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Meet the Connected Jacket That Offers VIP Access to Exclusive Experiences

L-R: Kim Schneider, Avery Dennison; Laurence Chandler, Rochambeau; Josh Rubin, Cool Hunting (moderator); and Andy Hobsbawm, Evrythng
L-R: Kim Schneider, Avery Dennison; Laurence Chandler, Rochambeau; Josh Rubin, Cool Hunting (moderator); and Andy Hobsbawm, Evrythng

Forget secret passwords. New York City-based fashion brand Rochambeau teamed up with Avery Dennison and Evrythng to create a digital jacket that unlocks velvet-roped experiences.

Dubbed the Bright Bmbr and powered by Avery’s Janela platform and Evrythng’s intelligent Internet of Things (IoT) cloud, the connected garment grants its wearer access to a hand-picked selection of restaurant, gallery, club, retail and fashion experiences in New York City. To ramp up the exclusivity angle, only 15 jackets were produced, each one individually numbered and priced at $630.

“It was exciting for us to have the opportunity to take what we’re normally doing from a design perspective, looking at the worlds of art, entertainment and fashion, and fusing that into a single garment. Having the privilege to work with Evrythng and Avery Dennison we were able to come together and bring some of those elements to life,” explained Laurence Chandler, founder of Rochambeau, speaking Tuesday at Decoded Fashion NYC during a discussion about leveraging technology to build loyalty and drive engagement.

Rochambeau Bright Bmbr
Rochambeau’s Bright Bmbr at Decoded Fashion NYC
Here’s how it works: A hidden zipper pocket on the left sleeve of the smart jacket contains a limited-edition label featuring a custom NFC chip and personalized QR code, which consumers connect with using their smartphones in order to unlock curated experiences, personalized gifts and behind-the-scenes content. That’s not all: At the end of the Fall/Winter season, each Bright Bmbr turns into a New York Fashion Week ticket to attend Rochambeau’s Spring/Summer 2017 runway show.

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“Any time where we can further a brand narrative in communication with the customer is tremendous,” Chandler said, “But also for us to get a better understanding of who is wearing the jacket, why they’re wearing it, where they’re going, that’s essentially priceless for a brand because prior to that there’s no real way to have that kind of knowledge.”

Earlier this year, Avery and Evrythng announced #BornDigital, a partnership that would combine their expertise to enable apparel and footwear brands to digitize their products at the point of manufacture with software identities and data profiles in the cloud. The Rochambeau collaboration, slated to launch at retail in early December, is the first example of this.

“The actual principal behind the experience is very scalable,” added Andy Hobsbawm, co-founder and chief marketing officer of Evrythng, describing the Bright Bmbr as a garment armed with digital superpowers that creates a completely new connection with the consumer. “We happen to have curated a unique, exclusive set but the idea of a garment that acts as a ticket that gives you privileges to get you into experiences and places and unlocks content could be applied to a million jackets as easily as 10. It’s just a question of what content, what experiences, how do you curate them. It’s an exemplar of what you could do on any garment tomorrow.”

Kim Schneider, senior director of technology solutions in Avery Dennison’s Retail Branding and Information Solutions (RBIS) arm, agreed.

“It’s only limited by your imagination,” she said. “How do I gain that brand loyalty in the future, what’s going to matter to my consumers in the future and how do I make sure I align with that? And what better way than to have the physical item itself become that channel of one-to-one communication, where your consumer is telling you as a brand ‘This is what I want, this is what I desire, this is the type of content I want, the kind of experiences I want,’ and then you have a way to give that to them.”

Chandler added: “A lot of the times when you’re approaching the conversation with wearables, it’s this theoretical exercise that you never really see come into existence, so the fact that this is now available and the actual experiences exist is an exciting thing for us to see happen.”