Fashion-favorite Rebecca Minkoff designs tech jewelry to keep your smartphone addiction hidden
Jul13

Fashion-favorite Rebecca Minkoff designs tech jewelry to keep your smartphone addiction hidden

In mid-2014, fashion designer Rebecca Minkoff teamed up with Case-Mate to create a line of wearables that would strike the hard-won perfect balance between disguising embedded tech and promoting an elegant aesthetic. Known for her bright and bold designs, Minkoff entered the tech jewelry game only to meet strong competition from the likes of Fitbit’s partner in fashion, Tory Burch. Whereas Burch’s designs simply encase another wearable device, Minkoff’s deliver original functionality. Included in Minkoff’s wearable tech line is a gold chain-link Notification Bracelet that connects to a user’s smartphone via Bluetooth. The bracelet will give a gentle buzz to alert the wearer of phone calls and text messages from specified numbers. Sold for about $120 at your local AT&T store, the bracelet boasts a battery life of up to 30 days. You might also like: 5 companies trying really hard to make fashionable wearable tech It’s a simple function for a wearable, but is one that’s born from Minkoff’s personal experiences. “As a woman, I understand the stigma that goes along with having my phone out at a dinner or meeting, but the fact is that I still need to be tapped in to a few people no matter what. I designed the notification bracelet with the working professional woman in mind,” Minkoff said. In a similar vein to the Notification Bracelet is the Lightning Cable Bracelet, which manages to disguise a USB cable within a black leather band, complete with a gold clasp. Going for only $58, the wearable can charge and sync your phone on the go, all while staying relatively fashionable (it’s certainly not a petite piece of jewelry). Minkoff’s designs are live on her website, allowing women across the world the possibility of hiding their additions to technology without having to unplug entirely. Now we can’t wait to see if Minkoff can find a way to develop her necklace-that-doubles-as-headphones concept in the coming...

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Glass Handbag illuminates the darkest parts of a woman’s purse
May24

Glass Handbag illuminates the darkest parts of a woman’s purse

Editor’s Note:  Third Wave Fashion helps fashion brands, technology companies, and publishers do amazing things in the quickly merging worlds of fashion and tech, and publish a print magazine about fashion tech, the future of commerce, and wearables. The following is a post shared from the fashion tech think tank. Check back soon for more TWF interviews. Sometimes the best wearable tech can be the simplest kind. Glass Handbag is an accessories company that puts patented, built-in lighting systems into their handbags to help the carrier find what they need (keys, phone) quickly. Recently we spoke with Glass Handbag’s designer Tamara Leuty to tell us more. Describe Glass Handbag. Glass Handbag is all about beautiful, visually interesting pieces made with the best quality materials. Additionally, each bag is made with a durable light panel built inside. Glass Handbags are not only good looking, but they help to ease your day-to-day life. Searching feverishly through your handbag in a dark parking lot or restaurant for your keys, money, lipstick, etc. is a think of the past. We like to think Glass Handbag is therefore the ultimate luxury handbag. This is the standard we hold ourselves to each season. What was your inspiration behind creating Glass Handbag? When I was as young as a teenager, it occurred to me that a light inside a handbag would be beyond ideal. As the years went on, my frustration with rummaging through the black hole to find what I needed when I needed it became way too great. I got tired of waiting for someone else to make this type of bag, and went ahead and decided to do it myself. So I began the journey of research and development. I quickly fell in love with this process which would go on for multiple years until the technology and designs were truly perfect. What sets Glass Handbag apart from other wearables? Hopefully the design; I work really hard to make the bags unique. I don’t want to follow the trends, I want to make the trends, or just challenge myself. For me there is no point in making a common looking bag. I love it when people say to me something like, “I have never seen a bag like that.” The light function is really just the icing on top. What has been one of the most challenging parts of getting started? How did you overcome this and what did you learn? The most challenging parts of getting started are; getting the name out there, marketing, the basic cost of development, and the patience to make it just right. I am always making modifications to make every bag better....

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Tory Burch Fitbit collaboration adds chic Fret leather bracelet
Apr02

Tory Burch Fitbit collaboration adds chic Fret leather bracelet

The honest truth is activity trackers don’t always complement your “look.” Fortunately, fashion company Tory Burch is attempting to bring sartorial sophistication to the wearables market with its newest — and chicest — collaboration with Fitbit. The Fret Double-Wrap Bracelet is designed to make your Fitbit Flex look like a cute accessory, and it weaves into the rest of the Tory Burch Fitbit collection seamlessly. Tory Burch describes the bracelet as “lightweight, versatile and effortlessly tomboy.” The bracelet comes in four sleek variations, each with different-colored metal detailing and leather bands. It has an adjustable latch for a customized fit, and the stainless steel metal is plated with 18k rose gold or 16k gold. Tory Burch and Fitbit first announced their plans to collaborate in April 2014. The collection launched in August with a pendant necklace and a silicone printed bracelet. The fashion company has since introduced a metal hinged bracelet, and now, the Fret. Fitbit stands out as one of the few fashion-minded wearables company, committed to finding a place in the fickle market. Unfortunately for those who don’t yet own a Fitbit, Tory Burch’s accessories do not come with the activity tracker. The Flex smartband must be bought separately. But in comparison with other Tory Burch jewelry, a $175 price tag for the good-looking casing doesn’t seem too...

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A Lithuanian smart shoe to light up your wardrobe
Mar28

A Lithuanian smart shoe to light up your wardrobe

Ever wished you could change your shoes once you’ve left the house? Apparently, a few entrepreneurs have. Lithuanian start-up, iShüu Technologies, developed a smart shoe that can change color on the go, and it’s currently trying its hand with a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo. The Volvorii Timeless is a high heel shoe with embedded flexible electronic paper by E-Ink. On a smartphone app, you can choose whether the paper will display a lighter color, a darker color, or various patterns. The shoes have low-energy Bluetooth connectivity and wireless charging. iShüu first developed the Volvorii to compete in LVMH Prize, a contest hosted by Louis Vuitton that showcases young fashion designers. In advance of the competition, iShüu put the shoe through the esteemed Dragon certification program to ensure a sound design and manufacturing plan. To get the shoes onto the feet of the general public, iShüu turned to crowdfunding. At the halfway mark on March 26, the Indiegogo campaign was over halfway to its fundraising goal $50,000. But lately, the Volvorii has seen a significant spike of interest in China.  iShüu uploaded its video to Youku, a Chinese video hosting service similar to YouTube, where it’s seen over 150,000 views. The startup tweeted on March 13, “This calls for a mid stride course correction!” iShüu is now offering free shipping to all of those purchasing the shoes in Mainland China, as well as the United States.  In addition to growing interest in China, the Volvorii has received an order from the President of E-Ink, Johnson Lee. “It goes without saying, Mr Lee is our idol,” said iShüu CEO Wallen Mphepö. “We would love to collaborate with E-Ink on a range of products and technologies that will make vivid full color e-paper displays play a significant role in wearables beyond smart watches. We are currently reaching out to them as we speak!”...

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Apple beefs up Apple Watch sales training with fashion-forward tactics
Mar25

Apple beefs up Apple Watch sales training with fashion-forward tactics

Did you ever dream of a day when you’d wait in line to ask a dude sporting a cotton Apple t-shirt about… personal style? In all fairness, said salesperson probably never imagined a scenario either in which a job at an Apple storefront meant consulting on fashion. But, alas, the day has come when doling out sartorial advice has been formally added to the “Apple Store Specialist” job description. To push the eagerly anticipated Apple Watch (preorder April 10), salespeople are reportedly being trained on how to help potential customers select the device that best suits his or her personality and lifestyle. Yes, you may now go file this report under “amusing.” 9to5Mac published a detailed report culled from “employees briefed on the plans,” which outlines the customer profiles Apple created to impart upselling wisdom on its employees. Apple is encouraging employees to build relationships with customers to understand their purchase plans, stylistic wants, and fashion needs. Apple has created multiple sample personas (shown above and below) to prepare employees for the launch. Apple also asks employees to recommend different fashion and style choices. Employees have been told to make comments such as “you seem to have a fun style. I think the Pink Sport band would match your style perfectly,” or “the white strap looks great on you.” Apple offers guidelines for making fashion and style advice: Make comments about why you think an option is a good choice rather than discussing why an option may not be a good choice. Explain how earlier customers made decisions between models. Use other accessories [already] on a customer as examples for which model would look best. If the customer is with another person, make sure to get the opinion of that person on which model should be purchased. Don’t focus on price as a reason to recommend an option because many customers may be willing to spend more for a model that makes them feel good. It will be interesting, if not entertaining, to see how the staff adapts to such tactics normally employed in a luxury apparel setting. Though, the techniques shouldn’t come as a surprise considering the key hires the corporation has made from within the fashion industry — namely, Chester Chipperfield (Burberry), Musa Tariq (Burberry), Paul Deneve (YSL), and Jacob Jordan (Louis Vuitton). But if we may give one word of advice? Unless any of the above heavy-hitting fashionistas(os) are standing before you, simply trust your gut when choosing which Apple Watch truly reflects your ever-unique personality. You know yourself better than any well-trained sales sleuth out...

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