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Cathy Beaudoin

Special Advisor, General Atlantic

When tasked with overseeing Amazon Fashion by Jeff Bezos, she successfully positioned the e-commerce behemoth within the fashion industry.


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."

Amazon’s efforts to penetrate the fashion industry have, in recent years, 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 took 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, hiring chief marketing officer Jennie Perry (previously of Stride Right and Old Navy ) and, for three years,  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" comprising editorial shoots and 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.”

In December 2017, Beaudoin joined growth equity firm General Atlantic as special advisor.


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What is The BoF 500?

The people shaping the global fashion industry, curated by the editors of The Business of Fashion, based on nominations and on-the-ground intelligence from around the world.