Last week ended the 23rd edition of Tokyo Fashion Week and thus Amazon’s latest fashion-related venture. The Japanese subsidiary of the US online retail giant outbraked Mercedes Benz by wrapping up a strategic deal to sponsor Tokyo Fashion Week over a not refined “multiyear” time frame. The duration along with the financial details of the headline sponsorship have not been disclosed.
Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder and chief executive, has long seen a presence in the apparel market as critical to achieve the company’s long-term goal to generate $200 billion in sales. First started with a fashion advertisement in 2012, the online retailer has made ever since a series of moves that go far beyond print advertising: A sponsorship of the Met Gala in 2012, followed by the opening of two photo studios in London and New York in 2013 and 2015, respectively, peaking in various Fashion Week sponsorships of New York (Men), India and Tokyo. “Our objective is to offer Amazon customers the fashion brands they want. Part of delivering on our promise for great selection is through our commitment to the fashion industry and fostering new designers, including giving them the opportunity to take advantage of Amazon’s marketplace”, said James Peter, Amazon fashion vice president.
Even if the e-commerce offerings in apparel are constantly growing and basic items like socks and shirts might be already top sellers on Amazon, it’s questionable if the platform will ever be associated with a shopping destination for designer dresses and handbags. However, getting consumers to buy high-end fashion goods on the marketplace is just one small piece of the company’s wider fashion strategy. The company is close to put “Global Supply Chain by Amazon” into motion – an aspiration that’s set to disrupt the fashion industry like never before.