Near Field Communication (NFC) might just be runway ready.

When I think of NFC, my mind hardly jumps to the glamorous world of fashion. Models, designers, and celebrity wardrobes seem far removed from the technology we associate NFC with.

However, an article about the famous fashion house Prada’s use of NFC found its way into Vogue Magazine this week.  One can assume that NFC has earned a crucial level of acceptance and market inevitability by the fact that a magazine like Vogue devotes space to a story about the technology.  NFC technology has taken a step beyond being solely about technology into the realm of a solution or implementer story.

For those of you unfamiliar with Prada S.p.A., it is an Italian luxury fashion house with annual net sales of around three billion Euros. It specializes in leather handbags, travel accessories, shoes, ready-to-wear, perfumes and other accessories.

Learn how NFC enables brands and retailers to stay in touch with consumers

It’s no surprise that apparel/retail is an important market for NFC. In addition, a case can be made for the pandemic’s impact helping to expose several weak links in the non-digital omnichannel chain hastening the need and the move toward NFC solutions.

Prada and NFC

According to the Vogue article, Prada has an ongoing project to add NFC and RFID to its products to enhance the omnichannel experience. Massimo Vian, Industrial Director for Prada Group, was interviewed for the article.  Vian oversees areas including the production and distribution of its ready-to-wear, shoes and leather goods and accessories.

Vian reported that Prada’s blockchains allow each product to be assigned a unique digital identity for authentication and tracking.  He said, “It allows a very smooth operation from the industrial side to stores, and in the future, will enable connectivity with consumers throughout the life of the product.”

Soon, Prada is going to leverage NFC to, among other things, allow customers to customize products before they go into production. The goal is to engage early and often with the customer, and for each one of Prada’s luxury goods to have its own identity. Vian doesn’t describe how that might be done.  Fortunately, there is an accompanying video that provides more information.

For more information check out all NFC Forum’s resources: https://nfc-forum.org/resources/