Jason Del Rey

Recent Posts by Jason Del Rey

About That Model Bringing It on Amazon’s Homepage

For better or worse, Amazon is serious about its fledgling high-end fashion business.

Case in point: The Amazon.com homepage today.

When I visited it earlier today, I was greeted* with an animated image, prominently featured in the middle of the screen, of a pretty woman modeling a dress.

Later, she occupied a smaller part of the homepage, as seen in the clip I captured below, which only shows about half of her routine:

No big deal, right? Maybe not. But I think it is a telling signal of the lengths the company seems to be willing to go to to promote and draw attention to its higher-end offering, which launched last year with full-price clothing from brands such as Michael Kors and Vivienne Westwood. Today, it features clothing from other contemporary companies, such as Joe’s Jeans.

In an interview last year with AllThingsD, CEO Jeff Bezos said that this category, and the way it appears digitally, was top of mind.

“A lot of my time these days is spent on things like apparel, because I think there’s a tremendous amount of invention going on there, especially in the Web presentation of apparel,” Bezos said at the time.

When the business launched, there were doubts that high-end designers would want their wares hawked on a website whose appearance left something to be desired. But now, Amazon.com/Fashion feels decidedly un-Amazon-ian, as does its Pinterest-like “Collections” section.

The company opened up its own photo studio space for the division in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, and is hiring for new positions on a seemingly weekly basis, according to its jobs board.

Whether this will translate into a significant and profitable business for Amazon remains to be seen. If it doesn’t, it won’t be for lack of investment and promotion.

* Since Amazon.com is often personalized based on a user’s shopping habits, it’s likely that some people won’t see the same animated image. I’m assuming I did because my wife often shops from my account.

Latest Video

View all videos »

Search »

The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald