Since it’s taken hold in almost every aspect of our lives, I guess it is no shock at all that Amazon has now got into fashion. Judging by the photo on the home page, this is not a particularly radical look (rather like the top half of an outfit a character might wear in a movie about golf in the 1930s, in fact) but if the impact is anything like the one Amazon has had on the way we buy books, for example, then it may end up being beyond radical. As you will realise, it’s not like clothing shops on the high street have been tearing up any trees lately. The owners tearing out their own hair, on the other hand, is a distinct likelihood.
The layout of the first page on the website is pretty basic. For example – ‘Savings on Women’s Fashion: Tops under £30 Jeans under £50’ on the one hand and ‘Savings on Men’s Fashion: Boots under £60 Watches under £50’ on the other. I’m not sure if Amazon has conducted a great deal of research or set up a few focus groups in order to determine that tops and jeans are the main go-to items for women and boots and watches are the equivalent for men, but given that Amazon is a relentlessly successful capitalist enterprise, I’m figuring the decisions have not all been inspired by guesswork.
Scrolling through the items on the site, perhaps the most arresting image is of five Jeasona socks described as ‘cotton cute animals funny funky novelty gifts for women’. These are five pairs of socks bearing cat faces in five different colours: grey, blue, orange, pink and white. In the remote possibility that you’re interested, these sell for ‘£10.19 and under’. Yep, good luck with getting in excess of £10.20 for those.
As for those men/women shopping categories, I’m not sure they are always relevant. A couple of years ago I bought a pair of sunglasses for driving; that is, I had an ordinary pair of spectacles fitted with lenses designed to help me see better when looking into the distance. I decided to get a pair for driving when it’s sunny. The assistant showed me a range of frames I could choose from. I selected a pair of green ones which I particularly liked, whereupon he said: “Actually, those are for women.” So what, I thought. Who cares? I bought them.