Would you ask Amazon for style advice? Call in the power of machine learning to perfect your image? US shoppers now can, using Amazon’s new Echo Look, which is now on sale in the States, after premiering at New York Fashion week earlier this year. Echo Look users can instruct Alexa to take a photo or a video that can be uploaded to its Style Check feature. The system combines machine learning and advice from fashion specialists to give personalised recommendations on whether an outfit works – and what would make it better.
Using the new Echo Look app, shoppers can keep track of what they’ve worn, edit and share photos, sort looks into collections, and get suggestions of new items to wear with what they already have in their wardrobe. It will come as no surprise that recommended items are all available to buy on Amazon.
"Like a trustworthy best friend, Alexa helps you nail your look every time– with Echo Look, she can give advice on which of two outfits looks best, offer personalized recommendations on items that pair well with clothes you already own, create your personal lookbook, keep your closet organized, and much more," said Linda Ranz, director of Echo product management at Amazon. "Over the last year we invited customers to use Echo Look and give us feedback, which led to the launch of many new features--we’re now excited to make the device available to all customers, with even more fashionable features and functionality to come that will help customers look their best every day."
For those who’d prefer not to rely on an algorithm, customers can get tips from Amazon, Vogue, and GQ from the Echo Look app or put their outfit to a community vote. By asking questions such as ’Which is better for a summer wedding" or "Is this appropriate for a job interview?", users can then see results in real time.
Echo Look made its debut at New York Fashion Week: The Shows in February, where Amazon partnered with Prabal Gurung. Amazon used the device to photograph the backstage action to design a digital lookbook inspired by the designer’s Fall 2018 collection.
Customers have also seen content from Vogue and GQ appear in the home screen of their apps offering links to fashion tips and trends on Vogue.com and GQ.com. Designer and stylist Rachel Zoe collaborated with Amazon to promote Echo Look in a recent episode of Real Life with Rachel Zoe, using Alexa as her style assistant in sessions with influencers Sheryl Luke, Natalie Lim Suarez, and Brittany Xavier.
"Alexa is my new styling assistant. I wish I had Echo Look early on in my career as a stylist," said Rachel Zoe, CEO of Rachel Zoe, Inc. "For anyone who needs a little help deciding what to wear, Style Check is a total game changer."
Our view: This is another step forward for digital merchandising, with style advice now added into voice commerce. Each user will decide for themselves whether they want to pay $199.99 for machine-learning style advice. Certainly Amazon supplies plenty of positive comments on the technology, but it’s hard to know how good it is without trying it. As yet, we’d suggest, this may be some way beyond what many British shoppers are ready to do, as yet.