Navigation

T-shirt with pulling power

You need to keep your shirt on if you want to make a Loveconnection Keystone

In search of love? Wearing a T-shirt with a secret code is the answer to finding a partner, according to a Geneva businesswoman.

This content was published on August 11, 2002 - 11:10

The new dating system is called "Loveconnection", and it is aimed at taking the embarrassment out of making that all-important first move.

"This is not meant to be taken too seriously. The aim is to bring people together, but it's meant to be fun - a kind of a game," says Virginie Gerber, the brains behind the dating scheme.

To take part, you have to be over 18. You buy a T-shirt - costing SFr39 - emblazoned with the word "wanted" and a code number unique to the wearer. You pass on your name, address, mobile phone number and a secret pass word to the club, which keeps them confidential.

If, as you are going about your life, you spot someone wearing a similar T-shirt, and that person takes your fancy, you do not have to pluck up the courage to ask them for a date there and then.

"It's not always easy - they may have someone with them, you may be shy, you may not know if they're busy or not," Gerber says.

SMS pick-up line

Instead, she says, you can contact the club's switchboard operator - calls cost SFr1 per minute. After identifying yourself with the secret password, you can dictate a message, which will then be sent as an SMS to the object of your affections.

"We never make a direct call by telephone - there might be a husband or wife about," Gerber says. How a person might explain away a Loveconnection T-shirt in their wardrobe to a suspicious spouse, she doesn't say.

Once a person receives your message - "We don't allow obscene or offensive messages," Gerber points out - they can decide whether to respond in kind, via the Loveconnection hotline.

Single friends

"Once a direct contact is established, we cease to be involved," says Gerber, who has copyrighted her idea in Europe and North America.

The company hopes to make a profit simply through the cost of phone calls and T-shirts. Even before the 24-hour telephone lines have opened, Loveconnection had sold more than 100 T-shirts.

Gerber, graduate of an Italian fashion house, says she got the idea because she has so many 30-something single friends. One of them asked her to make him T-shirt bearing the legend: "handsome guy inside" and his phone number.

A similar system sprang up in Zurich two years ago. At the initiative of the now defunct private television station, TV3, people put heart-shaped stickers on the rear of their cars. Those finding the driver attractive could dial a special number, along with the licence-plate number. The driver could then return the call if they so desired.

This system - introduced as a way of reducing nuisance phone calls and sexual harassment - failed to stand the test of time. Whether the Loveconnection T-shirts fare any better remains to be seen.

by Roy Probert

This article was automatically imported from our old content management system. If you see any display errors, please let us know: community-feedback@swissinfo.ch

In compliance with the JTI standards

In compliance with the JTI standards

More: SWI swissinfo.ch certified by the Journalism Trust Initiative

Contributions under this article have been turned off. You can find an overview of ongoing debates with our journalists here. Please join us!

If you want to start a conversation about a topic raised in this article or want to report factual errors, email us at english@swissinfo.ch.

Share this story

Change your password

Do you really want to delete your profile?