It had been a series of announcements that surprised few, made many laugh, and some scratch their heads.
It had been a series of announcements that surprised few, made many laugh, and some scratch their heads. Why would the major American technology companies—notably Google and Apple, come up with watches and glasses? Was it a way to lure more people to their line of products, or was it a way to have a boldness of inquiry of other industries and attempt to break into the fashion industry, an industry one would say is difficult to break into?
It was the latter—and though perhaps it was a good way to lure people in to consider an iPhone or a Chromebook, any attempts for these companies to be fashionable would end up being a challenge, especially to consumers who have long identified with the notion of devices to enhance entertainment and work productivity.
And indeed, it has been a challenge.
As the New York Times technology columnist Nick Bilton notes, these companies have had difficulty in making these products look stylish. Indeed, some people were concerned about wearing them in public.
Ari Mir, who is the head of Pocket Change, a start-up company that markets a rewards currency app, based in the US city of San Francisco, was one of them when it came to the subject of wearing his pair of Google Glass in public. “I love them, they’re amazing, but I feel like a dork wearing them in public,” Mir said.
As interest increased in the Glass and the purpose of it, they got a mention in Vogue’s September issue, though it was uncertain if that turned heads.
I don’t want to be a dork
Separately, it was announced last July the head of Yves Saint Laurent’s fashion house, Paul Deneve, was leaving to join Apple, working on projects for the company’s chief executive, Tim Cook. The hiring was made as speculation ran rampant about the development of an iWatch.
It is difficult to fathom a fashion executive leaving to join a technology company, but, it could work, according to some observers. “We’re in an industry that’s converging,” said Hussein Kanji, a London based technology investor, in an interview with the US financial news service Bloomberg. “[Deneve] might be the guy to make it fashionable.”
As these companies try to place a firm foot in the door of the fashion industry, it is difficult to envision people buying these products to wear. They do look dorky, and perhaps instead of trying to make something that people would want to wear, they have instead made new ways to develop their technologies and to capitalise on those efforts.
Perhaps it is time Apple and Google abandoned their plans to strut down the catwalk and return to the drawing board to focus on connecting people through technology—the primary purpose of why they exist.
Fashion tech, albeit creative, will not spark a new fashion industry, and will only see how far technology can go, not set trends.
I don’t know about you, but this is one person who would prefer not looking like a total dork.
What do you think? Would you wear fashion tech items? Have your say in the comments section below.
Image: tedeytan / Flickr