Fashion & Technology: the new power couple

Zosia Zwieglinska investigates the emergence of high fashion tech onto our high streets

30th November 2015

Technology and fashion have inevitably come together over the last couple of years. As the world of electronics grows more and more sophisticated, certain brands have begun to expand and cater to a more fashionable target audience. First Apple came out with two versions of the iPhone- the colourful jelly case suitable ‘for the masses,’ and the first ‘S’ model, which came perfectly fitted into a gold, silver and space-grey outfit.

The hefty price tag attached means that phones now have to seriously stand out to sell, and the most profitable way of doing so is through the world of fashion. In a trading market where competitors stand out through their differences, fashion seems like the most natural partner for technology. After all, who better to market two different models of something when a dress from Prada costs around £2,500 and one from Primark can be as low as £5?

Apple have been trying to focus on their products appearances for a while now and aim to bring their fashion-conscious Apple Watch into the spotlight. The Apple Watch was made specifically for fashionistas, with the most expensive models reaching £13,500. The design aspect of such expensive technological pieces brings in a fusion of fashionable, highly stylized pieces, and the convenience and integrity with other the Apple products that customers may already have. According to Vertu, the creator of the world’s most expensive iPhone; “the market for luxury technology has become broader following the launch of higher priced versions of Apple’s iPhone.”

''The design aspect of such expensive technological pieces brings in a fusion of fashionable, highly STYLIZED pieces, and the convenience and integrity with other the Apple products that customers may already have''

However, developing technology for the fashionable in mind is not exclusively an Apple-brand concept. Companies like Fitbit are collaborating with designers like Tory Burch, and transforming fitness tracking from ugly awkwardly shaped bands to perfectly sculptured gold bracelets. In the Harrods department store, decoration of items such as phones, phone cases and headphones comes with a high price tag. If you’re willing to spend, Harrods will be able to bling you up in no time: platinum, gold, rose gold, Swarovski crystals, crocodile skin…you name it – they’ll probably have your electronic of choice kitted out in it.

In the past, fine details like the ones mentioned would have been reserved solely for exclusive accessories like watches, bags and wallets, men’s tiepins and luggage. The emergence of such extravagance into mainstream society is a new, but natural progression from times when technology was too expensive for consumption by the masses.

Whilst most people cannot afford pieces from prestigious fashion collections, getting a case for your phone or iPad is another way of showing the world that you can also be stylish without breaking the bank.

The union of fashion and technology is a new step for both worlds, however it isn’t just the technology world enjoying the honeymoon - global giants like D&G are completely backing the trend. It’s evident the fashion world is embracing technology wholeheartedly; as the Apple Watch, Google Glass and more advanced fitness trackers demonstrate.

Fashion and technology merging means that there are more new devices being made with fashion in mind. Integrated bags with charging cables are already being brought up as concepts, and better ergonomics mean that new designs for technology are sleeker, and more refined.

Some fashion purists still do believe that fashion should remain as a separate field, focused on refining its techniques to bring in young designers, and not large conglomerates like Apple. However, this new venture has brought in such a large following from new customers that fashion simply cannot deny the impact of technology.

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