photo courtesy of Tommy Hilfiger
The article first appeared on the Forbes.
Just over a week ago, Tommy Hilfiger launched Tommy Jeans XPLORE, a collection of denim and accessories embedded with what they call smart chip technology. Inspired by the gaming industry and the challenge/reward-based loyalty that gaming breeds in users, Hilfiger's smart chips allow wearers to earn points for wearing the clothes and for playing a Bluetooth-enabled game, points which can be exchanged for rewards like gift cards and exclusive merchandise, even tickets to the brand's runway shows.
While this is one of the first gaming technology inspired fashion endeavours on the market, the potential of transferring gaming concepts towards building consumer loyalty in fashion is, indeed, interesting.
I reached out to Nick Covella, a veteran of the tech industry who is currently SVP of Engineering at D Market, the first blockchain-based marketplace for trading in-game items. Covella thinks the opportunities to meld fashion and gaming go far beyond technology.
"It’s inevitable that fashion and gaming industries will increasingly collaborate in the coming years because it brings so much value to both industries, enlarging both communities," says Covella. "Fashion could potentially make gaming popular among those who never played while designer in-game items will add pop culture to the gaming industry. Fashion would also receive exposure to a huge audience of 2.3 billion people playing games every day."
Hilfiger's foray into gaming tech wasn't the first made by a fashion brand. A few years back, Louis Vuitton dipped their toes in gaming (albeit not in such a direct way) by casting a virtual character from the game Final Fantasy in their ad campaign. There is even a Swedish fashion brand, DRKN, which is solely inspired by gaming.
"There are more things in common between fashion and gaming than one can imagine. Especially, when we are talking about in-game items," says Covella. In-game items are products gamers purchase within the game and live solely, and only, within the video game. "Both fashion and in-game assets are, often times, about displays of wealth. People buy Hermès bags for $60K, meanwhile, truly dedicated players are purchasing unique in-game skins from [the game] Counter-Strike: Global Offensive for the same price. This desire to display wealth exists both in real life and in virtual reality."
Read more on the Forbes.