Fashion Gets Smarter: These Garments Give Consumers Access to Exclusive Events
Back in 2016, two leading-edge technology firms – branding solutions company Avery Dennison and Internet of Things platform EVRYTHING – announced that they would ‘digitize’ 10 billion products over the next three years. Dubbed the #BornDigital concept, the duo set out to introduce products from various brands with “unique digital identities and data profiles in the cloud from the point of manufacturing.” Translation: wearable tech is about to get a lot smarter, and for Avery Dennison and EVRYTHING, that begins with inception.
The new wave of smart fashion
Soon after their announcement, the team worked with New York-based menswear label Rochambeau to create a jacket that unlocks VIP access to exclusive dining, art, and fashion experiences about town. The Bright BMBR jackets are embedded with digital tags that act as a VIP pass of sorts, giving the wearer entry into sought-after events and experiences.
Last month, lightening struck twice as Rochambeau partnered up with the digital duo for a second time in order to create the Thinking Cap – a hat that uses smart NFC and QR code tags to give the wearer access to content on a mobile web page when scanned. The hat connects the wearer to the best in art, literature, events, and experiences depending on the time of day and/or location.
Rochambeau isn’t the only one to have been touched by the #BornDigital concept: Designer Rebecca Minkoff, already known for her tech-savvy efforts on the runway, introduced 10 limited edition handbags complete with a hangtag that unlocked a ticket to her Spring/Summer 2017 runway show when scanned. Though the #AlwaysOn Midnighter style handbags are limited-edition, the designer has announced plans to make all her bags “smart” by the end of this summer.
Why this makes sense for brands
As an apparel and/or accessories brand, you’re likely well aware of the symbiotic relationship that has been steadily growing between tech and fashion. Where wearable tech was once clunky and left much to be desired, style-wise, these latest iterations of smart fashion are quickly becoming the norm. For CMO and co-founder of EVRYTHING Andy Hobsbawm, digitizing fashion is more than just the newest trend in the industry, but yet another way brands can improve their products while responding to their increasingly tech-obsessed consumers’ needs. “It actually dimensionalizes the product in new ways,” explains Hobsbawm.
“There is amazing potential to create new products that have all the best bits of existing products – beautifully designed, wonderfully crafted, functional yet cultural artifacts – but that also have a dimension to them now that is living and constantly talking to the network, and delivering back services and experiences based on the context of who you are and how you use it as a result. This seems to me a pretty serious enhancement of the business of fashion. And this [project] shows that really nicely I hope.”
Companies like EVRYTHING help brands by solving the question of complexity when it comes to digitizing products from the point of manufacturing, enabling them to focus on the end-value for their consumer. While an increasing amount of companies are focused on “smart” products, digitizing products via embedded tags could prove to be yet another avenue (and untapped market) for craft brands seeking to create innovative products their consumers will love.
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