By Vanessa Friedman
Finally, Jeff Bezos is really in fashion. On Thursday, Amazon rode to the rescue of the beleaguered U.S. industry — or at least one particularly challenged and particularly notable subsection: independent high-end designers.
Along with Vogue and the Council of Fashion Designers of America, the e-commerce giant announced the unveiling of “Common Threads: Vogue x Amazon Fashion,” a new storefront featuring 20 buzzy creative names, including Batsheva Hay, Brock Collection, 3.1 Phillip Lim and Edie Parker.
“I’m thrilled to announce this partnership and want to thank Amazon Fashion, not only for its generous support of ‘A Common Thread,’ but also for so quickly sharing its resources to aid American designers affected by the pandemic,” said Anna Wintour, editor-in-chief of Vogue and Condé Nast’s artistic director.
“While there isn’t one simple fix for our industry, which has been hit so hard, I believe this is an important step in the right direction.”
The move will create a new outlet for brands that are at risk of bankruptcy after COVID-19 forced the closing of the stores that sell them, resulting in canceled orders and piles of unsold stock. Even luxury e-tailers like Net-a-Porter have had to close their warehouses.
But it also positions Amazon, which may be the largest fashion retailer in the United States but is often seen as, if not an enemy, at least a questionable suitor when it comes to the designer world, as its white knight. And the move gives Bezos a certain sway over a community that, until now, was largely suspicious of him.
But the ethos of Amazon — “the everything store” — has never mixed well with that of the fashion week flock, which may b