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Amazon is forging ahead with plans for a luxury brand platform, with the first of a dozen international accessories and ready-to-wear labels opening shops on the site as fashion show season kicks off in September, WWD has learned.
The labels, which hail from Europe and the U.S., will operate their own concessions on the site with a business model that’s more similar to the Farfetch marketplace than Net-a-porter or Matchesfashion.
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The platform will be launched in the U.S. initially, and Amazon has been working directly with the brands’ U.S. offices and subsidiaries. Dany Keirouz, head of brands relations and development at Amazon Fashion, is understood to be heading up the project, according to a market source.
Asked about the platform, an Amazon spokeswoman said the company “can’t comment on rumors or speculation.” Keirouz did not return a request for comment.
As WWD reported in January, Amazon planned to unveil the concessions-based luxury platform in the spring, but because of the coronavirus quarantines, the launch was pushed to September.
Amazon is understood to be giving the brands full control over the look and feel of their virtual stores, allowing them to sell as much as they please, control when or if they go on markdown, and — crucially — leverage Amazon’s speedy delivery and customer service platform.
As reported, sources said a sprawling warehouse is being built in Arizona to accommodate the platform, while a $100 million marketing campaign is in the works.
According to multiple sources, Amazon also plans to work with these brands on TV, film and streaming projects going forward.
The 12 launch brands are understood to be higher-end than those involved in the Common Threads: Vogue x Amazon Fashion initiative supported by the Council of Fashion Designers of America.
The Common Threads/Amazon Fashion project was formed specifically to boost designers’ sales during the pandemic. Those taking part in that program include Anna Sui, Thakoon, Tabitha Simmons, Derek Lam and Batsheva.
Although the two projects are separate, both are part of Amazon’s wider push into fashion and luxury.
Amazon is also understood to be working with a selection of London Fashion Week designers on another, sustainability related, commercial project that will be revealed next month ahead of the shows.
Since 2012, Amazon has put fashion at the top of the agenda, shifting from one approach to another looking for an opening, testing and iterating, buying companies, launching brands, mashing up trends and formats, moving ahead with some while abandoning others.
In Europe, however, it has met with resistance — at least on the luxury end.
Nearly two years ago, according to sources, Amazon suggested that multibrand retailers set up online shops to sell designer and luxury goods, but the idea never came to fruition.