Daily Insights

Fashion’s Digital Dark Horse

By: Mackenzie Baker | Jan 24, 2020

Fashion brand Carlings is leading the way in augmented reality fashion. 

The Scandinavian brand has teamed up with Instagram to create a white t-shirt that appears bare to the naked eye, but when viewed through the phone app, features bold designs. The designs change daily and coincide with a political topic of the day. Instagram is the social media platform of choice for specialty retail brands, according to a Gartner report on the topic, which makes sense given how easy it has become to sell products right on the app. However, Carlings is taking a new approach with the AR design, disrupting what had previously been the fashion status quo on the app. 

Examples of AR design statements on the t-shirt include “Stop Denying Our Planet is Dying” and “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Respect.”  The “Last Statement” t-shirt retails for $52 and features a logo at the top that triggers the AR designs. For every shirt purchased Carlings donates a portion of the sale to Wateraid, an international non-profit organization. Carlings hopes the design encourages shoppers to limit fashion waste by using social media to have a different design each day on just one shirt. 

Before this, AR experiences on Instagram had only worked with facial features—but having filters that work on clothes and bodies can open up new opportunities for fashion brands to work with the platform. Using digital technology to design clothing allows customers to customize and personalize clothes, two fashion priorities in today’s market. 

Carlings has taken a classic clothing item and fit it for the digital age—setting what could become a new precedent in techno-fashion and inspire other fashion brands to create their own digital lines.