In the last couple of years, luxury clothing brands have been embracing innovation as the critical driver for their online and offline solutions. Looking to differentiate themselves from competitors, more forward-thinking brands are confidently turning to technology for answers that will help them empower their teams so that they can make sustainable and agile decisions throughout the brand’s collection process.
As technology evolves, it is becoming clear to many luxury clothing brands that although heritage is still an essential factor, it is no longer a key advantage for them. It is like the penny has dropped. Luxury brands are now aware that they cannot rely on exclusivity to generate sales because it is an approach that is quickly becoming outdated. In order to remain relevant when competing with a new generation of digitally native brands, luxury fashion businesses are now adapting with the times by taking advantage of what the latest technology has to offer their company.
It looks like LVMH has caught the Blockchain bug. The French luxury conglomerate that presides over Dior, Givenchy, Fendi, and Louis Vuitton, has come up with a Blockchain platform, code-named AURA, designed to put the power back in the customers’ hands.
Partnering up with Ethereum design studio ConsenSys and Microsoft Azure, the luxury company’s blockchain technology has been created to fight counterfeits in the apparel industry and revolutionize the fashion industry. The three companies confirmed in a press release that AURA makes it possible for consumers to access the product history and proof of authenticity of luxury goods — from raw materials to the point of sale, all the way to second-hand markets.
Generating advantages for both consumers and the industry, many industry experts who have commented on their change of direction, believe that it takes a company with LVMH’s provenance to bring blockchain to market. LVMH’s adoption of blockchain technology will not only help them gain greater insight into their supply chain, but it also could mean that they do not have to rely on third parties blockchain technology.
Tommy Hilfiger is a brand that has been dipping its toe into technology for a while now, so it comes as no surprise that the PVH-owned brand announced that their Spring 2022 apparel collections would be the first of many to be fully designed digitally.
Previously, the American brand, in 2016, introduced a click-and-buy collection at NYFW. It was an innovation that meant that anyone who wanted to buy the stylish range straight off the runway could do so instantly. Then in 2018, Tommy Hilfiger, IBM, and The Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) collaborated on a project aimed at advancing the use of AI in the creative process. Now, in 2019, the company has introduced an innovative 3D design platform that enables the process to be done in an entirely digital way.
From sketching through to sampling and showrooming, Tommy Hilfiger will not only be reducing sample wastage and paper usage, but they will also be digitizing their supply chain, from idea to customer. On this change, the Chief executive of Tommy Hilfiger Global and PVH Europe, Daniel Grieder told Vogue, “We can use [digital design] for the digital showroom, use it for marketing — we don’t have to photograph it — because it is all there. Everything will be possible, and so much faster.” Already utilized for 20 product categories, the company has promised that the technology they are using will not affect the end product, and it will be “indistinguishable” from their original styles.
Recently Ralph Lauren Corporation (RLC) unveiled a new technology that made them the first global retail brand to apply digital identity technology at a large scale. With plans to launch Digital Product Identities (IDs) for tens of millions of Ralph Lauren products, the technology, hosted on an agile platform, will enable a variety of applications that personalize the consumer shopping experience and create efficiencies across supply chain management.
Driven to give consumers the power to authenticate, the technology provides their Polo products with a unique digital identity that can be accessed by scanning the Digital Product ID with a smartphone. By doing so, the consumers can confirm whether their purchase is authentically Ralph Lauren, learn about the product detail, and receive styling tips and recommendations.
Determined to unlock the full potential of this technology David Lauren, Chief Innovation Officer, commented: “The launch of Digital Product IDs demonstrates how we continue to use technology to deliver more for our consumers and ensure the integrity of our products throughout their lifecycle.” Adding, “The application of this technology means every Polo product will be ‘born-digital’, which represents a new milestone in data intelligence innovation in our sector.”
Hoping to help combat counterfeit clothing brands, grey market items and trademark infringement, the iconic clothing brands’ strategic decision will give its customers the reassurance of authenticity paired with connected product experience.