New York menswear label Rochambeau made headlines earlier this year when design duo Laurence Chandler and Joshua Cooper took home the USA Regional Woolmark Prize among some stiff competition. Now, the duo is tackling the realm of wearable tech while making a case for experiential retail.
In collaboration with smart products platform EVRYTHNG, packing and materials company Avery-Dennison, and concept retail shop The New Stand, Rochambeau’s #BornDigital BRIGHT BMBR is a handsomely embroidered satin bomber jacket that acts as a digital key to exclusive nightlife and cultural experiences.
Limited to just 15 pieces, a hidden sleeve pocket contains a piece of fabric with a QR code and NFC, allowing owners to register their own and unlock a series of equally limited experiences, as well as receive additional gifts from The New Stand locations in New York City’s Union Square Station, Columbus Circle, and Brookfield Place. The camel motif on the front comes courtesy of artist Cody Gunningham, a friend of the label. As an added value, wearers have the option of getting an original piece of artwork that helped influence the jacket. The real kicker is that no two pieces will be alike.
Upon registering your jacket, it opens up the app in your smartphone’s browser. From there, wearers can select from a series of special experiences handpicked by the Rochambeau designers. They include a tour of the Classic Car Club, a NYC spot that specializes in high-end vintage automobile tours and rentals, seats at tapas specialist Toro, or admission to NeverNever, a nightlife spot so secret it doesn’t even have a door—it’s also infamous for its strictly-enforced “no social media” policy.
So in some ways, the BRIGHT BMBR is a way of buying your way into some of New York City’s best-kept secrets. But it also functions as a wearable scavenger hunt. While this initial run is extremely limited, the experiment certainly provides an exciting example of how fashion and technology can enhance the consumer experience, taking the buyer’s relationship with the garment and the brand far past a transactional one.
The Rochambeau + EVRYTHNG BRIGHT BMBR retails for $630 and is available at The New Stand and online.