We Visited Net-a-Porter's Animal Crossing New Horizons Island
Animal Crossing: New Horizons launched on the Nintendo Switch in mid-March this year—timed, by a stroke of fate, to align with a worldwide lockdown, which translated into endless hours of screentime and, in turn, intricate, elaborate gamer-built-out islands in the quirky networked simulation game. In April, Net-a-Porter became one of the first luxury retailers to embrace Animal Crossing's customisation features when the company launched virtual fashion collaborations with Chinese designers and brands including Calvin Luo, staffonly, Short Sentence, Marchen and Shushutong. This week, Net-a-Porter debuted its very own island—currently open on a very select basis to visitors by invitation only—and Tatler was lucky enough to score a private flight (on Dodo Airlines, obv) to the island to check out a brand-new Isabel Marant virtual collection at the Net-a-Porter island outpost of Able Sisters.
While we were on the ground, we snapped as many screengrabs and photos as we could—checking out some key hotspots on the Net-a-Porter Animal Crossing New Horizons island, including: the beach area—which included both lounging spots and a static showcase of some cute swimwear—the Net-a-Porter showroom, Net-a-Runway, Net-a-Beauty, Net-a-Cafe and the Net-a-Sporter gym area.
Hands down, the Net-a-Porter Animal Crossing island visit was the cutest and most fun press day event I've ever attended in my 20 years working in fashion media—the island is not only super-cute and perfectly planned and curated, but it's also full of adorable surprises, glamorous touches, photo opps, and exciting details just waiting to be discovered. Here are some of our favourite highlights.
Arrival flyover of Net-a-Porter's Animal Crossing island
As our Dodo Airlines plane approaches landing (a water landing, but it's OK because it's a seaplane), we catch our first glimpse of Net-a-Porter island—it's beautifully manicured, covered in greenery and flowers, and the Net-a-Porter team are on the ground waving and cheering to welcome our flight.
The world's most glamorous tarmac
Deplaned, we're immediately greeted by our Net-a-Porter island guide at the (green) airport and whisked off the dock to the island's arrival area—a customised Net-a-Porter tarmac with ground lights and waterfalls on every side. This is probably the most glamorous airport arrival tarmac in the world. Our small group of VIPs and press ham it up for the cameras immediately.
There's a step-and-repeat, obviously
If you host a VIP and press event and there's no step-and-repeat, did it really happen?
And a QR code on the beach
I was too busy taking screengrabs and didn't manage to scan the QR code on the beach—but the swimsuits on display were super-cute! Adjacent to the QR code area there were some Animal Crossing people napping on lounge chairs under palm trees. So idyllic.
Outdoor market place
At the outdoor marketplace, we get our first preview of the exclusive Isabel Marant collection for Net-a-Porter's Animal Crossing New Horizons guests. The rocker-glam-animal print collection comprises five pieces—a tonal black jacket mod-inspired black and white blouse set; a camo-print maxi tunic-caftan-kimono number; a mid-length zebra-print belted jacket dress; a tailored jacket with silver-studded lapel and statement belt buckle; and a cozy studded-collar belted sweater.
The Net-a-Porter office
Of course, the Net-a-Porter Animal Crossing New Horizons island needs a Net-a-Porter HQ—a multi-story showroom and office that includes upstairs workspace, a studio (for creating that killer Net-a-Porter content!), and a showroom—from where the local fashion magazines pull samples, obv.
One of the most important (and cutest) moments of the press day on Net-a-Porter's Animal Crossing New Horizons island was our group trip to the local branch of Able Sisters, where the VIP guests and press went cuckoo for the exclusive Isabel Marant collection. Cuckoo. So cuckoo that our guide had to tell us that we needed to calm down, and that we could only try on pieces one at a time.
Here's a calm moment inside the shop:
With just a few minutes left before our flight departed the island for home, I raced around the island checking out some of the other attractions and landmarks. Especially impressive: the Net-a-Porter black and white rose garden—a monochrome field of tranquility and also a chic brand moment.
The local coffee shop—Net-a-Cafe
It was late in the day, so I didn't order any coffee, but what a cute spot!
The Net-a-Porter runway
Where everyone is front-row and you can strut your stuff under runway lights.
The outdoor spa and relaxation area
Pretty sure that's a face mask and not a panda head on that table behind me.
Net-a-Porter Town Hall
Leif's Flower Shop was in town selling his rare plants today—I popped by for a photo opp with the Net-a-Porter corporate flag.
Our flight departed from Net-a-Porter for Tatler Asia (yes, we have an island too! Stay tuned for more details in a later post) right on time. What a fun day trip filled with fashion, photo opps, and inspiring Animal Crossing New Horizons design ideas.
Net-a-Porter's Animal Crossing New Horizons island is currently available to visit by invitation only—we'll keep you posted when it opens to the public!