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VRSNL is Amazon's secret luxury e-commerce

The site has been selling luxury items in the general silence for months

VRSNL is Amazon's secret luxury e-commerce The site has been selling luxury items in the general silence for months

Everyone has heard the announcement made by Amazon some time ago about the imminent opening of the e-commerce giant to the luxury market. But it was only recently discovered that a site named VRSNL (the pronunciation is "versional", ndr), owned by the company Zappos, which is nothing more than a subsidiary of Amazon, has been selling for months luxury items from the most famous high-end brands. The site opened last September and also has a dedicated app and offers a range of clothing, footwear and accessories items from 36 brands including Gucci, Rick Owens, Bottega Veneta and Burberry, which are nowhere to be found on Both Amazon and its platform Shopbop, a further extension of the company dedicated to medium-high brands. What is surprising is that this e-shop has not received any kind of advertising and has an Instagram profile without profile photos, posts and with only 39 followers.

The reason for the existence of this site remains essentially unexplained. The project carried out by Amazon to enter the world of luxury e-commerce, in fact, is already started and structured and, although no information has been released about it, funded by a gigantic marketing campaign of a hundred million dollars. VRSNL instead has been silent, so much so that Zappos' COO Arun Rajan called it last May as "a channel that can map their segmentation of the market". But a person close to Amazon's management has told Business of Fashion that Napa by Martine Rose, United Standard and ROA will join VRSNL's inventory in the coming weeks, which will be followed by an official launch of the site.

Given that Nike discontinued its sales on Amazon in November and that the LVMH group has publicly stated that it has no interest in conducting its own sales on the platform, VRSNL could be a "gym" in which Amazon, discreetly, trains for its entry into luxury e-commerce, a way of probing the terrain or beta version of a larger and more articulate project. The "The Remix" section of the site also offers insights into the history of the various brands (committing a spelling error in writing "Bottega Veneta" with an extra "t") similar to Ssense's Editorial Archive or Farfetch's editorials.  In short, it is clear that VRSNL is trying to adapt to the major luxury e-commerce platforms but without being ready to open up to the general public.