LONDON — Dundas World is spinning faster than ever, with a string of new category launches and a store set to open on Amazon, WWD has learned.
The fashion brand founded by Peter Dundas and Evangelo Bousis has broken into categories including activewear, loungewear, unisex eyewear and medical-grade, disposable printed masks in a bid to fulfill the mission of being a 24-hour lifestyle proposition.
The Amazon store will launch later this week and offer a selection of loungewear, activewear, ready-to-wear and eyewear under the Dundas World banner. The new retail proposition will resemble the brand’s e-commerce site, although it will not offer couture, shoes or other accessories. The new eyewear will be exclusive to Amazon.
The new online store is not part of Common Threads or Amazon Luxury Stores, a by-invitation-only platform that’s located in a specially designated section of the Amazon app. It is more similar to what Adidas has on the Amazon site, a fully branded shop that’s open to everyone.
“We are super excited — it’s the right time to open on Amazon,” said Dundas, adding that he and Bousis had watched online shopping rocket during lockdown, and wanted to ramp up their efforts in the digital shopping space. “We haven’t stopped working throughout these months.”
Dundas said he’s always wanted the brand to be accessible and to reach customers where it is most convenient for them.
“We started with the idea of the ’24-hour Dundas girl’ and now offer loungewear, activewear, dresses, hoodies and evening gowns. We have always wanted to be part of our clients’ lives,” Dundas said. “Lockdown forced us to revisit what sort of brand we wanted to be and what women want and need. And we want to dress women all over the world.”
Dundas and Bousis were very clear about how they wanted Dundas World to appear on Amazon.
“We didn’t want to be part of Amazon Common Threads so we created a Dundas World store with a luxury feeling, an extension of our brand’s web site. We wanted to do things our way, and have it be accessible and available to everyone, without any special membership.”
The brand is also sticking with wholesale and will continue to sell through stores including Net-a-porter, Matchesfashion, Intermix, Just One Eye, Selfridges and The Webster.
The opening of the Dundas World store also nods to Amazon’s ambitions in the fashion space, and its willingness to accommodate designers’ and brands’ strategies with a variety of retail formats and approaches. Amazon has teams worldwide that work with the brands, offering them tools aimed at driving traffic, conversion and brand loyalty.
Last month during London Fashion Week, Amazon Fashion set up a dedicated digital storefront offering spring 2021 collections and archival pieces from London-based fashion labels including Preen, Les Girls Les Boys, Grenson and Teija. That particular project was part of the wider series of initiatives known as Amazon Fashion Connects that sees the online retailer provide resources, infrastructure and delivery services to emerging and established young designers and students in Europe.
Asked about the Dundas launch, an Amazon spokeswoman said, “At Amazon Fashion, we are building an inspiring and innovative shopping experience so customers can shop brands they know and love, as well as discover new and emerging brands. We are focused on being a trusted destination for brands of all sizes, so they can share their stories in a compelling way while interacting with our highly engaged fashion customer base around the world. We’re continually growing our breadth of assortment and launching more content-driven experiences.”
Dundas said he’s convinced that luxury “will redefine itself” post-COVID-19, with customers rethinking how they dress and reprioritizing how and where they spend their money. That’s another reason why the brand has been breaking into new categories, and mixing its new active and loungewear pieces in with the rtw collections.
Dundas’ spring 2021 shoot reflected that easier attitude: The designer took to a marble quarry on the Greek island of Naxos, mixing up bicycle shorts, and other pieces from the new activewear collection, with tailored pieces and dresses as light and airy as a summer nightgowns. He styled those looks with dusty black combat boots or flat sandals in a bid to reflect his customers’ more laid-back mood, he said.
At the moment the Dundas World store on Amazon will be available in the U.S. only, although the plan is to extend it to Europe soon. The average price on the new site is $450, and Bousis said everything has been curated around the Amazon consumer.
He also pointed out the initial run of disposable masks sold out within 48 hours of launch in early September on the brand’s e-commerce site. “Imagine what we can do with the Amazon customer. We can crush this,” Bousis said.
The masks come in packs of 50 with five different prints each — including animals, florals and geometric patterns — and are packaged in glossy black dispenser boxes, bearing the Dundas World logo.
A percentage of proceeds from the sales go to UNICEF to support front line workers. Additionally, the brand has committed to donating masks to the LGBT Center of New York in their support of #BlackTransLivesMatter and The Art of Elysium foundation, which provides creative workshops for children in hospitals.
The masks cost $99 per box.
For the sunglasses, Dundas has inked a deal with L.G.R Eyewear for a limited-edition collaboration inspired by his own statement eyewear and tinted glasses.
Customers can virtually try on the glasses with a specially created Dundas Snapchat filter which links directly to the Dundas World e-commerce site to purchase. Dundas World x L.G.R eyewear retails at $510, and is available exclusively on Amazon.
The glasses are handcrafted in Italy, and are a lighter weight version of Dundas’ original glasses, all with a signature black frame.
The lenses come in four soft tints that darken in sunlight: gray, pink, light blue and a sporty orange. They have the Dundas World signature “D” branded in black metal on both sides of the frame while the lenses are laser-engraved with the Dundas logo.
The designer said he’s doing loungewear “in the endeavor to create clothes for our clients around the clock. The print used in the capsule is signature Dundas, and is meant to be worn with trainers or flat sandals.” Prices range from $490 for a tank top to $690 for a slipdress, pajama set or robe. Prices for the activewear line range from $90 to $320.