LONDON — Juliet Warkentin, director, brand and creative, Amazon Fashion Europe, said the consumer sits at the heart of the site’s strategy, and that Amazon wants to be seen as a fashion inspiration — and enabler — for a broad range of customers.
“We want to be able to enable them and we want to give them the best search that we possibly can, and we want to inspire them,” said Warkentin, during a conversation with Samantha Conti, WWD’s London bureau chief.
Before the conversation kicked off, she showed a short film called “I Wish I Could Wear” that launched in November last year. Shot by Rankin, it features a trio of women talking about how they reconcile their love of fashion with their “flaws” — too tall, pale or curvy.
Guided by three fashion bloggers with similar physical characteristics, they’re able to dress the way they want. The short, which has an emotional tug similar to Dove’s successful “Real Beauty Sketches” campaign, has been viewed 56 million times.
Warkentin said she believes the film’s success was due to it’s being a “very sharable” piece of content, but also because Amazon considered its customer before making it.
“That kind of content is some of the stuff that says ‘Look, this is how you can put it together, if you want to put it together that way.’ We have a lot of content now that we’re building that inspires people to really think about fashion in their own way,” she said. “In terms of inspiring, we have content that we create for the site, we have content that we create for social for YouTube, for Instagram.”
Warkentin also talked about the site’s advice-led content, which is driven by search terms, what people are buying, and how they’re shopping. A monthly “Stylist in Residence” story takes a problem and builds content around a particular wardrobe dilemma, which is then seeded across the site’s social networks, and on the website.
Warkentin also expanded on previous campaigns that have featured Suki Waterhouse and Chiara Ferragni, talking about how famously glamorous women fit into the company’s message.
“We are in the fashion business, aren’t we? We are all looking at how we engage with the customer and how we actually bring the customer into our conversation, but we also want to be able to inspire,” she said, adding that it was important that Amazon use ambassadors with a point of view of their own.
Talking to trends in the different European markets in which Amazon Fashion operates, Warkentin noted there is little difference between the countries. “You will see some localization as you always would, like with young brands coming up that we would stock in specific countries. But those big fashion trends tend to be pan-European,” she said.
With regard to Amazon.com’s recent partnership with Moda Operandi in the U.S., Warkentin said it showed just how flexible brands and businesses can be when they work with Amazon.
“You can work with us in terms of retail or you can decide that you want to operate in the marketplace. It depends on what your business model is and what you are really interested in pushing,” she said.
Warkentin also talked about Amazon Fashion Europe’s recent collaborations, with the London-based jeweler Solange Azagury-Partridge for enamel and silver jewelry, and with the designer Osman Yousefzada on eveningwear and men’s wear collections. She said they were both part of a carefully considered approach to partnerships that need to benefit the designer, Amazon and, primarily, the customer.
She said those sorts of initiatives work to position Amazon as an “aspirational destination,” as does the site’s support of the British Fashion Council, and the recent opening of a major, 46,000-square-foot photographic studio in east London, the city’s epicenter of cool.