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What Amazon's Head of Fashion Direction Is Shopping
Brought on board at Amazon last year to helm fashion direction, Sally Singer is a woman who's made a career on having good taste. Her sterling bonafides combined with the launch of Luxury Stores at Amazon (a luxe digital storefront accessed in-app by shopping by department and selecting Luxury) have helped turn the ecommerce giant into a must-shop destination for fashion-lovers. Singer's sharing her current 13 buys with BAZAAR.com here, along with a few thoughts on her journey into ecommerce and how magazine-life helped prep her for the career switch.
What drew you to this role with Amazon?
When I left my previous position I knew that my next role should be entirely digital. Don’t get me wrong: I love print—magazines, books, newspapers, catalogues, all of it—but even more I love the challenge of innovation, of what’s next for the culture and for my own journey. So when I was offered this position at Amazon it felt like the perfect next step. I had spent a decade documenting and celebrating global style; by joining Amazon I would be able to help nearly the entire world get dressed every day, and hopefully feel a little more extraordinary in the process.
Can you share some of the similarities and differences between your role now and what you did in the editorial world?
I have always had a broad view of fashion and style, and my editorial work from the start reflected a very inclusive idea of who and what should be celebrated as chic. I don’t think I have ever subscribed to normative notions of beauty and luxury and always tried in my writing and portfolios to celebrate the magical look of everyday life as it is lived everywhere. Now at Amazon, I’m interested in continuing to help find fashion solutions and inspiration for people the world over of every size, background, age, ability and means without friction or judgment. Fashion can accomplish so many difference objectives—to blend in or stand out, to offer solace or sizzle—but it should always bring joy. So this job is a huge responsibility and a privilege. And the differences between it and what I did before are all in the details of learning a very specific, new business.
I'm curious about pace: Does the nature of ecommerce mean it's actually much of a quicker turnaround than print editorial or, conversely, does it require even longer-term planning?
In some ways it is quicker—Amazon has a “bias for action” so decisions (based on data) can be made lickety-split—and in other instances it can require longer lead times (for example, the development of different shopping experiences and innovations). What I enjoyed most in my past work in digital media was thinking hour by hour about the reader; I loved the challenge of marrying content to the rhythms of daily life, all the while taking into account time zones and geographies, niche audiences, and specific platforms. I love that whole massive puzzle. And I hope I can bring some of that multi-conversation, multi-narrative energy to Amazon Fashion.
Sally Singer joined the retailer last year after decades in editorial.