Around the same time her other projects were folding, Busquets met Net-a-Porter’s Massenet through a former boyfriend who specialized in Web-based venture-capital investments. “Everyone told me I was crazy to invest in Net-a-Porter, but I always knew you could sell fashion online,” she says. Indeed, she knew that firsthand. While she was running Cabus, her boutique in Caracas (which she closed in December 2001), she would attend the runway shows in Europe and snap pictures of—or even sketch—the looks. In the days before e-mail, she would mail the images to her best clients. “I actually sold 60 percent of my stock that way; it was a very personal service I was doing for my clients, my friends and their friends,” Busquets says. “The clothes that went into the store were partly returns from those presales,” she adds.
In addition to CoutureLab, Busquets has a 49 percent stake in London designer Hamish Morrow and helps run the business. She enjoys inspiring people to become designers and was instrumental in encouraging L’Wren Scott to do her collection. Busquets is a patron of London’s Tate Modern gallery, where, in addition to fundraising, she tries to raise the profile of Latin American artists and exhibitions. She is also a member of the Museum at F.I.T.’s Couture Council, which raises funds for all the exhibitions and events at the museum.
“Everyone told me I was crazy to invest in Net-a-Porter, but I always knew you could sell fashion online.”
Despite all of her jetsetting and a host of fashionable friends including Tomas Maier, Rebecca Korner, Duro Olowu and Mina d’Ornano, Busquets isn’t a fixture on the social scene on any continent. “Sometimes I make it to parties and sometimes I don’t,” she says. “Social life is always something you can go back to. The past five years have been a big time for me to concentrate on my work. And I’ve always been lucky with my friends—I’ve always met the right people at the right time.”