Amazon’s fashion ambitions may be expanding as the company appears to be preparing to produce its own line of workout clothes.
Amazon posted a trio of job listings in late December for brand managers and senior brand managers working on “Amazon Active Apparel.” The listings, first spotted by Recode, indicate that Amazon is just getting started in this business as most of the duties relate to creating strategies for a stable of private label activewear brands to succeed.
“The candidate will collaborate with leadership to build authentic activewear private label brands that have compelling and unique DNA and deliver amazing consumer valued innovation,” according to a senior brand manager posting. “The ideal candidate will provide strategic vision and develop short and long term initiatives to deliver explosive, sustainable growth.”
Activewear is a pretty broad term, and the postings don’t make it clear which direction the company will go. Will Amazon target hardcore gym rats? Or maybe it is looking at the massive “athleisure” trend, which the New York Times pegged as a $97 billion market last year.
It has become very fashionable to incorporate athletic gear into every day outfits suitable for everything from going out on the town to heading into the office. Some of the top fashion designers in the world now make workout clothes. Amazon’s own activewear retail portal for women has a section titled “gym to brunch.”
The athleisure craze has become so ubiquitous that the term is now in Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary, but it’s possible the athletic apparel industry could be headed for a slowdown. For one, the market is getting pretty saturated. A quick internet search shows that beyond the biggest brands like Nike, Under Armour and Lululemon, many retailers make their own in-house athletic gear.
Regardless of what happens to the athletic apparel market, Amazon is going big on clothing. One report predicted that this year Amazon will become the biggest seller of clothing in the U.S., outpacing department store competitors. It would make sense for Amazon to include its own private label brands in that equation.
In February, Amazon quietly added close to 2,000 fashion products under seven trademarked labels. That same week, the third season of the designer competition show “The Fashion Fund” debuted on Amazon. It marked the first time Amazon Video hosted an ad-supported show and integrated options to buy items seen in the series directly on the streaming page.