As the fashion industry continues to face hardships spurred by the coronavirus pandemic, including bankruptcies and mass layoffs, luxury independent designers are among the hardest hit.
As brick-and-mortar shops remain closed, wholesale partners cancel orders and factories see minimal-to-zero production, many designers are faced with the potential of shuttering for good.
To help support members of the American fashion community, The Council of Fashion Designers of America and Vogue announced a fundraising initiative in March, called A Common Thread. Now, Vogue and the CFDA are taking that idea a step further by partnering with Amazon on an online digital storefront to help designers connect directly with consumers during this uncertain time.
Through the virtual shopping experience, Amazon Fashion customers are encouraged to support these independent designers who have been impacted by the pandemic. Tabitha Simmons, Chloe Gosselin, Batsheva, Derek Lam 10 Crosby, Jonathan Cohen, Phillip Lim and Victor Glemaud are among the designers being spotlighted on the platform. The goal is to generate sales for these businesses as well as brand awareness through Amazon’s wide customer base.
“I’m so excited to be a part of [this]. It highlights small, American independent designers, most of them are dear friends so it feels like a family project,” Gosselin told FN. “Vogue and the CFDA show amazing leadership in supporting its designers [and] recognizing our efforts to create unique and top quality product, to prioritize quality over quantity and to raise questions about sustainability and manufacturing. That’s really what I’m proud of.”
Starting today, the first wave of designer products will be available for purchase on Amazon Fashion. Twenty brands will feature for purchase their own edit of apparel and accessories from their spring collections. Each designer who is included in the storefront will also be able to set their own prices. More will be added over the weeks, according to Vogue.
Products include footwear, such as Tabitha Simmons’ Cleo flat sandal on sale for $172, Chloe Gosselin’s popular Celeste sandal for $765, and a Jonathan Cohen flip-flop, available for $35. Other items include, spring dresses, lounge-wear, handbags, sunglasses, hats and more.
For Amazon, this partnership is bringing the e-commerce giant one step closer to gaining a foothold in the luxury market, an apparent objective of the company, which has aggressively pursued fashion expansion for the past several years, albeit with mixed results. In addition to helping create the store, Amazon has also donated $500,000 to A Common Thread.