Senior Buyer, NET-A-PORTER.COM, the world's premier online luxury fashion destination.
Candice Fragis is the mastermind and senior buyer behind NET-A-PORTER, The world’s premier online luxury fashion destination, and its dedicated and hugely successful activewear category, NET-A-SPORTER.
Candice’s passion for health and well-being helped her see a gap in the market that has ensured NET-A-SPORTER’s leadership in high-end activewear. She has a keen eye for finding the very best in fitness fashion and has created a loyal customer following. She also happens to be an India-trained yoga instructor.
I had the opportunity to connect with Candice and find out what inspires her, and discover what’s next for NET-A-SPORTER in 2015 and beyond.
What is your well-being aha moment?
When I practice yoga: It gives me the chance to switch off and focus on my breath. This, alongside the flow of challenging postures, means I fall into a meditative trance which feels incredibly restorative.
Describe your perfect day of being well.
Waking up refreshed from a good night’s sleep is always a great start, followed by 20 minutes of meditation and a long walk in the sunshine.
What’s your favorite workout?
I’m a qualified yoga instructor, so it’s my go-to sport. I like to mix up my yoga routine with high-intensity interval training at The Library with Zana Morris, and love trying new classes like the SBC collective with Russ Bateman, and Mary Helen Bowers’s Ballet Beautiful Method.
What do you eat for lunch at the office, and do you take a break to eat it?
My lunch habits vary as I travel regularly, but it’s always important that I have a well-balanced meal. For lunch I enjoy healthy salads with crunchy vegetables and a protein of some sort. In winter I love a hearty soup with a side of avocado or hummus on rye toast. If I’m on the go I always carry nuts in my bag to snack on until I can sit down and enjoy a proper meal. I often give myself a treat around 4pm; I love dark chocolate, especially if it’s salted caramel.
You launched Net-a-Sporter in the summer of 2014. Why did you decide to create this new luxury sportswear brand?
We carried out a lot of research. We know that our customers around the world are becoming more active and that health and exercise are increasingly important. We believe that women shouldn’t have to compromise on style while exercising. We spotted a gap in the market for being a one-stop shop for workout gear, where fashion meets function, and performance and style are equally valued.
Workout wear has become the uniform of women everywhere. There is now a greater demand for better fabrics, and design. Do you see this trend continuing for the long-term?
Activewear has naturally evolved because of how we’re living. Women are focused on clothes with technical performance and function because they want to feel great both in and outside the gym. Fitness gear has become acceptable as ready-to-wear – the lines have blurred when it comes to workout gear and fashion.
We love Net-A-Sporter’s range of luxury clothing from workout to skiing; whatever your sport/passion, you can find high design in one place. Tell us more about the types of clothing categories and the brands being offered.
We spoke to our customers to learn about which sports they like to do, how often they exercise, and whether they’re happy with how they look while working out. From this we decided to categorize our offering into 11 sporting disciplines which include tennis, golf, equestrian, run, gym and cross fit, yoga and dance, swim and surf, sail, outdoor, ski and après. We aim to keep up to date with new fitness trends and sporting activities, so I’m sure our offering will increase.
We’d carried sportswear brands like adidas by Stella McCartney and Hey Jo for some time. When we launched NET-A-SPORTER in July this year, we did so with 16 new brands, which included Bodyism, LAAIN, weargrace, L’Etoile Sport, Monreal London, and more. I tend to seek out activewear labels that are born out of passionate people who either engage in the activity themselves, or have a very holistic approach to using fashion to enhance their products. If pieces look good, if they’re technical and performance-based, then we as buyers know our customers will love them.
What can we look forward to seeing in 2015 from the highly curated sportswear brands on your site?
Our customers went crazy for NET-A-SPORTER when it launched. We’ve just added skiwear from luxury brands such as Fendi, Emilio Pucci, and Lacroix. We’ve also seen a surge in demand for surf, golf, and equestrian products so our “spring/summer” will speak to these categories. We’ve picked up new brands duskii, Cynthia Rowley, The Upside, and Ward Whillas. We’ll continue to place reorders from specialist yoga brands Liforme and weargrace because they constantly sell out.
How do you balance your life for optimum well-being, and what advice do you have for women (and men) across the globe on how to do the same?
It’s all about listening to your body and being comfortable. Find a routine that works well for your current lifestyle and don’t be afraid to mix it up; just do whatever makes you feel good inside and out.
What superpower would you like to have for a day?
To fly, of course!
What’s the one vice you will never give up?
Doing everything in moderation means I never need to think about what to give up.
Where are you when you’re at your happiest?
I’m happiest when I’m with the people I love in good health, with good food, good energy, and lots of sunshine.
Who or what inspires you?
I constantly meet people I am inspired by, particularly older people with great stories to tell. I once read a quote “when an old person dies, a library is lost,” and over the years, I have found that to really hold true.
How do you live your Vie (life/passion)?
I try to keep myself open to opportunities and experiences so I feel challenged and learn something new. I am passionate about living life to its fullest.
What charity or cause is close to your heart?
My grandmother is living with Alzheimer’s and watching her decline is incredibly sad and scary. So any charity that strives to support and fund research into dementia is one of the many I am drawn towards.
What words of wisdom do you have to offer?
Trust the journey. Even though there are bumps along the way, you have to keep focused and believe you are exactly where you need to be.