Interview with Jennifer Sidary of Zappos Couture

Jennifer Sidary Zappos CoutureThis is the first in a new series on interesting people, brands, and retailers in the fabulous world of shoes. My hope with each of these posts is you’ll discover something or someone new.

I’m sure you’ve heard of Zappos.com, and you’ve likely shopped on their site before. Besides the amazing customer service, which includes free shipping and a free 365 day return policy, they have one of the best search features around for shoes. They’ve also begun playing with ideas for inspiration and discovery via their new site Glance.

Zappos Couture is their more luxurious sister site with all of the same great things you’ve come to know and love from Zappos. It’s been interesting to see it evolve as they’ve added on André Leon Tally, formerly of Vogue, as their artistic director earlier this year. The big change you can easily see is his editorial section ZeeCEE by Alt, which highlights new trends and interesting people.

I was excited to be able to chat with Jennifer Sidary, the head of Zappos Couture. It turns out she’s another hard-working former Midwest girl and was very relatable. She was willing to answer a couple of questions for everyone on the blog – check out what she wrote below.

How long have you been in charge of Zappos Couture?

I started at the company in 2007 just to be the buyer of half the brands on the Couture site. I have been managing all aspects of Zappos Couture for the last few years. I am now Head of Zappos Couture overseeing the buying team for all categories, marketing, the Andre Leon Talley partnership and acting as the liaison for the site updates with our development team.
What’s your vision for Zappos Couture? How do you hope to grow and change it over time?

Our vision is to become the luxury destination for online shoppers. Our motto is “Customer Service is the New Luxury”. We have really grown with our new partnership with Andre Leon Talley as our Artistic Director this year.

Where do you see the future of luxury shopping going? Do you see a necessary offline component?

I feel luxury online shopping will become more important once more and more customers come to the internet for their purchases. Of course I see an importance of an offline component as I still enjoy shopping brick and mortar myself.

Zappos.com was a pioneer in great customer service and online shoe shopping. Since customer service is usually a built in part of the luxury shopping experience, what sets Zappos Couture apart from other luxury sites like Net-A-Porter or Shopbop?

We truly focus on making our site the best it can be and we don’t focus on what other websites are doing. We are happy to have the healthy competition as it just brings more shoppers to buying online.

What’s it been like to work with André Leon Tally?

We are so thrilled to be working with André. He is a true genius and a leader in the fashion industry. His vision is absolutely amazing and I so enjoy watching his creativity come to life on our site.

Who are the upcoming new shoe designers you think we should keep our eye on?

At Zappos Couture we focus on household name brands our customers are asking us for. I will say I was quite impressed with Philipp Plein’s fall 2014 footwear collection. It’s launching on our site in the next few months and I can’t wait to buy many of his fall styles for myself.

What do you look for in a great pair of luxury shoes?

I’m a busy woman so I need something with fashion and function. I’m constantly traveling and I never check a bag so my shoes have to match many of the outfits that get lucky enough to make the trips with me. I normally bring 2 flats and 2 pairs of heels as that’s all I can fit in my carry on.

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