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Farfetch backs blockchain platform for luxury fashion

Farfetch is betting on blockchain as part of the future of luxury with the announcement of its role as a founding member of new platform, Libra Association.

It is joining forces with companies including Facebook, Andreessen Horowitz, Ebay, Spotify and Uber for the fashion-focused platform, which will launch at the beginning of 2020.

It will include a digital currency designed to ensure efficient and secure cross-border payments, as well as a focus on product authentication and transparency.

The move will see Farfetch add digital identities, such as QR codes on labels, to its inventory of 600,000 items, according to Vogue Business. It will be working with Eon, a startup from its Dream Assembly accelerator that creates digital profiles of physical products, to do so.

Farfetch CEO José Neves says he especially wants to use the technology for its resell business, which it is currently piloting under the “Second Life” header. This lets users trade designer handbags for Farfetch credit. The value of blockchain here will sit particularly in that product authenticity and provenance area – showing where an item comes from and that it is indeed real.

“Blockchain is still in its relative infancy, but we think it holds a lot of promise with regards to how it could assist the luxury fashion industry scale solutions to these consumer expectations,” Neves said. “Having data intelligence around the life cycle of a product is what really empowers the circular economy.”

Farfetch’s strategy for the blockchain platform will be developed by its new chief data officer, Kshitij Kumar.

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Digital snippets: Ralph Lauren’s connected fitting room, IBM Watson predicts holiday shopping, Burberry customers can star in new campaign

Here’s a round-up of the latest stories to know about surrounding all things fashion and tech…

A Polo Ralph Lauren associate trying out the interactive fitting

  • Ralph Lauren and Oak Labs debut interactive fitting rooms [WWD]
  • IBM Watson trend app predicts hot holiday shopping items [AdAge]
  • Burberry makes customers the star of their own fashion campaign [Brand Republic]
  • Sephora’s new retail stores will take cues from YouTube [Digiday]
  • New Balance will sell 3D-printed shoes in Boston starting next year [Beta Boston]
  • Target’s big digital holiday campaign combines Snapchat, Facebook and Instagram [AdWeek]
  • J Crew and American Girl embrace social commerce ads for the holidays [AdWeek]
  • Andy Dunn’s plans to build a digital native brand empire with Bonobos [Redef]
  • Burberry receives top ranking in L2 digital index [Yahoo]
  • Macy’s imagines the shop of the future in time for Black Friday [PSFK]
  • What’s behind the exodus from Rent the Runway? [Fortune]
  • Amazon touts new drone prototype [WSJ]
  • Brooklyn’s Catbird prioritises digital over brick-and-mortar expansion [Fashionista]
  • Is there still hope for fashion crowdfunding? [BoF]
  • Can artificial intelligence sell shoes? [WSJ]
  • Three ways data is transforming fashion retail [WGSN]
  • Instant messaging will change the way brands talk to customers, says Tictail [Wired]
  • The potential of geolocation for revolutionising retail [HBR]
  • Retail enters third phase of digital evolution [FT]
  • Will social selling work in fashion? [BoF]
  • Hands-on with Facebook’s haphazard shopping feed [TechCrunch]
  • The future of shopping is… Second Life on acid? Imagining a virual reality mega mall [Co.Design]
  • Stitch Fix creates an army of brand advocates, one social share at a time [The Future of Commerce]