Amazon May Launch Higher-End Fashion Site, Designer Collaborations

Amazon has been working to ramp up the fashion aspect of its business for some time now and the e-commerce giant's latest efforts see it setting up shop in NYC.
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Dhani Mau
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Amazon has been working to ramp up the fashion aspect of its business for some time now and the e-commerce giant's latest efforts see it setting up shop in NYC.
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Amazon has been working to ramp up the fashion aspect of its business for some time now and the e-commerce giant's latest efforts see it setting up shop in NYC.

On Friday, Mayor Bloomberg cut the ribbon on a brand new 40,000 square foot photography facility in Brooklyn for Amazon to edit, style and shoot fashion product. In addition to potentially being Bloomberg's final fashion-related act as mayor, the move signals Amazon's dedication to becoming a top global destination for fashion.

Cathy Beaudoin, president of Amazon Fashion, described the new facility to WWD as a "center for excellence" when it comes to fashion imagery, adding that "Fashion is one of the fastest-growing businesses" at the site. Of course, that includes Shopbop and Myhabit, which Amazon owns. “New York is a magnet for talent — models, photographers, digitech people, hair and makeup stylists,” Beaudoin said (Amazon is based in Seattle).

Beaudoin boasted to the trade about Amazon's wide assortment of brands and categories "from traditional iconic brands such as Levi’s and Pendleton to advanced contemporary," but is it too wide? Our issue with Amazon has always been its overwhelmingly vast inventory and the difficulties of navigating through it. Beaudoin admitted that "Our challenge is to help the customer quickly navigate” through the offerings.

One thing they're looking at doing is "new sites or areas within Amazon Fashion" that address different customers' needs. One could even be a high-end fashion site. “Stay tuned,” Beaudoin said regarding that possibility. They're also focusing on innovation in mobile and social shopping.

Another of Amazon's next moves could involve what many retailers do to ramp up their fashion cred and create buzz: designer collaborations. We’re open to designer collaborations,” she said. “There’s none in the pipeline at the moment. Or at least none that we’re ready to talk about.”

We're not sure we're ready to accept Amazon as the next Net-a-Porter, but the possibility of designer collaborations, as ubiquitous as they've become, does have us intrigued.