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How a lowly T-shirt has boosted the fortunes of Amazon

How a lowly T-shirt has boosted the fortunes of Amazon

Just how has decidedly tacky T-shirt become one of the biggest ever success stories for online retailer Amazon?

In the space of just six months, sales of the Three Wolf Moon designed top have rocketed by a jaw-dropping 2,300%.

The T-shirt was designed by a little-known Bulgarian-born artist called, Antonia Neschev, and features the image of three wolves howling at the moon on a black background.

A graduate of Bulgaria's National Fine Arts Academy, she moved to the USA in 1996 and since then, until recent times, lived a life of relative anonymity.

However, things began to change towards the end of 2008 after a low-key New Hampshire T-shirt company, The Mountain, licensed an image by Neschev of the wolves.

Fashion experts have described the garment as “beyond kitsch” and “beyond irony.” But something bizarre happened after an Amazon user saw the T-shirt on the site and posted a five-start review in November 2008.

Bee-Dot-Govern’s posting was written with heavy-handed irony, taking a pop at the trailer-trash culture and boasting about how the T-shirt was a babe magnet.

"This item has wolves on it which makes it intrinsically sweet and worth 5 stars by itself, but once I tried it on, that's when the magic happened," said the post. "I walked from my trailer to Wal-mart with the shirt on and was immediately approached by women."

Bee’s review struck such a chord with Amazon users and prompted a flood of comments adding to the joke with their own tales on how the image had magically led to a string of sexual conquests.

Word spread and six months since the original posting about 15,000 people have rated the 82 pages carrying 807 reviews, making it a hot social media topic, runaway cult classic and, consequently, a top seller.

Early adopters snapped up the T-shirt and others followed as they literally bought into the joke. It fast became a badge, allowing wearers to demonstrate they were ‘in the know’.

Of course, the price point has helped too. At just $12.15 has made the T-shirt accessible as an impulse buy.

One thing’s for sure, as sales continues to rise, this story has still to reach its final chapter.

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