Balenciaga's Digital Sonic First: Digital innovation is enabling new audio connection routes. In November 2023, French fashion house Balenciaga became the first brand to use a digital product passport (DPP) to unlock music. These digital verification tools, accessed via QR code, barcode or near-field communication (NFC), have previously provided real-time information, such as a product’s provenance. They enable ongoing engagement with customers – via information updates on the DPP – long after the point of sale.
Working with American Internet of Things fashion innovators Eon, Balenciaga embedded chips into a limited-edition collection of T-shirts and hoodies, sold in select stores and online. Activated via NFC, the chips release a track, written and recorded exclusively for Balenciaga by British trip-hop group Archive. The song link is encrypted and can’t be shared – scanning the garment is the only way to hear it, and new music can be added at a later date.