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Amazon forays into fashion world
05
Apr '16
Courtesy: Amazon
Courtesy: Amazon
Global e-commerce major Amazon has been testing the water for some time now to position itself as a big player in the ready-to-wear fashion world.

Its recent steps signal that Amazon is speeding up its foray into fashion, according to an AFP report.

Amazon launched a daily, free half-hour online show on fashion in early March, its first-ever live-streaming programme.

It also became the main partner of the fledgling New York Men's Fashion Week, which held its second season of shows in January.

Amazon has also begun airing "The Fashion Fund," a reality show during which young designers face off against each other in a competition sponsored by the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) that organizes New York Fashion Week.

As for its more muted moves -- these are visible on Amazon.com where new fashion labels have popped up that have been trademarked by the tech giant.

The labels Lark & Ro, North Eleven and Franklin Tailored have been registered by Amazon over the past few months.

After focusing on clothes designed, made and sold by others, Amazon is developing its own clothing lines.

But Amazon has declined to comment on its fashion foray.

"I'm happy to reach out once we are ready to share news and overall strategy regarding our business," said a spokeswoman for Amazon Fashion.

"Amazon has made apparel a priority," analysts with KeyBanc Capital Markets wrote in a February research note after attending the MAGIC apparel trade show in Las Vegas.

"Amazon is being viewed as a strategic opportunity and partner" in the vendor community they wrote, with some believing that "it can be a top three customer for them in the medium-term."

Customers appear to like what's in the works.

"There's... the ability to have the world at your fingertips in one place," said Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst at the NPD Group.

"Brand sites or traditional retail sites have limited offerings. Whereas when you look at Amazon, the offer of products is mind boggling," he added.

"The ability to reach across so many brands, so many styles, so many sizes, so many options, it gives a feeling of much greater opportunity to secure the product that you want."

According to Cohen, Amazon has the potential to make a significant mark on the fashion world.

 "There's plenty of opportunity to better what has been done by the fashion industry, from a basic, and also midlevel and even from a designer perspective," he said.

Analysts at the Cowen Group said in July that they expected Amazon to become the leading US apparel retailer by 2017, ahead of Wal-Mart and Macy's.

They forecast $27.7 billion in revenue next year and $52 billion in 2020 -- and that in the US alone. (SH)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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