Amazon Fashion named Muge Erdirik Dogan president on Wednesday, bringing a fresh set of tech- and style-savvy eyes to one of the industry’s most important businesses.
Dogan takes over from Christine Beauchamp, who took leadership of the fashion business in 2017 and has now been promoted to be head of the company’s consumer categories in North America.
Beauchamp’s new role has her overseeing Amazon Fashion, beauty, home, toys, electronics and sporting goods while continuing on as a member of Amazon’s senior leadership team — the s-team.
Amazon is the dominant e-commerce company in the U.S. and much of the world, delivering more than a billion fashion, home electronics, beauty and personal care products and toys to customers worldwide over the holiday season.
But it is a sprawling empire — ranging from video production to merchandise sales to last-mile delivery and web services. Revenues tallied $386 billion last year and produced profits of $21.3 billion.
It can be hard to get an independent read on the fashion business from outside the ecosystem, but is more of a force of nature in the apparel industry instead of just another competitor.
The company has long worked to bring brands into the fold to sell on its marketplace, but the dynamic has yet to solidify amidst the pandemic and many retailers are doubling down on their own web businesses, which have been on fire with traffic down in stores.
It is not clear just where Dogan intends to steer the business, but she brings 13 years experience as an “Amazonian,” the term Jeff Bezos, the company’s founder and outgoing chief executive officer, uses to describe employees.
Dogan’s LinkedIn profile and her experience, including her run at Amazon beauty, show an unusual range for a budding fashion titan.
She was head of her class while receiving a master’s degree in chemical engineering from Bosphorus University in Istanbul, focusing her thesis on “Heat and Power Integration for Heat Exchanger Networks.” And then she earned a Ph.D. in mathematical modeling, optimization from Carnegie Mellon in 2007 before jumping into the decidedly high-tech and disruptive Amazon.
“I am looking forward to building upon the incredible work that has been done in this dynamic category under the leadership of Christine Beauchamp, and eager to leverage her guidance along with my experience in retail, technology and innovation,” Dogan said.
Dogan has been in the fashion spotlight before and played a key role in Amazon’s efforts to draw brands to the e-commerce giant in other categories.
At a WWD Summit in 2016, when Dogan was general manager of Amazon Beauty, she noted: “Can the online experience preserve the brand equity — the brand equity so many of you worked so hard to build? Does the online space apply to beauty? Is the beauty customer online and is she shopping for beauty products online today? The answer to all three is yes.”
Those questions all continue to be relevant for fashion at Amazon, which is now looking to draw designer fashion brands to its new luxury platform while competitors, such as Farfetch, gain speed.
More from WWD:
Farfetch Prepares to Turn On With Tmall