be mindful of how we describe the product – ensuring that every technical nuance is referenced correctly.
Castelli Gabba 2 water-repellent cycling jersey, mrporter.com, Dhs756
Cafe Du Cycliste, striped stretch and mesh cycling jersey, mrporter.com, Dhs729
Athletic propulsion Labs running shorts, mrporter.com, Dhs277