The Amazon Effect: Fashion Edition

The Amazon Effect: Fashion Edition

Amazon has been plotting to take over the Earth (and space!) for a while now. From the way we purchase groceries to the way we turn on our lights in our home, Amazon has seeped into our everyday lives. The marketplace has imparted a certain kind of convenience into the lives of those who consume their products and services. This in turn, has given it its power. In the past couple of years Amazon began their foray into fashion. So now we’re taking a look at the timeline of their takeover, where it began and where it is going.

Amazon’s Humble beginnings 

Amazon started its private-label venture into fashion in 2016. This is when they developed product offerings for men, women and children. Later in 2017, they added intimates and accessories to their product categories. In addition, they started their own production which turned them into a vertically integrated production house. Then, they received approval for their own patent on a manufacturing system that will create apparel on demand once an order is placed. The patent includes the system that will prints textiles, cut the fabric and assemble the garments. The finishing touches are completed through an assembly line and ends with taking the product photo.

While the on-demand service has not commenced, but is sure to be an industry disruptor, Amazon is doing that on its own. It made waves mid-2017 by announcing it would start its own private-label athleisure lines. To get athletic wear brands shaking in their boots, Amazon has recruited help from some of the largest suppliers of athletic apparel. To give weight to the impact of the recruit, they are getting assistance from Makalot Industrial Co, the manufacturing brains behind Gap Inc., Uniqlo and Kohl’s Corp.

Destination takeover?

Amazon Fashion has shown incredible success in the more “everyday essentials” or basics across all categories. But, there is no rest for Jeff Bezos and his empire. Per CNBC, it was reported that the marketplace will keep innovating in creating the ideal hassle-free shopping experience. This includes but is not limited to: payments, order fulfillment, product search, return policy and the Amazon Wardrobe subscription service.

Like the Whole Foods acquisition, there is talk over purchasing specialty or department stores. Those that have filed for bankruptcy such as BCBG, True Religion, amongst others, are those that could be Amazon’s for the taking. In fact, it’s more about the accumulation of real estate in the form of these storefronts that Amazon is looking for. Ironically, the online marketplace that has been putting brick and mortar stores out of business left and right is looking to attain them.

From basics to buying buildings, Amazon is taking on apparel one day at a time. While their share of the market is still relatively small, they have grown their presence in the sector at impressive speed. That being said, what does this mean for the competition, consumers and fashion as a whole? Only time will tell.


Author: Christine Duff

Christine wants to live in a world filled with cutting edge fashion, beautiful words and and an endless supply of leather jackets and boots. A product development grad of FIDM, she was the Editor-in-Chief of MODE Magazine where she reignited her love of storytelling. She has diverse experience within the industry with trend research, art direction and styling editorial spreads. She gained her most notable experience working in Los Angeles at the satellite operation for GQ and Vogue Thailand. Christine is passionate about social science and the role it plays in the consumer goods industry and apparel in particular.