We all know what a QR Code is, isn’t it? For those of you who don’t know, QR Codes are 2D barcodes. These black-and-white squares can link to images, text, videos, and websites. A smartphone with a QR Code scanning app is all one needs to view this information.
When thinking of QR Codes, the fashion industry might not come to your mind. But, believe it or not, QR Codes are popular there too. Listed below are examples of QR Codes in fashion and accessories:
A. QR Codes on Clothing
You might think of QR Codes on clothes but, brands beg to differ. Here are four examples of QR Codes on clothing:
In Oct 2016, Rochambeau, an NYC-based designer label launched a smart jacket, ‘BRIGHT BMBR’. The smart jacket comes equipped with an NFC Code and a unique QR Code. Both the smart tags are inside a hidden zipper pocket on one of the sleeves. The jacket was part of the designer label’s fall-winter 2016 collection. The wearer can connect with the smart tags using his smartphone. This unlocks a plethora of experiences around the city for the wearer.
Some of the benefits include:
- VIP pass to an exclusive event selected by Rochambeau
- A signed piece of artwork
- An entry to Rochambeau’s 2017 runway show at New York Fashion Week
Besides this, wearers can also collect free gifts by scanning the QR Code on the garment. This is possible when the wearer is within 500 meters of all three of The New Stand’s outlets. The New Stand is an experimental retail store that sells these jackets. The jacket was priced at $630.
2. Smart PJ’s
In July 2016, Idaho-based Smart PJ’s introduced a new way of storytelling to children with pajamas. Each pair of Smart PJ’s contains 90 clusters of colorful QR Codes. Each cluster holds a story book, i.e, each pair of Smart PJ’s contains 90 story books. To read the books, all one has to do is scan the QR Code using the Smart PJ app.
Read more here: Smart PJ’s: A Digital Twist In The Tale
3. Rock the Vote
Rock the Vote is a non-profit organization based in the US. It aims to build the political power of young people. Launched in 1990, celebrities like Madonna donned the organization’s shirts. This reporteldy made the brand cooler. In July 2012, it came up with QR Code T-shirts. Scanning the QR Code led people to scan to vote website. Here people could register to vote online.
4. Sam Trout
Sam Trout is an independent fashion designer based in Seattle,US. In 2010, Sam launched a range of QR Code inspired clothes for both men and women. Scanning the QR Code directed people to images chosen by the designer. Sam also announced a QR Code scavenger hunt that would start from one of the QR Codes on his line’s t-shirts. The t-shirts are available here.
Also see more use cases of QR Codes in the design industry.
These are only some use cases. QR Codes are being used to do a lot more in the textile industry.
B. QR Codes for Marketing
QR Codes help bridge the gap between print media and online content. Brands recognise this and use QR Codes to engage with their offline audience. Here are three examples of major clothing brands using QR Codes for marketing:
1. Levi’s Ad Campaign
In 2016, Levi’s, a clothing company in partnership with media agency, OMD, launched a QR Code campaign in China. The idea was to create brand interest among the youth. The catch? Levi’s did not create any ads for the campaign. Titled ‘We Are Original’, the campaign encouraged people to create their own ads.
As a part of the offline campaign, Levi’s allowed users to be the star of a Levi’s print ad. People could strike a pose to show their originality, the theme of the campaign. The ad posters were put up at different locations. The posters contained a QR Code. People could scan the QR Code to share them with friends on WeChat.
The campaign increased Levi’s consumer engagement by 2.9 million in the form of likes, forwards, comments, and shares.
2. Ralph Lauren
Fashion giant Ralph Lauren has always been a fan of QR Code marketing. Be it during the 2008 US Open or in ads in magazines.
In 2012, the fashion giant partnered with department store Harrods. Ralph Lauren displayed QR Codes on 15 of the department store’s windows. Scanning the QR Codes led customers to the brand’s latest collection displayed at Harrods.
“Customers are using mobile and digital technology more and more, so we are keen to explore new ways for brands to interact with our customers whilst they visit the store. It’s great to be able to reach out to passers-by even when the store is closed.” – Guy Cheston, Media Sales Director, Harrods
3. Victoria’s Secret
Victoria’s Secret is an American premium womenswear and beauty products manufacturer. In 2012, the brand displayed billboards with QR Codes that encouraged people to scan them. Scanning the QR Codes allowed people to view the brand’s latest lingerie collection.
C. QR Codes on Jewellery
Technology in accessories is not limited to smartwatches. Even jewellery now has a tech angle, thanks to QR Codes. Here are two examples of QR Codes on jewellery:
UK-based designer Chris Parry creates QR Code cufflinks. These cufflinks are handmade with sterling silver. People can encode secret messages on the QR Code and gift them to their loved ones. Since the QR Code is Dynamic, the information encoded is changeable.
Similarly, one can also add a QR Code on a memorial locket. The QR Code can encode more photos and images of the deceased helping people remember their loved ones.
The above examples have made it evident that QR Codes in fashion and accessories are here to stay. Also, with brands like Victoria’s Secret and Ralph Lauren using QR Codes, who’s to stop other fashion companies?