In an ongoing attempt to make its brand relevant to a new generation, Tommy Hilfiger has released a line of smart clothing that attempts to gamify garment-wearing. The project is called Tommy Jeans Xplore, which is embedded with smart chip technology from Awear Solutions. The line includes t-shirts, sweatshirts, hoodies, jeans, jackets, caps, and bags that pair with the Tommy Jeans Xplore iOS app over Bluetooth.
Once synced up, users are challenged to compete in contests to earn points. You can collect points for wearing the clothes and for walking around to Tommy-branded icons on the app’s map à la Pokémon GO. In an official announcement, the company says the goal is to create a “micro-community of brand ambassadors.”
While the concept is riddled with privacy concerns (after all, do you really want a fashion company knowing your every move?), what strikes us is the lack of usefulness for consumers outside of a self-serving marketing campaign. It seems like one small step for connected clothing, but two steps backwards in terms of understanding how to thoughtfully engage with a generation of smartphone-savvy shoppers.
This isn’t the first time we’ve seen connected clothing experiments from fashion brands. Last year, Avery Dennison teamed up with New York designer Rochambeau to offer a limited-edition jacket that unlocked VIP experiences. If you want to learn more about that experiment, listen to this podcast episode, where Electric Runway Founder Amanda Cosco interviews Julie Vargas of Avery Dennison and Andy Hobsbawm of EVRYTHNG about their Born Digital initiative to push apparel into the digital age.