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Amazon.com is already a place where you can buy everything from books to DVDs to makeup. But the online retailer has hired a fashion director, and her job is to bring couture brands to the site. That director is Cathy Beaudoin, who previously created Piperlime. Beaudoin told the Financial Times that while haute couture is a departure for Amazon, who is normally all about the bargains, she's trying to carve out a place where shoppers feel comfortable buying designer clothes on the site.
The high-fashion section of Amazon will look a little different than the rest of the site. You won't get recommendations for cocktail dresses or ankle boots next to a Kitchenaid, for example. Instead, you'll get pictures of models that look like they could be cribbed from a magazine photoshoot.
But let's cut to the important part, which are the actual brands who've signed up to sell their wares on Amazon. So far there's Jack Spade, Trina Turk, and Scotch & Soda. Beaudoin also says she's "in talks" with Burberry, Coach, Ralph Lauren, Prada, and Gucci. One brand that definitely ISN'T interested is Louis Vuitton: the label is known for not even giving famous people free clothes, and they prefer to sell stuff on their own site and nowhere else. A few of the brands also have issues with the fact that their stuff is already being sold on Amazon by unlicensed third parties. Oops.
Will you buy a Burberry trench from Amazon? People thought Net-a-porter would never work, but Natalie Massenet is laughing all the way to the bank. When it comes to Amazon, we'll have to wait and see.
· Fashion tests Amazon mantra of low prices [FT]
· Piperlime On Why the Brand Went From E-Tail to Retail [Racked]