Monday 23 March 2015

Amazon to take haute couture to streets with clothing store launch

In a bid to move deeper into the apparel business, online marketplace Amazon has launched a designer clothing store. It has partnered with the Fashion Design Council of India ( FDCI) to pick talent from fashion schools, as well as established designers to sell on the portal.

"Fashion is one of our top three categories on Amazon and the challenge is to keep up with the growth," said Vikas Purohit, head of fashion at Amazon India. Amazon says its fashion business has grown fourfold in  .. 

three months.

"There is an ecosystem of graduates from schools like NIFT (National Institute of Fashion Technology), who can't afford to buy a shop or invest in rentals. A lot of dreams die there. We are giving these designers a platform for their work and only charge a commission based on sale."

The company is sponsoring the India Fashion Week, which begins on March 27 in Delhi. "We have shared data with our designer sellers to help them create products targeted to a wider audience," Purohit said.

The online store will be launched with about 20 designers.

It hopes to ramp up the number to more than 100 in a few months. "FDCI is helping us scout for new talent," he said.

The launch of an online designer store by Amazon would give "a much-needed shot in the arm" to the industry, said designer Rajesh Pratap Singh. "This association is bound to further expose designers and craftsmen to the strengths and realities of doing business in the digital world

With fashion being the largest and the fastest growing category in Indian ecommerce, top marketplaces are heavily investing in boosting this high-margin business to reach profitability soon.

Last month, said it bought, a site that sells designer brands, to strengthen its fashion business.

India's biggest marketplace, Flipkart, already owns fashion-focussed Myntra. Lifestyle portal Jabong is backed by Rocket Internet. 

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