Amazon Fashion’s first Innovation Award winner doesn’t even sell in the e-commerce giant’s store.
Kim Kardashian’s fast-growing Skims brand walked away with the inaugural honor presented with the CFDA to recognize “fashion visionaries” disrupting the industry. The size-inclusive shapewear startup was valued at $3.2 billion earlier this year after raising $240 million in a series B, quickly vaulting the lounge and underthings seller into unicorn territory little more than three years after it sold out in a matter of hours on launch day.
Though Ye’s ex-wife might serve as the face of the startup she co-founded, Skims has a pair of powerhouse brand builders buoying its success. Co-founder Jens Grede is half of the brains behind Frame denim as well as Brady, the men’s wear upstart that NFL star Tom Brady is putting together to challenge Rhone, Under Armour and more. Emma Grede, a founding partner in Skims, is no slouch either as the creative force behind another Kardashian-fronted brand—Good American—where she’s worked with Khloe to help the L.A. denim label make inclusive sizing the norm.
In a statement, the trio thanked Amazon Fashion and CFDA “for acknowledging our efforts in the industry as we continue to innovate to find solutions for all customers.”
CFDA CEO Steven Kolb credited the Skims leaders for “pioneer[ing] new technology in the process of reinventing the concept of solutions-oriented shapewear.”
“Together with our CFDA Fashion Awards partner Amazon Fashion, which is a continuous innovator on behalf of customers, the CFDA is incredibly proud to honor Skims with the inaugural Innovation Award,” he said.
Skims has sought to carve out a niche separate from the likes of shapewear titan Spanx by inserting itself into the high-fashion conversation. Stocked by premium retailers from Nordstrom and Net-a-Porter to Selfridges, Harrods and Galleries Lafayette, the Culver City, Calif.-based company chased clout with a Fendi collab that reportedly took home $1 million seconds after it dropped nearly a year ago.
The digital native has also worked hard on delivering a seamless behind-the-scenes experience. Autonomous mobile robots from Locus quickly fulfill e-commerce orders at a Radial warehouse in Illinois. Customers with an L.A. zip code can get a small selection of Skims products delivered within two hours.
Next up for Skims could be new exposure and reach through Amazon’s fashion-focused storefront.
Amazon Fashion president Muge Erdirik Dogan pointed to the like-minded ethos that Skims and the digital juggernaut share.
“Similarly to how we work at Amazon Fashion, Skims works backward from the customers’ latent needs to innovate on their behalf and provide the solutions they’re seeking, to make shopping easier and more delightful,” she said. “We look forward to this year’s CFDA Fashion Awards and to continue our joint mission with the CFDA to champion American talent.”
The 2022 CFDA Fashion Awards in Partnership with Amazon Fashion will be co-hosted by high-profile designers Joseph Altuzarra, Gabriela Hearst, Aurora James, and Proenza Schouler creatives Lazaro Hernandez and Jack McCollough at a Nov. 7 ceremony at Manhattan’s Cipriani South Street at Casa Cipriani.