Tech companies are courting fashion brand for one big reason: they need designers to make wearables cool. Ayse Ildeniz, vice president of Intel's new devices group, spelled it out for the Wall Street Journal: "We desperately need the fashion industry."
The Wall Street Journal notes that the wearables market could grow to $170 billion by 2020, but for now, tech companies need to appeal to the masses. Hence, collaborations like Rebecca Minkoff's partnership with Case-Mate to create $120 bracelets that let the wearer know about incoming calls and texts. Or Tory Burch's Fitbit accessory, or Intel's and Opening Ceremony's MICA smart bracelet, worn at Opening Ceremony's NYFW presentation and available to the public this winter.
Not everyone in the fashion industry is on board with tech quite yet. The Wall Street Journal notes that CR Fashion Book editor-in-chief Carine Roitfeld threw some shade during a recent panel discussion hosted by Samsung. "The problem with technology is it's a bit cold. It's a bit sharp," she said. Pointing at another panelist's blingy Samsung Gear S smartwatch, she said, "I'm not sure I would like to wear the bracelet that you are wearing."
· Tech Companies and Fashion Designers Try to Put the 'Wear' in 'Wearables' [WSJ]
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· Tech and Fashion's Fight Over Talent Has Only Just Begun [Racked]
· Tory Burch Helps Your Sorority Sister Embrace Wearable Tech [Racked]
· Wearables Threaten to Kill Fragile Festival Fanny Pack Market [Racked]