Amazon’s New Fashion Show Is Like A Modern Take On QVC

Photo: Courtesy of Amazon.
Amazon has made it quite clear that it's really focused on building its fashion credibility. Its latest effort also happens to be the retailers' first foray into live programming: an interactive daily show dedicated to all things style and beauty — and, most importantly, immediate shopping — that's sort of like a younger, hipper QVC or HSN. Style Code Live will air every weeknight. The three hosts — Lyndsey Rodrigues, Rachel Smith, and Frankie Grande — have a wide variety of television credits, from MTV's Total Request Live to ABC's Good Morning America. (The latter also happens to be Ariana Grande's older brother.) You don't need cable or a subscription to tune in, as is required for Amazon's original series: All it takes is an internet connection to stream the show free, sans ads. Rodrigues, Smith, and Grande talk about trends and present corresponding products, discuss fashion news, and interact with guests for 30 minutes. A mix of celebrities and influencers are slated; the premiere featured We Wore What's Danielle Bernstein and Orange is the New Black's Laura Prepon. Meghan Trainor and Kerri Russell will drop by later this week.
As for the shoppable aspect, a "Style Carousel" below the video player will display and link to the items mentioned throughout the program to shop. ("A magical clothing rack," as Grande described it on the show.) In case you lose track of a particular item, everything shown on a given episode will be listed. Amazon wants the program to be super-responsive: "We can talk about what’s trending now, what’s happening in social media," Munira Rahemtulla, head of Style Code Live, told Variety. To that end, expect to see influencers and celebrities commenting on fashion trends. There's also a live chat viewers can join throughout the taping, and the hosts take turns responding to viewers' questions. Additionally, viewers can show support for certain segments in real time by clicking on a "Love Bag" similar to, say, double-tapping on Instagram. (Once the "Love Bag" is full, there's a virtual confetti explosion.) The goal: viewer engagement, of course. "We’re able to create a community of people talking about fashion and beauty," Rahemtulla explained. Amazon has been investing in, and expanding, its fashion offerings across the board, from ramping up inventory in 2015 to quietly rolling out seven private label brands just this year. And the e-comm giant's customers are, apparently, turning to the site for fashion purchases quite a bit: A recent survey of Amazon Prime customers revealed that approximately 41% were using the service to order swiftly delivered fashion (i.e. clothes, shoes, and accessories), per WWD. This isn't the Seattle-based e-retailer's first try at fashion-focused programming: The CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund's docu-series, The Fashion Fund, premiered its third season on Amazon in February. But will people (especially that all-important millennial demographic) actually want to watch and shop? Stay tuned to see how Amazon's retooling of the instantly shoppable programming model plays out.

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