Natalie Massenet, the founder of Net-a-Porter and the woman who convinced high fashion that it had a home online, announced on February that she is joining the board of one of its archrivals, Farfetch, 18 months after she walked away from the company she created. Massenet, who founded Net-A-Porter in 2000, resigned as executive chairman of the company in September 2015 ahead of the completion of its merger with Italian group Yoox to form Yoox Net-A-Porter Group. Analysts said at the time the resignation of Massenet, a highly regarded figure in the fashion world and chairman of the British Fashion Council, was a blow for the new group. Massenet will work alongside London-based Farfetch's chief executive, founder and executive co-chairman Jose Neves. "She will have a particular focus on growing the global brand and strengthening its partnerships with the fashion industry," the statement said. Launched in 2008, Farfetch generated $800 million in gross sales in 2016. It partners directly with 750 designers and boutiques in 40 countries and sells to more than 1 million customers in 190 countries.