Amazon isn’t the first place you’d think to look for clothes, but Instagram account @fashionsecrets93 could change that. Run by Keely Murphy, a 25-year-old stylist based in Los Angeles, the account unearths Amazon's hidden gems — from things you'd actually want to wear to products so fascinatingly terrible they become a must-cop.
Browsing the account, you'll see the Amazon equivalent of every big trend right now. It veers heavily towards ironic ’00s nostalgia, but that's what we're all wearing anyway. From neon workwear and sports sunglasses to OG dadcore versions of hyped sneakers, nothing posted on the account would look out of place in any influencer's ’fit pic.
Previously, the account had the much catchier @AmazonFashionSecrets handle before it attracted the attention of the online retail giant. Instead of giving Murphy an affiliate partnership or even hiring her to work in-house, Amazon served her with a cease-and-desist letter, forcing her to retire the account name. Amazon doesn't fully vet its vendors — it has recently removed Nazi paraphernalia from the site after a series of reports on the issue — so fakes crop up on the site. A major reason @AmazonFashionSecrets was flagged was because it posted a fake Balenciaga sneaker (which has since been removed from the Instagram account), but Amazon is still awash with counterfeit items despite efforts to counter the problem.
We caught up with Murphy via email to learn more about how she finds grails on a site better known for e-books and bulk toilet paper than fashion.
Why did you start the account?
The account came out of my passion for highly involved online shopping and this realization that unique and trendy product was readily available on Amazon, people just needed help finding it. I was already spending a lot of time locating these items on Amazon, so it made sense to make it public. From there it was really natural. The layout is very simple and people caught on to it right away.
It's amazing in that I can have a curated shop without the risk of inventory. The whole idea is so simple it makes you laugh, but once you see the range of product available from a huge retailer that already has your mailing address, add to cart!
Why Amazon in particular?
I personally started using it for work when I wanted to get simple accessories or hosiery because the shipping times and return policies are usually pretty accountable.
Soon I realized there was so much more fun stuff to find — it's such a huge marketplace that you can find anything you could possibly think of in three colors. I saw it as an untapped resource, and people are already very comfortable with using the site, which I think has been a big factor in the success of the account so far.
How would you describe the account’s aesthetic? It ranges from dadcore to mid-’00s goth.
It definitely reflects my personal taste. I don't like things to be narrow-minded, so I try to keep the assortment really varied. I'm super nostalgic and definitely lean towards patterns, materials, and actual products from my 2000s upbringing while keeping up with contemporary runway and streetwear trends.
Amazon is great because it has a ton of novelty and sexy product that when recontextualized can look very modern. I love the experience of looking for an item that perfectly intersects fashion trends, clean design, and humor. The page has become such a fun way to showcase my finds with the lightheartedness of a meme page but the function and curation of a boutique.
Talk me through the curation process. How do you find the products?
Searching and scrolling! It has a lot to do with search terms and product descriptors, and then the patience to sift until the perfect product shot comes up. I will usually think of a specific item I think would be funny or cool, then try varied ways of describing its attributes in the search bar. This usually leads to a K-hole of search terms and product: "cowboy hat" to "novelty cowboy hat" to "rhinestone cowboy hat" to "rhinestone belt" to "rhinestone trench coat" etc.
There are a lot of not very cool things in the mix, so when a Fashion Secrets-worthy product shows up, it's usually pretty clear to me. Then I utilize the "customers also viewed" option to find other product or new search ideas. I take screenshots and backlog whatever I've found to reorganize later and post.
Do you buy many of the items you post?
Not so much anymore! I get the thrill of searching and posting, so thankfully my need to possess everything has subsided. I definitely use Amazon for all my own needs, though, just a little more on the practical side than what I usually post.
That's why I added a "Fashion Secrets Basics" tab to my website that has the staples from Amazon that I personally have or recommend. It's a lot of classic workwear, swimsuits, shoes, and accessories.
A lot of your items look like high-fashion pieces, especially the sneakers. Do you try to find the Amazon equivalent of hyped items?
Definitely! A lot of times because I recognize the original shoe — orthopedic, athletic, or stripper — that these trendy shoes are based on. I get a kick out of it and the prices are much better.
What have been your favorite pieces you’ve chosen recently?
The cowrie puka shell thing is interesting. Somewhere between Man Repeller, Instagram travel bloggers, and Bella Hadid, it has become such a sneaky trendy staple. And they are so cheap and have so many variations that I love posting those, although the likes aren't quite there yet for them. Sometimes I have to stick to a predicted trend until it hits! Like maybe it's too early to talk about berets again, but I found the perfect one in neon green so up it goes.
How have people reacted to the account?
A lot of people are interested in the idea, which is great, and so many people seem to want to shop the product. I love that it's an account shared between friends. There's a lot of @-ing between people wanting to buy them as matching gifts, or to wear for special occasions or parties. I'm a huge proponent of birthday dressing, so it's amazing people want to use my picks for that kind of celebration.
Finally, @fashionsecrets93 has curated a specially picked selection for Highsnobiety, shop it below.
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