TOKYO — Amazon has chosen the Japanese capital as the site for its largest photo studio in the world specifically dedicated to shooting fashion and accessory products. With a planned opening date of spring 2018, it will be the fourth Amazon Fashion studio worldwide.
The move marks the latest in a series of investments that the e-commerce giant has made both in the fashion business and in the Japanese market. James Peters, vice president of Amazon Fashion in Japan, said fashion is one of the company’s fastest-growing categories, both within Amazon worldwide and in Japan.
Since its launch a decade ago, Amazon Fashion has grown to become one of Japan’s largest fashion e-retailers. In the past two years the company has invested significantly in editorial, aiming to give the overall look and feel of the site a more fashion-forward appeal.
“Of course, we’re constantly innovating. We’re not happy with where we are, but we are doing a lot better than we used to,” Peters said. “What we’re trying to do at Amazon Fashion is remove barriers for our customers. And so we work backwards from what our customer wants and we try to fulfill their wishes.”
The executive elaborated on the point, adding that among the things customers want is a very wide selection of products, as well as imagery that shows as much detail as possible. Amazon Fashion currently carries thousands of brands and sells millions of products in Japan, numbers that are continually increasing.
Peters said Amazon is also committed to supporting the design community, which is one reason the company signed on as headlining sponsor of Tokyo Fashion Week just over a year ago. He said he hopes that besides using the new studio to shoot products for Amazon itself, others from the industry will also use the space.
The Tokyo studio will follow similar ones in Williamsburg, N.Y., London and Delhi. While currently the largest of those three is around 46,000 square feet, the Tokyo one will far surpass that, at over 80,700 square feet. It will be located in the Shinagawa Seaside area, and will include 11 still photography bays, five video bays, two editorial studios, as well as a hair and makeup area, library, lounge and meeting rooms.
Amazon Fashion currently operates a studio space in Tokyo but Peters said the company has outgrown it. And while it started shooting videos of all new shoe, jewelry and watch products a few months ago, it has been unable to do the same for clothing items.
“One of the reasons we’re excited about this new studio is it allows us to add video bays that will allow us to do things like dresses and other sorts of on-body apparel,” the executive said. “It’s kind of the same reason that the fashion industry has fashion shows — many times putting [the garment] on a static mannequin doesn’t give you a full understanding of what the designer was trying to achieve. And so by providing video for our customer we can show movement of the cloth and movement on body, which just helps remove a barrier of indecision and misunderstanding around the garment.”