Rebecca Minkoff is continuing on her tech-enabled journey as a fashion brand, this time introducing smart tags to her new handbag designs in order to offer consumers access to exclusive content and experiences.
Ahead of her fashion week show taking place at The Grove in Los Angeles this weekend, 10 limited edition bags, dubbed the #AlwaysOn Midnighter style, will be available at an exclusive pop-up shop on site. Each one comes with a hangtag that unlocks a ticket to the spring/summer 2017 runway event when scanned.
The initiative is in partnership with apparel branding solutions Avery Dennison’s Retail Branding and Information Solutions (RBIS) division and Internet of Things platform EVRYTHNG. It follows the 2016 announcement of the duo’s #BornDigital concept, which aims to digitize 10 billion items of clothing and accessories over the next three years. The first iteration of this was seen with a limited edition run of jackets from New York menswear brand Rochambeau in October.
Rather than a one-off, in this instance, Rebecca Minkoff has further announced that all of its bags will be “smart” by summer 2017, helping to push towards that vision for the mass spread of #BornDigital wardrobes.
The technology gives each of the items a digital identity in the cloud, which when accessed, will unlock exclusive offers, e-commerce services, private styling sessions with Rebecca, style recommendations, video content, an invitation to the following show, and elite experiences to enjoy with lifestyle partners. It will also automatically qualify the customer for a loyalty program.
The woman Rebecca Minkoff is looking to appeal to is a “truly tech-active millennial” craving a “new level of immediate satisfaction”, according to the team.
“We know that all products in the future will have a digital life as part of the Internet of Things,” explained Uri Minkoff, co-founder and CEO of the brand. “Rebecca Minkoff wants to be first in letting our customers access this new world of experiences, content and services digitally by interacting with our physical designs. Most fashion brands lose sight of their products and customers; this technology now allows us to directly connect with shoppers through our products after purchase. We’re incredibly excited by a born digital future, and you’ll be seeing it integrated across many more of our products later in the year.”
Beyond customer experience and satisfaction, Deon Stander, vice president and general manager at Avery Dennison RBIS, added that the company will also benefit from access to consumer analytics that were previously unobtainable, helping to drive key business and marketing decisions.
“The mass market future of #BornDigital apparel is happening right now,” added Niall Murphy, CEO and co-founder of EVRYTHNG. “Our partnership with Rebecca Minkoff and Avery Dennison across a full line of products is evidence of that. We’re delighted that such a forward-thinking and technically progressive brand shares our vision of how product intelligence in the cloud can power fashion and technology and bridge the physical and digital worlds, delivering some incredible experiences for the consumer and significant value from applications and analytics back to the business.”
This is one in a long line of projects Rebecca Minkoff has worked towards in terms of enabling the Internet of Things. Its Soho New York store also houses a connected fitting room experience, where users are able to reserve items, as well as change colours, sizing and more through the system. And more recently, the brand has also introduced a self-checkout to ease the shopping experience for that millennial customer.