KEEPING UP WITH THE TIMES
Timeless – we all have adjectives that come to mind when we hear the word – tradition, classic, staple, priceless, beautiful, perfection, etc. In the fashion industry, to be deemed timeless is one of the highest of compliments. Many brands strive to be timeless, to create something that will be passed down from generation to generation, and to form a lasting presence that will keep them relevant for years to come. It isn’t easy to reach this level of timelessness, but it is much more difficult for a brand to retain longevity. In order to do this, brands must innovate to stay relevant.
Louis Vuitton, Ralph Lauren, and Burberry are setting an incredible example of innovation for timeless brands. These historic brands have been around for decades, and yet they are still just as relevant as the day they started, if not more. Think about a Louis Vuitton bag, a Ralph Lauren polo, or a Burberry trench coat; their designs have proved truly timeless in that they have hardly changed over all these years. However, these brands have made many technological advancements in order to take their classic designs into the future.
The fashion world merged with the virtual world when Louis Vuitton and Ralph Lauren designed virtual clothing lines. Louis Vuitton created “skins” for the characters in the video game, League of Legends. Ralph Lauren partnered with Bitmoji to design a collection in which Snapchat users can dress their Bitmojis. Both brands have successfully expanded into virtual fashion, allowing consumers to view their products on an entirely different platform. The innovation doesn’t stop here, Ralph Lauren has completely changed the in-store consumer experience as well. They have installed high-tech, touchscreen mirrors in their dressing rooms. The mirror detects the QR code on the tag of the Ralph Lauren products that the shopper brings into the dressing room. The products then pop up on the screen for the shopper to scroll through different colors and sizes, look at similar styles, and even call the salesperson. These QR codes, known as Digital Product IDs, can also be scanned on a smartphone and include all of the details about the product from the supply chain to its authenticity.
Burberry has also incorporated new technologies into their consumers’ shopping experience. Their tool utilizes Augmented Reality (AR) and Google capabilities to place Burberry products in the consumers’ surrounding environment. For example, if someone Googles, “TB bag,” on their smartphone, they can aim their phone camera next to something in their closet and an AR version of the bag will be shown to scale as if it were laid out right next to the outfit. This kind of innovation could completely change the way people shop online, especially for luxury items. It brings the brick and mortar experience into the consumer’s home.
Louis Vuitton quite literally merged their timeless designer bags with technology by creating prototypes of LV bags with flexible touch screens embedded into the canvas. The screens display images and videos selected by the bag owner on their smartphone. With touch-screen technology, users have the ability to scroll through the selected images on the actual purse. Welcome to the future of fashion!
Technological innovations are present in all aspects of our lives and the fashion industry is increasingly taking advantage of those advancements. Timeless brands are often reluctant to alter the design of their infamous products, but these brands are successful enough to know that they must evolve to remain relevant. And, it is certainly looking like technology is the new timeless.