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Customize a Ralph Lauren Rugby with an iPhone app or interactive store window

Ralph Lauren has been on the cutting edge in their use of technology for a long time.. This past Thursday their Rugby brand launched their latest effort called ‘Make Your Own’ that includes an iPhone application and interactive window at their store in Greenwich Village.


The iPhone application lets you create their own Rugby shirt directly from their iPhone by choosing from a variety of shirts, patches. letters and adornments to make your own unique creation. If are having trouble finding your inspiration you can browse and purchase other peoples creations as well. The app also smartly uses Facebook Connect so you can post your creations to your Facebook feed. The coolest feature is that you can see how the newly created shirt will look on you by uploading a photo. With all of that finished you can then purchase the shirt and/or post it to the gallery to inspire other people.


The interactive store windows spot a large iPhone and the experience is pretty much a simplified version of the app to make it easier to use in that format. I like this better than their previous interactive store windows for two reasons. First is that it is an interactive experience unlike the passive experience that was created with QR codes. Second is that you can participate in the brand experience of customizing a shirt day or night and when you are finished you can leave your design on the store window for passerbys to see.

Of all the work that Ralph Lauren has done over the years to push the boundaries of technology in high end retail I think this work is their best.  They were the first major American retailer to use QR codes but that technology never caught on because QR cods are never going to be part of the technology landscape used by the mainstream American consumer. It will always be relegated to niche promotions like the old Ralph Lauren store windows and the recent Kidrobot Dunny launch. American’s are going to completely bypass technologies like QR codes that were created during the pre-iPhone era in favor of mobile applications that offer a richer experience. In this case the iPhone app will get me to finally buy a custom Rugby because I am a design freak who wants to obsess over every detail of the shirt and that just wasn’t something I wanted to do for n hour in the store.

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