Exclusive: Shopbop to Absorb East Dane, Launch Shopbop Men

Designer women’s wear-focused Shopbop is about to pull men’s wear retailer East Dane, the sibling business it launched in 2013, into its main business, operating both the women’s and men’s categories under the Amazon company’s umbrella.

The move, to be announced on Tuesday, will create a new offering called Shopbop Men.

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According to Stephanie Roberson, Shopbop’s chief merchandise officer, the reorganization allows for a better and more convenient experience for shoppers traversing both types of products. “We are thrilled to bring our considered edit of emerging and established men’s wear brands to the Shopbop environment, allowing customers to shop between categories with ease,” she said in a prepared press release, slated to go out on Tuesday.

The company is positioning Shopbop Men in the vein of East Dane as “an elevated, edited, style destination” that provides fashion guidance and products from more than 100 curated brands, both new and heritage. The launch is scheduled for Wednesday and will include more than 250 new items from brands including AMI, Lemaire, JW Anderson and Maison Margiela.

A new landing page for the men’s business, soft-launched on the marketplace’s website on Monday, will make its way to the app as well — a must for the self-described “mobile-native” initiative.

The goal is to help customers find what they’re looking for faster, so plans include improved filtering and navigation. Product “hearting,” or favoriting, and wish lists will extend across both Shopbop and Shopbop Men, and the latter will become part of the company’s Yours Truly loyalty program, as well.

Although it’s in a new home, the former East Dane operation will retain its modus operandi, with a dedicated team of men’s wear experts driving the business across content, products and logistics.

Naturally, as an Amazon company, at least some of those logistics are handled by Shopbop’s parent, which acquired the business in 2006. That was three years before the e-commerce giant’s infamous purchase of Zappos in 2009, a move that signaled its ambitions in the fashion space. Since then, Amazon has steadily built up its fashion chops through acquisitions, tech development and a burgeoning array of brands and third-party merchants in its main shopping site.

Through all this, Shopbop has primarily operated as a separate entity, though it has taken up residence on Amazon as The Shop by Shopbop. According to reports, this hub may be acting as a pipeline funneling labels to the marketplace, growing its roster of brands. However, the subsidiary pushes back against this characterization.

According to Shopbop, The Shop on Amazon has featured both women’s and men’s products for years, and it insists that the curated list of brands — including APL, Rag & Bone and Dr. Martens — have chosen to be part of The Shop.

In any case, if the men’s wear rejiggering leads to more brands on The Shop, Amazon can count them among the growing spate of labels it can offer, adding to its massive fashion business.

According to a Wells Fargo report issued in March, Amazon nabbed an 11 to 12 percent share of all U.S. apparel retail and a whopping 34 to 35 percent of all apparel sold on the internet last year.

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