Amazon is now selling its very own private-label clothing brands. You know, they’re making it really easy for irritated publishing folks to write dystopias where The Everything Store constitutes the entire economy.
WWD reported on this development a couple of weeks ago. Skipping any big to-d0, Amazon introduced Franklin & Freeman, Franklin Tailored, James & Erin, Lark & Ro, North Eleven, Scout + Ro, and Society New York. (All very tech-does-fashion names.) As Wired points out, Amazon can draw on all sorts of data to shape these lines and what they offer:
Amazon itself has alluded to the advantages of this data. “When we see gaps, when certain brands have decided for their own reasons not to sell with us, our customer still wants a product like that,” Jeff Yurcisin, vice president of Amazon Fashion, said in October during a fashion industry conference. If others won’t sell with Amazon, Amazon can just go around them and start making those clothes itself.
Elsewhere in the fashion tech world, Rent the Runway has also experimented with private label clothing—although of course, it’s a little more awkward when you’re trading on the “runway” image.
Amazon has been trying to carve out its own piece of the fashion business for quite some time now—you’ve probably seen some of those spare “Amazon Fashion” ads they’ve been running for a couple of years. The company also sponsored the new men’s edition of New York Fashion Week. And the Verge says they’re certainly doing a lot of business:
By next year, Amazon is expected to surpass Macy’s and become the top clothing seller in the US, according to Cowen and Company. The online shopping behemoth will most likely enjoy higher margins and profits with private labeling than it does being a front for big brands like Calvin Klein and Levi’s now.
But no matter how much anybody orders from Amazon, it’s not what anybody would consider a fashion destination. Scads of ailing and failed apparel businesses will attest that that’s the tricky part.
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Photos via Amazon.