The rumblings first started when Prime Wardrobe launched last summer, said to rival Stitch Fix’s fashion-on-demand offerings.
But Amazon Prime Stylist, as analyzed by Keybank Capital managing director Ed Yruma, seems to be a more direct challenger to the San Francisco-based fashion unicorn that went public in 2017.
For years Amazon has been trying to establish itself as a destination for fashion, with some success along the way. But a rash of issues hinders its progress in becoming a go-to source of style inspiration (and conversion), from counterfeiting run amok and questionable customer reviews to pervasive criticism over the site’s layout that prioritizes function over form (or in this case—fashion). Despite these efforts, most people still go to Amazon more for groceries and gadgets than they do guimpes and gowns.
In a research note from earlier this week covered by investment publication Barron’s, Yruma said that Amazon is testing a service that mixes the curatorial human touch with its signature wealth of data and artificial intelligence to style women in need of a little fashion help. Yruma said Prime Stylist represents a step up in Amazon’s merchandising game, which to date has been lacking. Aided by elevated visuals and photography and more creative storytelling—both classic hallmarks of the top fashion houses—Prime Stylist could finally give Amazon some real credibility within the fashion realm.
Prime Wardrobe allows shoppers to pick out multiple items of clothing and try them on at home before being charged for anything to decide to keep. That might be fine for a subset of consumers but Prime Stylist just might offer one of the things that fashion is known for: having a point of view.
Amazon declined to comment on Prime Stylist.