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High-End Fashion Designer Aims for High-Tech Shopping Experience

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Rochester: High-End Fashion Designer Aims for High-Tech Shopping Experience
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A high-end fashion designer wants to give you a high-tech shopping experience the next time you enter her store. Adam Balkin filed the following report.

Walk up, tap the mirror and from the mirror, order a cup of coffee. That's just the first high-tech amenity offered at fashion designer Rebecca Minkoff's new flagship store, designed with help from eBay, to offer the best of online shopping and real-world shopping in one spot.

"I think we're finding that myself included, our customer, it's how she lives. She has a seamless sort of transition with technology, and her relationship with it is very natural," Rebecca Minkoff said. "So for us as a fashion brand, it was only natural to extend that into technology."

Much of that tech push comes from Minkoff's brother, Uri, a former software developer who's CEO of the brand.

Now, back to that first set of mirrors. In addition to coffee, shoppers can start browsing the collection virtually before getting hands-on deeper inside the store.

"Right from there, the customer can select the product in the size they want and choose it to be sent to a fitting room," Uri Minkoff said. "So the shopper is then free to browse the rest of the store knowing that all those things are taken care of for her behind the scenes

Once you pick out your items and head to the dressing rooms, things somehow get even more interactive, thanks in large part to radio frequency identification, or RFID, tags on every single piece of clothing.

"The moment your cross the threshold, the mirror recognizes what you've brought in and what size, and it takes the ecomm photo that we have from it and it displays it on the mirror," Uri Minkoff said. "From that, you're able to shop details, look at different views and images. You're able to look at recommendations to see what to wear it with."

You can also have a different size brought to your room and even change the lighting so that if you're trying on a cocktail dress, you get lounge-like illumination, or if you're trying on a bathing suit, you can switch to sunlight. Again, all from the mirror.

Four other stores with the same technology are scheduled to open within the next several months. The Minkoffs say in all of them, the plan is to continually add more functionality to the system every three months or so.

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