At the age of nine, Megan Lye learnt to cross-stitch, something which sparked a childhood obsession. It was a youthful hobby that would lead her to a career in Amazon Fashion as well as a place on the prestigious Drapers 30 under 30 list.
“I have loved fashion for as long as I can remember,” said Megan. “I love anything to do with clothing, how we use it, what it means to us, how we express ourselves, and our identity through it. My mum has always been amazing at sewing and that first sparked my interest.”
After becoming interested in the world of fashion throughout her childhood and teenage years Megan studied Fashion and Clothing at her local college before joining the Fashion Retail Academy: an industry focused college in London that specialises in creating employment-ready graduates.
Graduating on a Friday, Megan started her first head office role in Fashion Merchandising on the next Monday. She spent the following five years at British brands Ted Baker and Next respectively before joining Amazon in 2019. Since then, she has been working at our London HQ as part of the UK Apparel Team.
To celebrate Megan’s achievements, we sat down with her to find out more about her career so far.
What does it mean to be included in the Drapers 30 under 30?
It means a lot to me! Drapers is one of the leading fashion industry publications in the UK and is the only subscription I read every day. I’ve followed the Drapers 30 under 30 awards since I was in college. It’s always been a source of inspiration for me, so to be included this year is a real ‘pinch-me’ moment.
Tell us about your journey so far at Amazon.
I have learnt so much since I started here. I joined as Associate Vendor Manager three months before the pandemic and had to work from home. This would not have been common practice in the fashion industry, but thanks to tech we were still able to make buying decisions virtually.
I learnt a huge amount and I also got promoted in the two years while working from home. My role in the Amazon Vendor Partnership is to identify growth opportunities that drive our strategy. I need to understand our vendors' goals, what’s important to them and their brand now and in the next five years, and how Amazon can help them deliver on their strategy, whether that is by expanding into new countries, customer acquisition, or using Prime to deliver to customers really fast.
How has your experience of the role changed since the pandemic?
I recently attended the Scoop trade show, which was a great opportunity to see where product trends may be headed, including where new technologies may be emerging in the industry.
I loved getting out there to meet emerging brands and make new connections to expand Amazon Fashion’s network.
It was also wonderful to meet existing vendors in person and build collaborative relationships. The key is always to understand a partner’s goals and drill into the details to see where Amazon can be of support.
Did your experience at Amazon help you to make the list?
Amazon has had a big impact on my career – I work with an amazing team, with superb leaders, and I’m given the space to think outside the box.
Sometimes I feel like my ability to think big didn’t develop until I started at Amazon. Coming from the fashion industry where things are quite traditional, to Amazon where every day is day one, was extremely transformative and has helped shape my career.
Since I joined the company, I’ve been given opportunities to develop and work on my own projects that I really care about to improve customer and vendor experience. The culture at Amazon has also taught me be part of a dynamic team, as well as to invent, simplify and become customer obsessed.
I work with an amazing Amazon Vendor Services team – in particular, my brand specialists who take care of a lot of the day-to-day running of the account.
Where do you want to see your career going from here?
My aspirations are definitely within Amazon – it’s an environment where I have flourished and it’s super-dynamic. I love that it’s a large company but with a start-up mentality.
There’s an endless list of career opportunities you can pursue here, so I’ll likely stay at Amazon Fashion. We have an inspiring vision and so much to deliver on for our vendors and for our customers. My ultimate goal is to become either Head of Vendor Management managing and advising a team on how to achieve growth for all of the vendors in the category, or to become a Category Leader, focused on category strategy.
Do you have any predictions for the future of the fashion industry?
Data is the most important tool we have. It allows us to make decisions on what products our customers want, as well as need.
It’s a part of the industry that the final customer might not see, but we utilise the data available to us for everything from guiding our vendors on product selection, to deciding when the product should be available to our customers.
Over the next few years, I predict that that data and technology in general will continue to shape how we shop. Tech has the potential to transform fashion in areas like sustainability as well as convenience.
For example, there is potential for meaningful development in virtual try on technology, allowing customers to make better purchasing decisions, which leads to more sustainable practices across the entire industry.
What advice do you have for others trying to kick-start a career in fashion?
Mentorship has also been a huge part of my journey. Both formal and informal mentors have guided me and advised me throughout my career which has been integral to my growth.
Get out there and meet people. The fashion industry is vast, and the roles are varied. Intern as much as you can, talk to people and learn about their experiences, try different things and you will find which corner of the industry you love, where you fit, and what your passion is.
Meet more of the teams shaping the future at Amazon Fashion.