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Fashion industry puts QR codes onto Barbie, couture gowns

September 23, 2011 |  3:15 pm

For all the value fashion places on being hip and on trend, the industry's been spotty about adopting QR codes -- until now. 

QRs -- those square, matrix-looking barcodes that can be scanned using a smartphone -- have been popping up in and around fashion this season as reliably as sky-high heels and impeccably coiffed hair.

During Fashion's Night Out in New York, QRs were plastered on a pink Barbie-themed bus and on Barbie doll boxes that could be scanned to win human-sized versions of outfits from designers such as Alice and Olivia, alexis bittar and Tracy Reese. Jeweler Tiffany & Co. frosted QR codes onto cookies that linked to a concert invitation with "Gossip Girl" actress Leighton Meester. And the Madison Avenue Business Improvement District handed out postcards printed with QRs for a fashion scavenger hunt.

In Barcelona, Spain, a few weeks earlier, a model trotted down the runway with a large QR code incorporated into the bodice of her silver and black Frans Baviera gown.

The Times has previously written about the growing popularity of QR codes, which are used in marketing campaigns for big retailers like Macy's and smaller brands such as Joe's Jeans.

QR codes as the next fashion trend? It may only be a matter of time.


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Upper photo: Barbie doll box with QR code for Fashion's Night Out. Credit: Barbie Loves FNO! website

Lower: Model wearing Frans Baviera gown with QR code. Credit: Frans Baviera