A New Venture for Amazon

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Just when you thought Amazon couldn’t expand any more, it’s moved its way into the fashion industry, and it’s not being quite about it. In July this year, Amazon Fashion opened a large photography studio in London to add more than 500,000 images of clothing to its site. For a while now, Amazon have sold clothes from brands ranging from Ralph Lauren to New Look, but they are now creating their very own, private label fashion brand.

Amazon have partnered with acclaimed photographer Rankin, featuring an albino model, a plus-size activist, blogger “London Tall Girl” and ordinary women who had posted messages on social media about their body insecurities. ‘I Wish I Could Wear’ is the first European campaign Amazon Fashion have released and is about having the confidence to wear what you love, regardless of your weight, height or the colour of your skin. Inspiration for the advert came from seeing women on Twitter saying they didn’t have the confidence to wear certain things, so they were invited down to star in the video alongside the models. The campaign is reaching out to those who feel excluded from the fashion industry for whatever reason, and encourages them to feel empowered by their differences.

According to Buzzfeed, Jeff Yurcisn, VP of clothing at Amazon Fashion and CEO of Amazon’s Shopbop unit, said that “For Amazon, we know our customers love brands…when we see gaps, when certain brands have actually decided for their own reasons not to sell with us, our customer still wants a product like that”. This means, essentially, that if a brand doesn’t want to sell its products on Amazon, they could sell their own alternative under a different name. Amazon has a reputation for selling for low prices and low margins, and this isn’t the only time Amazon have ventured into private label brands. AmazonBasics is a collection of “basic” electronic items such as USB cables, batteries and chargers, as well as Pinzon which deals in home and kitchen items. Many say that venturing into private label fashion is a risky move, it’s crowded and incredibly competitive, though Amazon is in prime position to make their move inside the arena. With so many purchases made on Amazon every day, they have an unbelievable amount of data on each of their customers, including what they search for that is not available on their site, giving them a huge advantage as to what their customers want to see on their site.

The models and ordinary women who took part in the I Wish I Could Wear campaign

It all sounds very fantastic, but is it? Since Amazon has become the giant that it is, we’ve seen more and more independent stores close due to their inability to compete with Amazon prices. We’ve all been guilty of finding something in a shop then looking it up on Amazon when we get home to see if it’s cheaper. Will we do the same to our favourite high street fashion stores? Sure, we all have our own style, but if Amazon focus on general fashion trends then there’s nothing to say people will be turning their back on high street stores in favour of Amazon fashion. There’s only one way to find out the answer to this question and that’s to wait and see. You can watch more videos on the making of the I Wish I Could Wear campaign here

feature image: REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett

Holly Martin

[email protected]

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