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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, Matchesfashion.com, 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.

Then:

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. 

Now:

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. 

Next:

“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

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Hackathon

Over this past weekend, May 10-11, 150 programmers, entrepreneurs, graphic designers and industry experts came together to build tech that could solve relevant problems in fashion & retail. It all started with a chat with the British Fashion Council, AllSaints and Mary Katrantzou – clarifying details on how the industry works, and inspiring teams to strive towards solutions that could be applied in the immediate future.

After working for 24 hours through the night, many going without much sleep, 30 teams submitted their ideas for judging – a 3-hour-long process that boiled it all down to five top teams. You will see the best ideas on the stage today. With your help, we’ll select the audience pick and the overall winner, which will be flown to San Francisco by AllSaints to meet with top industry players, and have its tech implemented globally by AllSaints, online and in store.

The Stats:

  • 30 apps were created
  • 200 hackers were registered
  • 150 participated until the end
  • 5 Finalist teams

 The Finalists:

BESPOKY – Stylist matching PROVENANCE – Content at point of sale LOOP – Recreating wish lists SUFFRO – Enhancing the fitting room NUDGE – Connecting brands to Passbook

HONORABLE MENTION: (not eligible for top prize)

ALLSAINTS ROW – 3D immersion brand experience NIXI – Inventory data in real-time

The Finalists will pitch on stage on Tuesday May 13, to a panel of top judges from the fashion industry at the Decoded Fashion Summit. 
Check out photos from the weekend here.

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