Wearable technology is taking the fashion industry by storm as designers like Ralph Lauren, Rebecca Minkoff and Tory Burch are leading their brands into the fast-evolving world of technology. Wearable technology started with products like Apple’s iWatch and Google Glass, and the trend has quickly, and perhaps unexpectedly, converged with the fashion world. Many high-end brands have added “smart accessories” to their collections, a move that seems to be leading the industry in a new direction. This season’s month-long series of Fashion Week shows has shown that attention was as much on the clothes as it was on the wearable accessories that were unveiled on the catwalk. Fashion designers have clearly taken smart accessories seriously as something that is not only fashionable and functional, but also revolutionary.
Ralph Lauren launched a line of biometric smart shirts for athletes that enable the wearer to track his or her breathing, heart rate, and number of steps through the silver-coated thread lining. Rebecca Minkoff has set the trend of attractive yet functional accessories with the release of a leather bracelet that also serves as a USB cable to charge your phone. Minkoff also debuted a gold chain-link studded bracelet that notifies the wearer of texts and calls via Bluetooth pairing with his/her phone. Tory Burch has partnered with Fitbit to release a line of accessories that are compatible with the Fitbit fitness tracking device.
In addition to these designers, high-end retailer Barneys New York has announced its collaboration with Opening Ceremony to launch a collection of smart bracelets in the near future. Nike has also released new editions of the Nike Fuel Band, a black rubber bracelet that consumers can choose to adorn with a pure gold, silver, or rose gold clasp.
Technology is becoming more and more embedded in all spheres of our lives, and fashion brands are no exception. Designers are continually adapting their collections to the ever-growing demand for technology. Brands have employed various public relations approaches in order to announce the release of smart accessories, whether via invitation, such as Apple’s release of the iWatch, a reveal on the catwalk, or a press release to inform the public of what’s to come. Although the wearable technology trend has infiltrated high-end fashion brands, it will be ever-exciting to see what other smart accessories designers are preparing in their collections, as well as how public relations teams will navigate the future of fashion and tech.
Written by Shannon Toobi