Tech and fashion have always seemed to be two different worlds where the twain would never, ever meet. However, that clearly seems like a thing of the past thanks to all the wearable technology we’re seeing on the international runways over the last few years.
If there was one trend that made for a common factor at most of the shows spanning New York, Milan and Paris, it had to be wearable tech. And we suspect it’s a trend that is definitely here to stay.
Every well-known leading tech company – from Asus to Sony to Samsung to Motorola – are showcasing smartwatches and activity tracking smartbands that look lethal and pack in quite a tech punch too! If that doesn’t catch your fancy, there’s fabulous jewellery too!
According to research, the number of tech wearables has tripled from last year, hitting an envious and jaw-dropping figure of 19.2 million and poised to be a $50 billion industry soon. Talk about a financially viable marriage of form and function!
And why not? If consumers expect their regular home-ware such as washers, dryers, cars and key chains to perform superhuman stunts, then why should fashion accessories be left behind? We live in a world of ‘what can you do for me’ and the fashion industry is answering that question with tech you can wear.
As early as 2012, Nike embedded a chip into their shoes to allow runners to track their personal metrics. Last year, Google Glass partnered with the phenomenal Diane von Furstenberg to co-create interactive ‘DVF Made for Glass’ eyewear that looked anything but geeky.
Last September, designer Richard Nicoll launched a light up fibre optic LED minidress made by Studio XO, which surprisingly was received very well by most fashion critics.
Once upon a time chunky tech has now transformed its aesthetics to look sleek, sexy and superb. Ringly has debuted rings and other jewellery that connect your phone, Tory Burch has showed off a chic line of sporty accessories in collaboration with Fitbit while Ralph Lauren has brought to life a stylish biometric polo shirt embedded with sensors to improve physical performance.
The challenge to spurring adoption is to make wearable tech transcend fashion while remaining functional, easy to use and fashionable, so it’s not a geek chic fad or a trend. In fact, Michael Kors, Rebecca Minkoff and Swarovski are all poised to hit the tech wearable market with fashionable offerings that will also satiate your tech-loving heart.
However, India seems to be nowhere close. The only time mobile technology got this close to the ramp was when Shantanu and Nikhil snapped a selfie at LFW last March. We can only hope that this fashion week, we are pleasantly surprised. After all, it’s about time!