As of 2016, Amazon was already the largest clothing seller online, and swiftly slated to overtake most of its brick-and-mortar rivals in fashion sales, as well. For the most part, that clothing consisted of products coming from third party brands; until now. Amazon is taking on the likes of Spanish fast fashion giant Zara – the biggest fashion retailer in the world – with the launch of “Find.” its in-house label, which consists of a 500-piece womenswear collection and 200 additional menswear styles.
Clearly seeking to tap into the appeal of an array of high fashion labels (for a fraction of the cost), Find. takes inspiration from the likes of the fashion industry’s most in-demand brands, including Vetements, Balenciaga, Off-White, and Celine.
“The opportunity to build a new business is exciting. We don’t have the hangover of physical retail or have history, so we have to make our own history,” Frances Russell, vice president of Amazon’s own label, told the Telegraph. “The brand’s not going to happen overnight, not every piece is going to be absolutely perfect but we will just keep listening to customers.”
For the past year, Russell and her team have been analyzing customer data and Amazon clothing reviews and studying fashion trends to put together a womenswear collection.
“We are used to taking catwalk or street-style inspiration, and the beauty of Amazon is that we can mine customer feedback for what customers like and don’t like and what they buy,” says Glen George, a former buyer for Primark, who has also been integral in helping to create Amazon’s debut womenswear collection.
According to the Telegraph, “What might surprise the fashion industry is that Amazon’s collection isn’t a bargain-basement attempt to undercut rivals on the price of basic T-shirts. Instead it is challenging rivals with more fashion-forward items: patent boots cost £56 ($72), high-waisted skinny jeans are priced at £26 ($34), while a checked blazer is £40 ($52).”
All signs have been pointing to Amazon – which is projected to become the U.S.’s biggest apparel retailer in 2017, with sales climbing 30 percent to $28 billion – ramping up its efforts when it comes to fashion. It has eight brands already in development within its private-label stable, and has begun tapping influencers to help it promote those products. It is bringing fashion brands on board to officially partner on its site and recently launched an app – a mix between Instagram and Pinterest – to push its fashion offerings even further.
Find., which has launched exclusively in the United Kingdom, joins the July launch of The Fix, Amazon’s own trend-specific shoe and bag brand that is being made available exclusively for its Prime customers.
Katie Dimmock, director of Amazon Fashion, said earlier this summer that “trend-obsessed” shoppers are exactly who Amazon is targeting. “[Amazon Fashion] respond to the trends that [the customer] responds to—because of all the growth that’s happening with Amazon Fashion in general, we’re having this conversation with her… [and we can] respond to trends that she’s loving, give her more of them, and give her options at a great price point.”
If any company can give Zara – whose parent company Inditex is the largest apparel retailer in the world – a run for its money, it is Amazon, with its 244 million active users and estimated 80 million Prime members; with 40 percent of the latter spending over $1,000 a year on Amazon.
Prime has been extremely successful not only in generating subscription renewals but getting shoppers to spend more with Amazon – now it is adding fast fashion to the mix. With other new projects – such as the Echo Look, which leverages the camera technology of new Echo devices to allow consumers to virtually try on clothes before purchasing them – and Amazon’s efforts to lure third party brands, such as Nike, the company is working to make sure we only go to one site to purchase anything, including garments and accessories.
Watch. This. Space. This is the future.