fashion tech


Set to hit Kings Cross on May 20-21, our annual London Summit will feature speakers from both the technology-first and fashion-first sides of the industry: including Google,, Farfetch and John Lewis. One of the companies that has been most eager for two worlds to collide is Amazon Fashion, whose European VP Sergio Bucher will be speaking at the Summit. Ahead of his appearance, we thought we’d give you an update on the fastest growing and most fashionable arm of the WWW’s most famous e-commerce site: then, now, and what’s coming next.


It was back in the 2000s that Amazon started making inroads into the fashion industry – jewellery and watches were available from 2007, with clothing following the year afterwards. Trying to emulate the booming success of sites like ASOS and NET-A-PORTER, Amazon Fashion worked as a subset of the site where customers could buy a range of mid-level brands – such as Kate Spade, and denim brands like 7 for All Mankind – in a format that resembled the rest of the site. 


In 2015, Amazon’s big push into high-end fashion is well on its way. In 2012, Jeff Bezos told critics that Amazon was ready to make a significant investment in attracting high-end couture brands, a statement backed up by president of Amazon Fashion, Cathy Beaudoin. Taking its cues from its own acquired and/or launched retail websites (MyHabit, endless, zappos and Shopbop are all Amazon-owned), the team are promising better presentation for luxury goods. Notably, the team’s patent-pending technology assures that items can be placed on site just hours after being shot. 2015’s figures are bound to impress: that’s a cool 40 million customers, 1000s of brands and 1000 employees for the fastest-growing category at Amazon. 


“When we think of what’s next, we think of ourselves”, Cathy Beaudoin told WWD in 2013. With a clearly engaged customer base, who more than responding to the site’s ease-of-use, are remaining loyal to the marketplace, Amazon Fashion looks like one to beat in the next few years. In fact, whether the high-end fashion brands ever take the bait seems less important – for Amazon, creating a better e-commerce experience for customers is always the number 1 consideration. But, more than using data to offer shoppers convenience and speed, will Amazon Fashion ever become a desirable destination for serious fashionistas? Sure to offer insight on the site’s future is Vice President of Amazon Fashion EU Sergio Bucher, who will be speaking at our May Summit.

Book your ticket for the London Summit here.

Reported by Claire Healy


“On one of the coldest days of the year, a smartly dressed woman, defying the elements, stands at one of the last remaining newsstands in Manhattan flipping through the voluminous bible of fashion that is the March issue of Vogue. Amid the pages of waifish models blissfully tossing aside $1,000 scarfs and tableaus of beauty products promising transformative powers she happens upon something completely different: another, mini-magazine, devoted to the Apple Watch.”

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How can retailers decode a world of customer data in today’s marketplace? This is just one of the questions that our 2015 London Summit will be asking when it hits Kings Cross on May 20-21. Targeting consumers’ needs across a multitude of channels has evidently become an urgent issue for fashion retailers in the last year, but knowing how to actively engage users through a personalized experience is easier said than done.

One attendee who will hope to clear the mist around using data for customer insights is Kelly Kowal, Global Growth Director at The high-end fashion website has increasingly stood out from the crowd for its advanced strategy in digital marketing. In a year that has seen Farfetch internationally expand into other markets, the company has continually invested in new campaigns and new data collection methods in order to fuel its growth. Just last week, Farfetch was pronounced a rare fashion ‘unicorn’, after raising $86 Million in a Series E round – valuing the company at a whopping $1 Billion.

With a marketplace model allowing users to browse globally and shop locally, the Farfetch customer can buy fashion through an aggregated basket from more than 1000 boutiques. And, with each of these boutiques using the Farfetch software module, sophisticated multi-channel merchandising is in the bag. Furthering the omnichannel experience, Farfetch bridges offline and online worlds by allowing customers who visit the bricks and mortar boutiques to get the VIP experience, receiving personal treatment and localized offers. You can even click-and-collect, as of the end of last year. It’s clear that for Farfetch, e-tailing facilitates multichannel success – but how does data play into all this? Find out from Kelly Kowal on May 20.

Want to hear more from Farfetch and other winners in ecommerce strategy? Book your spot at our London Summit now.

Reported by Claire Healy

Image: Farfetch


SXSW Interactive is almost here! In the run-up for the festival on March 13-17, it’s time to take a moment to sign up for our special events, featuring new hot startups as well as established brands. And most involve a cocktail or two.

Decoded Fashion hits SXSW this year with the goal to bring the tech networking experience back to face-to-face interaction. Our Mentorship Hub, supported by Simon and Swarovski, will bring together industry gamechangers and those just starting out in 10-minute mentorship meetings.

And if you meet 10 rising stars in the Fashion + Tech space, register to attend the event on Friday presenting the winners of Simon’s startup competition, followed by Decoded Fashion’s Networking Party. Our global #DFMeetup series lands in Austin to help you mingle with the biggest names in fashion & Tech.

Saturday is content day – with five sessions to pick from at the JW Marriott Hotel. We’ll start the day talking about disruption in brands with HFarm, one the largest startup incubators in Europe, John Lewis, a retailer innovating through R&D, hacks and startup collaboration and our own Liz Bacelar, creator of the world’s first fashion hackathon. Also, don’t miss the ‘Meet the New Retail Disruptors’ showcase at 2pm, discussing the most innovative tech in retail – what matters and what doesn’t.

After all that mingling you might be ready for a digital detox. On Sunday, March 15, the suited and booted guys over at menswear start-up Combatant Gentlemen will be around to show you their innovative design-to-delivery model firsthand – along with a complementary massage.

On Monday, March 16 at 2pm, Cortexica, an industry leader in image recognition and Visual Search Technology, will be on hand to demonstrate their algorithmic findSimilar™ technology – and explain why it’s set to change the future of shopping. To end the day on the more style-focussed end of the spectrum is globally feted jewellery designer Kendra Scott, will be showcasing her new jewellery collection on a living garden wall at 5pm.

Full details of Decoded Fashion’s SXSW activities can be found here.

Reported by Claire Healy

Image: SXSW 2014


“How do we know? Because you touched the magic mirror in Rebecca Minkoff’s fashion-and-tech-forward store, and left a trail of valuable data.”

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“London fashion Week began last Friday and will attract over 5,000 visitors; mostly buyers, journalists, photographers and TV and radio crews. But perhaps this year we can expect to see a less familiar type of attendee; scientists and tech geeks?”

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“We’ve all been there. You rush out of the house to catch the train to work, elbow your way into a seat and immediately reach for your smartphone. But it isn’t there. Cue sense of panic as you contemplate a day (an hour!) without being connected.”

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Save the date: Decoded Fashion has announced details for its next London Summit. Hitting the capital on May 20-21st, Future Proofing will take place at London’s new hub for creative and technological innovation: Kings Cross, and more specifically, Kings Place. If you want to discover the technologies disrupting the world of fashion today, or amplify your retail strategy to its fullest potential in 2015, it’s time to grab a ticket.

Previous attendees have run the gamut of the world of fashion and tech, and this year is set to be no different: Topshop, AllSaints, Matches, Topshop and Harvey Nichols have all reaped the benefits of successful digital strategy in 2015, and representatives from all of them will be sharing their tips at Future Proofing. Panel Discussions are central to what Decoded Fashion do, and this year’s talks will push the boundaries of what’s possible in the industry. On day 1, catch Digital Director Kate Walmsley (Topshop) and Chief Technology Officer James Wintle (AllSaints) discussing the now and – more importantly – the next of new tech developments that can contribute to a future-proof fashion strategy. How to address consumer’s real needs will be a running theme of the summit, including a panel discussion that addresses the issue of ‘tech for tech’s sake’: Venture Partner Richard Chen (Ceyuan Ventures) and Multi-Channel Director Sandrine Deveaux (Harvey Nichols) will be dishing some key take-aways on implementing technology that covers both consumer’s interests and delivers ROI.

This provides just a taster of what’s to come at Future Proofing 2015: with panel discussions, debates, talks, networking opportunities and our Decoded Fashion Competition to boot (more on that to come), the summit will provide equally valuable perspectives from those on the start-up scene and more established industry names. Buy your ticket now to ensure your place, and follow us here or on our social channels for more exciting speaker announcements coming up.

Reported by Claire Healy


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“Boredom is the biggest problem in fashion”, pronounced JW Anderson after his womenswear debut for heritage fashion house Loewe this week. It’s a sentiment reflected, for many onlookers, in fashion’s ongoing obsession with all things tech. From communication to (e)commerce, the designers who kept things fresh this fashion month were those who found a meaningful way to employ technologies in their show formats – here’s our pick of the best.

New York

Shopping looks straight from the catwalk – whether on the label’s own e-commerce site or through third party retailers – has been a FROW presence for a few seasons now. The problem, so far, has been getting enough people to watch the shows to make the necessary technical construction worthwhile. A live stream will never get the same dedicated ‘footfall’ of Instagram, for example. Exclusive to BCBG Max Azria and sister brand Hervé Leger this season was precisely that – an app called LiketoKnow:It, from Reward Style, that made Instagram shoppable. Once signed up, users could shop straight from the runway photos of various Instagram influencers.


Think London Fashion Week, think Burberry. Or should that be #burberry. The Brit stalwarts teamed up with Twitter for their Burberry Prorsum show for SS15, with the launch of the site’s click-to-buy button. The move allowed customers in the US to buy nail polish worn by the models in the show directly from a tweet. Long considered the zeitgeist in its embracing of tech, Burberry’s Twitter exclusive ensured its place at the head of the pack.


Kenzo’s hot-of-the-press SS15 show took place on the outskirts of Paris – in a skate park. Disgruntled editors in the suburbs aside, the show’s giant digital screens depicting talking avatars were equally eye-raising. “Kenzo would like to remind you that there is no Planet B, protect what is precious.” Humberto Leon and Carol Lim like to wear their ecological messages on their statement sweater sleeves; their cyber-aesthetic set design was PFW’s most brilliantly Instagrammable statement of intent. As Humberto told Susie Bubble after the show, “We’re definitely embracing technology and looking at what is our vision for the future – cleanliness, purity, the right energy and being responsible.”

Reported by Claire Healy


“Embrace e-commerce and establish online presence early on – or risk getting left behind, designers at Decoded Fashion are told.”

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