FASHION BLOC TALKS FASHION WITH AMAZON CTO WERNER VOGELS

What do you get when you put on a dress, a lipstick, and cycle to the afterwork party hosted by Amazon? You get an exclusive interview with the Chief Technology Officer of them all – Amazon’s Werner Vogels.

Amazon Web Services was hosting a Pop-Up loft party in the new establishment WeWork just off London’s City area this Tuesday night.

Fashion Bloc team visited the mid-week party to explore the tech start-up scene and most importantly meet the Vogels himself! The Dutch CTO of Amazon was giving a speech on how Amazon Web Services (FYI – they’re the leading B2B Cloud service provider) can be beneficial to the start-ups.

Interesting and all! But Fashion Bloc has to talk fashion, thus we had a chat with Mr. Vogels about Vogue September issue, Jimmy Choos and online changing rooms.

Fashion Bloc: Do you follow fashion?

Werner Vogels: I have a twenty-nine-year-old daughter so I have no prerogative not to follow fashion.

FB: Do you shop online or offline?

WV: Online. It’s a typical guy thing – if your jeans are nice you go back to the same page and click ‘Order’ again.

FB: Where do you see Amazon Fashion going?

WV: I think fashion online still has a very long way to go. And it’s cool.

One of the things that is hard in online fashion is sizing. For example, shoes are really hard because size 9 in Valentinos can be 8.5 in Jimmy Choos. The solution would be – building better recommendation engines. And there’s so many more things to do to improve the experience.

FB: Amazon is getting there – just seen an add in Vogue magazine.

WV: Yes, Vogue is a particular. But have you seen current Vogue? It’s 850 pages! And the adds in Vogue are such a quality. But we wouldn’t buy Vogue if it wasn’t for their great content, though.

Going back to your question, I think that web based environment gives us an opportunity to build relatively different experiences around different categories whether it’s fashion, leather goods, sports equipment, everyone in this world can build different interfaces to help us shop.

FB: Evidently, you know a lot more about fashion than you first gave off.

WV: Well, I know more about selling, not buying. Yes, there are a lot of great challenges. But also some things are much easier online – searching by look, by price – these in physical stores are much harder.  It should be good to make in-store selling a bit like selling online. Let’s say, you would have an interface in the changing room where you can choose a different size or colour. And I’ve seen it already. More online experience in store would be good. It’s coming.

FB: Thank you so much for teaching us about Jimmy Choo and Valentino shoe sizing!