Amazon launched a digital store to help fashion designers impacted by COVID-19—a misaligned partnership that won’t make the tech giant more fashionable.

WHAT HAPPENED: The Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) partnered with Amazon Fashion to sell designs from independent fashion brands. Amazon donated $500,000 to CFDA’s Common Thread Fund and eliminated warehouse and packaging fees for the initiative.

WHY IT MATTERS

Amazon’s resources and notoriety offers niche designers assistance and exposure, but the tech giant still isn’t conducive to a luxury audience. Designers looking to an Amazon partnership in order to move inventory aren’t setting the foundation for a lasting relationship. The majority of Common Thread designers aren’t household names and likely won’t appeal to typical Amazon Fashion customers. While the initiative grants Amazon access to sales data and relationships with a new set of brands, its basic interface and reputation as an ecommerce conglomerate will likely result in another failed luxury partnership. Amazon has the scale, but promoting the Common Thread Fund on more artistic or fashion-centric platforms (such as ShopBop) would reach the designer’s desired audience and garner more financial support.