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Cathy Beaudoin

President of Fashion, Amazon

Cathy Beaudoin's Live Mosaic

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When Amazon chief executive Jeff Bezos announced in 2013 that the company was ready to make a "significant" investment in fashion under the name Amazon Fashion, Beaudoin was running Gap's Piperlime shoe site, which she co-founded. She told CNN Money, of her reaction to Bezos’ proposition, "It's was [a] no-brainer, as a customer, to buy everything on Amazon, but I had never bought clothing or shoes."

Recently, Amazon’s efforts to penetrate the fashion industry have stepped up — due in no small part to Beaudoin. Eschewing luxury retail — after comments made by analysts and executives at brands like Alexander Wang and Louis Vuitton that the website’s mass-market appeal is not the right platform for high-end fashion — under Beaudoin, Amazon Fashion has taken a more democratic positioning. She has concentrated on expanding its offering of contemporary, mid-range and denim brands, bringing labels like Theory, Levis and Michael Kors into the fold and improving the site’s front-end experience by opening creative studio spaces in Brooklyn and London.

Beaudoin has also built up the site’s credibility through strategic sponsorships. A two-season, seven-figure partnership with the CFDA saw Amazon sponsor the first ever New York Fashion Week: Men’s. The company also sponsored India Fashion Week and has been investing in industry talent — Beaudoin’s chief marketing officer is Jennie Perry, previously of Stride Right and Old Navy, and, for three years, the business employed Julie Gilhart , former fashion director of Barney’s, as a consultant.

Beaudoin is committed to a multi-channel approach for the site, telling WWD that Amazon Fashion’s offers an “immersive experience" comprised of editorial shoots, a wide range of brands and social platforms: "Because we know our customers are everywhere, consuming media across the board — online, media, print, TV or even two or three at once — we want to be where they are.”


Cambridge University

Cambridge University