By  on May 31, 2007

Jeans have to be smart as well as look smart.

That's the mantra of French denim guru Christian-François Viala, whose budding label and new Paris store, dcod Denim Code, is billed as the first interactive denim brand. Bar codes embroidered onto Viala's jeans allow tunes, videos and musical tidbits to be downloaded to mobile phones. Shoppers download a program onto their computer or Web-ready phone that allows the bar code information to be transmitted to their cell phone.

"People want to share information," said Viala, who was director of communications and marketing for the Lee Cooper brand in France. "It is a new way for bands and brands to broadcast information."

Viala signed a deal with British rock band The Elderberries for a dcod bar code that, when scanned, sends clips from live performances directly to the customer's cell phone.

Viala says his looks are not only for the software-savvy, but for the style-conscious, too. Jeans and tops for men and women feature cutting-edge styles such as high waists and industrial details. The bar code and logo are displayed on coin or backside pockets. The jeans retail for 75 to 138 euros, or $100 to $186 at current exchange.

To create a platform for the brand, Viala opened the first Denim Code store at 1 Rue de Turbigo in the center of Paris on May 23. The 1,300-square-foot store, with white-washed walls and gray display units, has authentic metal conveyer belts that add to the futuristic, industrial vibe. Macross, the shopkeeper and deejay, sets the tone with cool shopping vibes. His tunes are also recorded and beamed to the cell phones of Denim Code customers. The line will also be sold in select stores throughout France this summer.

Viala believes his label is in the early stages when it comes to exploiting technology.

"Bar codes could reveal a customer's personal blog," he said, noting that Denim Code could be extended into art and cinema.

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