LONDON – Net-a-porter is entering the fine arts scene thanks to a partnership with the e-commerce platform AP8 which will allow it to sell contemporary works on the site. An announcement is expected on Tuesday.
The art will be sold as part of Net’s homeware category starting May 2. The company said it wanted to “bridge the gap” between the physical and digital art worlds with a series of drops from a selection of contemporary artists.
The partnership with AP8, whose address is ap8.art, will be launched with a selection of 10 framed prints by Guy Bourdin which will be exclusive to Net-a-porter. They have been digitally verified and carry a retail price of £1,500. Less than 100 units of each part will be available.
Bourdin is best known for his experimental color photography and was a key contributor to French Vogue from 1955 through the 1980s, presenting bold, provocative imagery with a unique contemporary aesthetic.
The partnership with AP8 will continue with drops every three months from different artists.
According to Net, all pieces in each collection are meant to “work together seamlessly” and have been framed “exactly to the artist’s standards.”
The images were verified by shorthand cryptography, a method that relies on digital scanning. A certification code registered with the buyer is linked to each work of art, providing a record of provenance and value.
“For the launch of Art at Net-a-porter, our goal is to offer our customers the same level of curatorial and world-class expertise that is synonymous with all of our purchase. Our partnership with ap8 .art, a true innovator in this field, offers our global customers an incredible selection of unique and collectible photography of the iconic Guy Bourdin,” said Lea Cranfield, Director of Buying and Merchandising at Net-a-porter.
She said the new partnership was the first step in Net’s journey into the art world “and we expect many more.”
Viola Raikhel, curator and co-founder of AP8, said that when Net approached her company “to reimagine what art collecting could look like, I knew we had to distill everything that makes art covetable and collectible. Art and fashion are my two biggest passions, and I’m honored to be the curator of the ultimate luxury fashion destination.
She added that AP8 wants to champion artists and celebrate collecting for a new generation, and that “Net is the perfect partner to highlight ‘the ever-closer ties between art and fashion’.”