Scan your garments to explore the stitched narratives in your wardrobe
Priya Ahluwalia grew up to the sound of bashment, house music, afrobeat, 90s hip-hop and Bollywood soundtracks. Her life is shaped by a cacophony of sound. Now, she has woven those sounds into her latest Autumn Winter 23 collection, titled Symphony.
“Each garment tells a unique story,” says Priya, Creative Director and Founder of her namesake fashion label, Ahluwalia.
To bring that story to life, Ahluwalia teamed up with Microsoft and EON to blur the boundaries between the physical and the digital, converging the worlds of technology and fashion. Using digital identifiers (or Digital IDs) powered by EON’s Product Cloud platform, built on Microsoft Azure, each garment in Ahluwalia’s new clothing line has a unique personal fingerprint. These Digital IDs reveal the story of the item’s creation, the journey it has taken to get to your closet and how to best look after it.
Ahluwalia draws inspiration from the rich tapestry of art, literature, music and culture. We want to connect people with these stories and encourage them to become a part of each item’s journey.
Transparency from creation to closet
Ahluwalia endeavours to encourage people to cherish and nurture their garments by providing access to every single stage. By scanning a QR code stitched into a garment, customers can discover its unique story, including production processes and the creative inspiration behind each piece.
“Building a circular economy depends on data,” explains Natasha Franck, Founder and CEO at EON, “we need visibility of products at every stage of their lifecycle—how they’re made, where they’re made, and how they’re recycled. That’s a huge challenge in the fashion industry, where clothing brands have notoriously complex supply chains.”
In this partnership with Microsoft and EON, Ahluwalia hopes to encourage customers to understand the creative process behind their garments and how they were created. For Ahluwalia, a brand that prides itself on being socially and environmentally conscious, introducing this technology enables them to have closer and direct interactions with their customers on an individual garment level.
Our solution to this is simple: by creating a Digital Identity for each piece of clothing, we can make sure every product and material is accounted for throughout the garment’s lifecycle.
Fashion, technology & music collide
“Digital IDs are an opportunity for brands to forge deeper relationships with their customers. The story no longer begins and ends at checkout,” EON’s Natasha Franck explains. “Now with Digital IDs, all the creativity and attention-to-detail that designers like Priya Ahluwalia pour into their clothes can live with the garment forever. Every product has a voice so that brands can share that story with their customers.”
For Ahluwalia, the people who buy and wear their clothes are more than customers, they’re a community. Using Microsoft and EON’s technology, Ahluwalia hopes to forge a deeper sense of connection between the clothes and the people who wear them by translating the message inside the fabric.
“We’ve always believed that our customers are a part of Ahluwalia’s community but, as we know, in this day and age, community often transcends the physical world—digital technologies enable us to connect with each other without sharing a physical space,” says Priya. “I’ve always been interested in new technologies, how they’re shaping the fashion industry at large, and how we can use them to help grow the Ahluwalia community. EON Digital IDs represent the next step in the evolution of our brand, enabling us to interact with the Ahluwalia community in a new and exciting way that extends beyond the shopfloor.”
Music is woven into the very essence of each piece—it’s technology that allows you to hear it.
Raised in vibrant Southwest London, Priya brings a refreshing perspective to the fashion industry, embracing and celebrating multiculturalism in her designs through her dual Nigerian and Indian heritage. Her newest collection, Symphony, is no exception. Priya has worked to capture the colourful cacophony of musical styles that formed the soundtrack to her early life, reflecting this diversity of culture and heritage. Now, customers can discover this story for themselves when they scan the Digital IDs on each garment.
The way our community connects with our brand, and our clothes is important to us. Technology is helping us to ensure the story behind our clothes is heard and seen.
“We wanted to find the story not just in the music itself, but its process,” Priya explains. “Sound waves and notes inspired jacquard patterns on mohair knitwear, earthy reds and ochres were inspired by the colours found on the album covers of my youth, curvatures and geometric shapes on slip dresses are inspired by the lines of musical instruments. Music is woven into the very essence of each piece creating a story that is personal to me. Thanks to technology, you can hear that story for yourself and, I hope, feel a deeper sense of connection with the piece you’re wearing.”
To hear the rhythm inside each garment, Ahluwalia exchanged traditional clothing labels for smart labels. Scanning the QR code on the label with your smartphone will activate a unique digital experience containing the inspiration and creative process behind each garment, as well as a log of everywhere the item has been during the production process, the fabrics and materials used, and how to wash and care for the piece.
This isn’t the label’s first foray into the world of tech. In 2021, Ahluwalia collaborated with Microsoft for the award winning Circulate Project, creating an entirely new AI platform that would allow customers to upcycle and recycle their preloved clothes. Circulate has since become an integral part of Ahluwalia’s operations and the incorporation of Digital IDs into their new clothing line represents the next step in the evolution of Ahluwalia’s business model.
But this is only the beginning. Symphony Unlocked provides a glimpse into the high-tech future of fashion that cloud technology, such as Microsoft Azure, can help power and accelerate.