Amazon is known for its experimentation in the physical and retail world. With their wide selection of offerings, the powerhouse brand has also made waves in the fashion industry, too.
While Amazon may not be consumer’s first choice for fashion finds, it’s surely an option that offers a wide variety of brands – high end, low end and everything in between. Amazon also carries many of their own private label fashion brands and offers “prime wardrobe” which allows customers to be sent clothing items and later decide if they want to purchase them.
Going one step further into the fashion industry, Amazon’s Prime Video released a reality TV series called “Making the Cut” this past spring. Similar to “Rent the Runway” the show featured various designers who competed head-to-head in competitions to test their abilities and bring their fashion brands to the next level.
The winner of the fashion reality competition series, Jonny Cota, was given a chance to officially launch his collection with Amazon and a hefty $1 million prize. Cota introduced the “Metamorphosis” collection on Amazon in April. Now, he will be opening a brick-and-mortar location in Downtown LA on Aug. 1 to exclusively carry pieces from that collection.
Cota recently shared with Women’s Wear Daily his thoughts on the Amazon mentorship, the future of the fashion industry and his plans with brick-and-mortar retail. Cota strives to convey authenticity through both his clothing and brand. He realizes that consumers these days crave more realness in retailers they follow, which sometimes Amazon lacks.
“Customers today are responding more to a lifestyle element, the way things are shot, getting rid of the white background, showing a little more realness, and Amazon is not there. Right now, guidelines are very strict, every background needs to be white, there can’t be a single accessory unless the thing is sold in the photo. This caters to an Amazon customer, but fashion people are not resonating with that. So I’m hoping there is a middle ground that’s found. And I feel like I’m the guinea pig to see how you court that customer, and show lifestyle but while still selling them a denim jacket,” Cota said.
He hopes to attract customers by crafting an omnichannel approach in-store — letting them use their phones as a guide to see different styles on models and then add them to their digital cart that can be fulfilled on-site. Cota is using a similar technique within his new brick and mortar store, having customers scan a QR code when they walk through the door that launches a welcome video by Cota himself.
Cota realizes the importance of having a one-to-one experience with customers as they walk in the door. He will be on-site to meet customers (safely at six feet) to help them with anything they need during the store’s opening week.
“Something I learned when we closed the Skingraft store on Spring Street in downtown L.A. is my presence is more necessary than I thought. I had a little ego about not being there, not being present, it’s kind of the fashion way….But I think the customer that visits Jonny Cota is going to appreciate my presence,” Cota said.
Cota plans to continue his partnership with Amazon past 2020 so he can continue to tell a story through his designs both in-store and online. His brick-and-mortar retail presence offers something different to shoppers that he hopes is getting conveyed the same online. However, true authenticity is sometimes difficult to convey through a computer screen.
“People are looking for something different; we are supplying that difference with the store, and hopefully we represent it powerfully enough online that you get the same sense as visiting,” Cota said.
Source: “Making the Cut” Winner, Amazon Fashion Mentorship – WWD
Photo Credit: “Making the Cut” Winner, Amazon Fashion Mentorship – WWD
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