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Shopbop to Unveil Men’s Site

Slated for launch next year, the site is yet another sign that Amazon is determined to become a dominant player in fashion.

Shopbop will unveil a men’s wear Web site next year, in yet another sign that Amazon is determined to become a dominant player in fashion.

This story first appeared in the November 15, 2012 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

Amazon purchased Shopbop in 2006. In 2011, Amazon launched MyHabit, a members-only flash-sale site, and this year kept the fashion momentum going by being a cosponsor of the Costume Institute gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, aggressively marketing fashion on New York taxicab tops and with in-cab videos, as well as opening a photo studio in Williamsburg, Brooklyn for fashion shoots for all of its sites.

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Shopbop specializes in contemporary women’s fashions.  The Shopbop men’s site will also focus on contemporary fashion, as well as advanced contemporary and denim labels, possibly with brands such as Rag & Bone and Alexander Wang. Designer could be part of the mix too. “There will be an appropriate mix of designer that works for this ‘cool’ guy,” a Shopbop spokeswoman said. Apparel, shoes and accessories will comprise the bulk of the mix, and consumers will be able to shop by outfit, category, brand, fit or style.

The Shopbop men’s site will launch in the back half of 2013 and will be completely separate from the women’s site, though it will be easy to toggle between the two. “The men’s site will be both approachable and serve as a destination to educate and engage guys on fashion and style,” said the Shopbop spokeswoman. “While others are serving the fashion converted or the super straightforward, we believe there is an opportunity to serve the guys who live in between these polarities.”

Shopbop men’s will present large images and product videos, shops-in-shop with curated assortments, 24-7 customer service, a fully translated Mandarin Web site and free worldwide three-day shipments, including free domestic returns. There will also be personalized e-mails when specific items arrive on the site, and for recommending products based on a customer’s buying history. The men’s site will be run by the same leaders supervising Shopbop women’s, though the company is in the process of hiring a men’s buying team.

“We have been asked for years by our customer and the industry to launch men’s,” said the spokeswoman. “Men’s wear is a natural progression.” The site will mirror “the look and feel” of the original Shopbop site, founded 12 years ago in Madison, Wisc.