When Google first presented its Project Glass back in 2012, not many people expected these futuristic gadgets to become a part of our everyday lives as rapidly as they did. However, this seems to have been a breaking point after which many different types of wearables appeared to change the ways we access online information and potentially much more than that.
IDC estimated that the market for wearables will grow to 111.9 million units by 2018, which only speaks about the popularity of these products.
However, besides bringing buzz to the tech industry, wearables also changed contemporary fashion. Although these two industries have always overlapped to a certain extent, it seems that runways have never been shaken by a particular tech trend the way they were by the appearance of wearables. This is obvious with some notable partnerships made between tech giants and major fashion houses, which set out to turn wearables into mainstream accessories. Certainly, there are plenty of reasons for this.
“The fundamental truth behind wearable technology is that it has to look good or we just won’t wear it.”
As pointed out by Mariel Brown, a head of trends at design and innovation company Seymourpowell, this is probably the main reason why major wearable technology developers decided to collaborate with fashion designers and make these gadgets more appealing to the highly demanded fashion audience and general consumer market.
1. Intel and Fossil
Earlier this year, shortly after unveiling its luxury smart bracelet – MICA (My Intelligence Communication Accessory), Intel announced that they were entering a partnership with Fossil designers. The idea is to start creating new wearable technology products that would be in line with the taste of the fashion-aware. Furthermore, since Fossil already makes licensed watches for major fashion houses such as Michael Kors, Diesel, Marc Jacobs and Emporio Armani, smart watches may well become an inevitable trend in the general fashion industry.
2. Google Glass and Diane von Furstenberg
Google, the pilot of the wearable technology world has long realized the importance of promoting their gadget of the future as an everyday fashion trend. Dian von Furstenberg – Google Glass partnership is not a new story, yet their 2012 catwalk at New York Fashion week was certainly one of the top events in the industries. The companies demonstrated how functionality and aesthetics can go together in order to create the world where the future is a part of the everyday.
3. Apple and Nike
Nike has become the driving force of adopting wearables in athletics, which is the area where they gained ground few years ago. In essence, the most popular wearable gadgets are those intended to enable people to monitor and potentially improve their physical health. In an interview with Bloomberg’s Stephanie Ruhle, Nike CEO Mark Parker said he thinks wearables will become a big part of the future and that he is aiming towards reaching hundreds of millions of users through the partnership with Apple, that was announced in April 2014.
Since the Apple seems to be quite eager to further expand its smartwatch market, it is quite possible that its whole Apple Watch Sport line will be developed in collaboration with Nike.
Certainly, there are different forms of brand development strategies and cross-industry partnerships like these seem to be quite common among the major tech companies such as those mentioned above. These three in particular are intended to make wearables more fashionable and therefore more appealing to the widest consumer market. Considering such attempts, it seems that the future of wearables in fashion is quite bright. Both early adopters and fashion fanatics will have plenty of interesting stuff to try out in the next several months.