Bringing together virtual reality and eCommerce, sneaker brand Six Hundred Four recently opened a VR sneaker store. Six Hundred Four creates shoes based on commissioned art pieces. They commission talented artists to create original art pieces, then digitally print onto the shoes using specialized printers.(otherwise known as DTG). Each artist is featured on a total of 604 pairs, spread across four colorways, meaning they only make on average 151 pairs in each colorway. Every pair is laser-engraved on the right sole with a unique identification number specific to that one pair. For example, a number on a shoe “016.109.604” denotes pair #16 of 109 made in that colorway, of 604 total pairs in that artist’s collection.
Six Hundred Four’s retail space serves as an art gallery and a shoe store: The company calls the concept a “sneaker gallery.” It also allows virtual visitors to conveniently stroll around their flagship store, viewing the original art pieces while effortlessly adding shoes to their shopping cart. And here’s the best part – it doesn’t require a headset. Instead, shoppers can tour a 3D version of the store via a screen, similar to wandering around in Google Maps’ “Street View.”
James Lepp, the founder of Six Hundred Four, explains, “Typical VR experiences are limiting because they require a headset. You can’t type with a headset, and frankly, most people don’t even have one. We didn’t want to have those constraints. Instead, our experience can be used anywhere, any time, on any device.”
Lepp continues: “You won’t find a brand like ours anywhere else in the world, so the concept is new to all of our visitors. In the store, we can enlighten you as we guide you around. Online, however, it hasn’t been so easy. With this virtual store, online visitors will gain much more insight into what we do.”
Six Hundred Four partnered with Method Visual on the project, a leader in 360 photography and VR. Tim Enos, owner of Method Visual, asserts that “What’s most exciting is that nearly everybody can experience it right now, with practically no learning curve. It’s intuitive, clean, user-friendly, and this is just the start.”
Both Lepp and Enos plan on improving the technology as more people start adopting VR into the future. While they won’t discuss specifics, it’s safe to say that the experience will only be enhanced as both companies grow. “Our plan is to open up real galleries all over the world,” explains Lepp, “but depending on where VR goes, maybe it will be more virtual galleries instead of physical ones.”