Amazon.com Inc., already a scourge to brick-and-mortar retailers, appears to be well on its way to vexing the next link in the apparel supply chain: the brands.The Seattle-based e-commerce giant has been putting out calls for apparel veterans to staff its Amazon Fashion Private Label team.One job listing that went up Friday said the company was looking for “an entrepreneurial, analytical and highly motivated [senior] sourcing manager to join our team to launch new high-quality products for our global customers.”The person hired will “drive the supplier selection process, negotiate contracts, and manage our portfolio of manufacturers on a global scale. They will be an expert at selecting factories across the globe that can reliably deliver products on spec at high quality levels and targeted costs.”That’s a change in tack for the company, which in fashion has been more of a platform for other brands to sell their goods. Amazon’s net sales jumped 20.2 percent to $107 billion last year, driving earnings of $596 million even as the company spent behind a host of initiatives to grab customers — from ultraspeedy delivery to downloadable TV shows.Amazon did not immediately return a query Monday on its ambitions for the private-label program. But the company already has a private-label business for electronics basics and has considered it for fashion as well.At the WWD CEO Summit last October, Jeff Yurcisin, who is vice president, clothing, Amazon Fashion and general manager and chief executive officer of Shopbop, noted that customers love brands, which account for the lion’s share of Amazon Fashion’s business.But he said that when certain brands decide not to sell on Amazon, the consumer still wants a similar product, opening opportunity for private label goods.If Amazon gets private label right and customers take to it, the effort could upend the business model of stores that surround their branded offerings with similar versions from their own lines, which yield a bigger chunk of profit margin.In its effort to jump deeper into the fashion business, Amazon is looking for people who fit its mold and ready to use data and to take sweeping action.The company, for instance, is also looking for someone to handle inventory planning who will "drive efficient use of Amazon’s capital through effective inventory management, vendor relationships, operational and supply-chain excellence. You will accomplish this by applying data-driven decisions, leading continuous process improvements, driving system and process automation with key internal teams….You will be a thought leader by influencing others to take action through scalable systems and processes, rather than just addressing issues.”Amazon is known for its hard-charging work environment.In August, the company came under the microscope of a New York Times exposé that put working conditions at the e-tailer in nearly Dickensian terms, describing a culture of relentlessly pushing forward and breaking with orthodoxy.Founder Jeff Bezos took issue with the article, noting it “prominently features anecdotes describing shockingly callous management practices….The article doesn’t describe the Amazon I know.”However, no one would dispute that Amazon is a fearsome competitor with the financial might and reach to remake whole industries, maybe even fashion.
To celebrate Pride 2018, @themarcjacobs released the #GratefulNotHateful campaign, a social media initiative aimed at extending Pride beyond the parade. Inspired by Jacobs’ everyday outlook, the campaign features Jacobs along with a group of models and social media stars who are members and supporters of the LGBT community, all seen wearing @marcbeauty’s Highliner Gel Eye Crayons in colors of the rainbow. Head to our Instagram stories to see close-ups of the liner. #wwdbeauty
Virgil Abloh’s dad Nee and Don Crawley, cofounder of RSVP Gallery, were some of the hometown crew at the Chicago-born designer’s debut show for Louis Vuitton. (📸: @jdiderich ) #wwdmens #louisvuitton #virgilabloh
About last night: @marycharteris and @adwoaaboah hit up Hyde Park for the Serpentine Galleries’ annual summer party held in partnership with @chanelofficial. Head to WWD.com to see more photos. #wwdfashion
“This is Paris, my first show. I’m all about democracy. If some kid shows up, flew from New Jersey to just be around, let’s get him a seat.” — @virgilabloh tells WWD’s @jdiderich ahead of his first show for @louisvuitton men’s. (📸: @alfredo_piola ) #wwdmens #virgilabloh #louisvuitton
“Kate Spade was a true fashion icon who brought joy to the lives of women around the world, and inspired women to live life to the fullest. We are dedicated to carrying on her legacy,” said Anna Bakst, brand president and chief executive officer of @katespadeny. The Kate Spade Foundation announced that it will be donating $1 million to suicide prevention and mental health awareness in tribute to the recent death of Kate Spade. Read more on WWD.com. #wwdnews (📷: @chinseephoto)
A first look at @virgilabloh’s sneakers for @louisvuitton. Abloh spoke to WWD about his debut collection for Louis Vuitton, creating @kendalljenner’s #metgala outfit and redefining the heritage brand. Read the full story on WWD.com. #wwdfashion 📷: @alfredo_piola)
The world’s largest producer of denim @iskodenim is sharing the strategy behind its product development process. Read our full interview with ISKO’s product development manager Baris Ozden on the company’s extensive research practices, upcoming denim trends and the latest material innovations on WWD.com. #iskodenim