NEW YORK — Ralph Lauren is now available from the palm of the hand.
Taking its philosophy of “merchan-tainment” to a new level, Polo Ralph Lauren Corp. is breaking into mobile commerce — m-commerce — incorporating technology that allows shoppers to buy Polo merchandise from their cell phones.
To realize this, the company is incorporating Quick Response Technology codes in its ads, mailers and store windows, which potential shoppers can scan and download on their camera phones. Once scanned, the site m.ralphlauren.com allows a mobile phone user to enter the world of Ralph Lauren — not just by offering the limited edition 2008 U.S. Open collection, classic polo and oxford shirts, chinos, and even the Ricky bag, but also with exclusive video content and a style guide. The merchandise offering is set to expand in coming months.
“Consumers want flexible and convenient services that are accessible on-demand,” said David Lauren, Polo’s senior vice president of advertising, marketing and corporate communications. “M-commerce is so appealing because you can shop anywhere, anytime.”
Polo is the first luxury retailer to tap into the QR technology, which is already popular in Asia and Europe. Increasingly, U.S. cell phones already come with the necessary reader software.
“With new technologies available there are possibilities to create new experiences for our consumers, especially the younger generations that are so invested in digital technology,” Lauren said.
The site functions are the same as for ralphlauren.com: Shoppers need to type in their credit card information, shipping address and billing address. With cell phone purchases, standard shipping is complimentary.
Tapping into mobile technology vastly expands Polo’s reach. According to CTIA & Jupiter Research LLC, 80 percent of the U.S. population has cell phones, and 25 percent, or about 60.8 million, go online through their phones. Worldwide, 489 million people browse the mobile Web monthly, and the number is set to double by 2011, according to research by eMarketer.
This isn’t the first time Polo is breaking ground with technology. In 2006, the company launched an interactive window concept with touch-sensory technology that allowed customers to shop for merchandise from a screen on Polo store windows, 24 hours a day.
“We are always seeking to break ground with innovative ways of interacting with our consumers,” Lauren said. “This new feature allows us to instantly connect consumers to our brand and products. They could be walking down the street — they see our ad and want to buy the shirt the model is wearing, get style advice or read tournament articles. With our mobile site the consumer can shop the U.S. Open collection, watch tennis videos, locate a store and fully experience the brand — all in the palm of their hand.”
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast