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Amazon Launches Own Athletic Apparel Line, Bids to Buy American Apparel

As secretly as all else has gone with Amazon Fashion, the company looks set to launch its own athletic wear line but hasn’t said a word about it.

Amazon has, however, posted three separate jobs on Dec. 20 looking for one brand manager and two senior brand managers for Amazon Active Apparel. The senior brand manager posting appeals to candidates interested in helping “build authentic activewear private label brands that have compelling and unique DNA and deliver amazing consumer valued innovation.”

The person who takes on the role will create activewear assortments across Amazon’s factory direct and/or outsourced product development business models, according to the posting.

Analysts have already said they expect Amazon to become the No. 1 apparel retailer this year, so the activewear line is just the latest move in that direction. As of September, Morgan Stanley ranked Amazon No. 2 in terms of apparel market share.

Last month Amazon launched Buttoned Down, a private-label line of men’s dress shirts with as many as 72 size combinations for more precise fit. The shirts are all made of 100 percent Supima cotton and sell for either $39 or $49. The new, unannounced activewear line and Buttoned Down follow Amazon’s also quiet launch of a slew of other private label lines, including womenswear lines Lark & Ro and Society New York, and men’s suiting and sportcoats under the Franklin Tailored line.

Amazon says on its site, “Amazon Fashion and its sister site Shopbop are experiencing explosive growth, and we’re seeking entrepreneurial professionals to help build the next iteration in fashion e-commerce.” The company currently has 98 open jobs posted for its Fashion business.

In other Amazon news, its looks like the e-commerce company may have a bid in to buy bankrupt American Apparel.

Both Amazon and Forever 21 are reportedly weighing offers to acquire American Apparel, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters Wednesday.

The bids would have to beat Gildan’s $66 million offer, which American Apparel already agreed to. The deal with Gildan would see the T-shirt company acquiring American Apparel’s assets and intellectual property rights, though Gildan said it would purchase American Apparel’s inventory separately.

If American Apparel came under Amazon, it could serve to further fuel Amazon’s foray into apparel.