The constant battle between two unrelated worlds; or at least we thought. Technology has conquered the fashion industry. All of its aspects have been seized. From hi-tech textiles—championing the eco-campaign—to smart gadgets, there is no denial on whether fashion’s future relies on the tech world.
In fashion one is expected to be on top of trends, and that is innovating and perfecting your products. Juxtaposed to any fashion brand, there’s Apple. The hi-tech giant who’s known for giving its customer what they want and what they need. So it’s quite fair to say they dictate trends. This time, smartwatches. To gain impact? Partner up with one of the top fashion brands out there, Hermès. We can probably think the same about Google’s collaboration with Diane Von Furstenberg. And the list goes on.
According to the Business of Fashion, the fashion industry “rejected” the idea of wearable tech ever since Google pitched it. And how come today’s eagerness is growing within the industry and the market? Is fashion starting to get aware of this revolution? Brands are beginning to create their own high-tech items, allowing the consumer to have their own unique design and vision of wearable gadgets. Michael Kors and Tory Burch are two of the most successful American designers in the industry. Why would they leave an opportunity to appeal their customer behind?
Fashionistas are drawn by visually appealing items that stay current with a trend. Tory Burch excels at delivering this to their customer. The question lies on whether they’ll be able to outshine Apple or Intel’s system. With their first hybrid smartwatch, Tory Burch promises to provide a timeless design piece with all necessary functions. An app will be available to connect your smartphone with your smartwatch via bluetooth. But, is delving into the world of hi-tech without a polished partner be the right move for Tory Burch and any other brand who wishes to conquer this niche industry?
Ayse Ildeniz, vice president and general manager for business development and strategy at Intel, wrote in an Op-Ed article for the Business of Fashion, “This marriage of function and form is exactly where the wearable category is headed.” Functionality is what the consumer seeks in this modern world where technology has become a every-day need. Perhaps it is because of this that technology and fashion need one another. While fashion is good at beautifying products, technology overcomes the needs of the consumer. “The end product must be attractive and seamlessly integrated into the user’s life, regardless of whether there is an on-off switch,” argues Ildeniz.
To Intel, the collaboration field may seem quite affable after partnering with Tag Heuer. In what appears to be an excellent match—just like Apple and Hermès—they have managed to conceive both design and functionality into one sole product. By not leaving behind the heritage of a watch company, Tag Heuer’s aims “to prevent consumers was buying smartwatches from non-watch companies,” according to WWD. After the extraordinary success of its first smartwatch in 2015, Tag Heuer and Intel have made it clear they will not abandon the battlefield. As for Intel, creating "experiences" is something they certainly excel at.
What appeared to be as a No Man's Land, is now a competitive business undoubtedly concluding with exceptional partnerships. It will not be a surprise fashion and technology will continue to blow consumers’ minds by fulfilling their needs with exceptional designs—such is the case of Tory Burch. But, will they have to partner with a tech mogul to mastermind future pieces? Or will a solitary move be smart enough to rival important collaborations? [Smart] time will only tell.
Written by MARÍA JOSÉ GONZALVEZ
Visual Editor PAOLO SCUTTI