Designer Tech: Wearables Get A Fashionable Upgrade

Screengrab courtesy:
Screengrab courtesy:

While the initial entrants in the wearable tech field tended to feature clunky designs that would only appeal to a niche market more interested in functionality than fashion, wearables have now officially begun their evolution into wardrobe-staple status, with some of today’s top designers lending their stylish sensibilities to the growing wearables market, such as Diane von Furstenberg and Google, Tory Burch and FitBit, and Diesel and Samsung.

Here, some suggestions to bring your wardrobe into the future.

Tech enthusiasts around the world have one date circled on their calendars—April 24—the day that the Apple Watch will finally hit stores and might even hit the Celebrity iLounge℠ in the near future. The sleek timepiece, which is the tech giant’s first foray into the personal luxury goods market, not only keeps time within 50 milliseconds of the definitive global time standard, but it also “taps” your wrist every time you get an incoming message, and learns your activity and fitness levels to suggest personalized all-day activity goals.

Prices start at $349, and go up to $17,000 for the 18-karat gold-cased version.

Fashion meets fitness with this exclusive collection from Tory Burch, which transforms the crazy popular Fitbit Flex tracker (sold separately) into a chic accessory that can be worn day or night. (Because you’d rather make a fashion statement than a declaration that you’re tracking your steps, distance, and sleep habits.) The collection of modern accessories includes a pendant necklace, a hinged bangle, and a wrap bracelet. Fitness never looked so good.

Billed as the evolution of mobile, the Gear S watch from Samsung delivers a smart experience without you having to have a smartphone in your hand. Now with 3G, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi connectivity, the device not only tells the time, it also allows you to make calls, send messages, and connect to GPS without first having to connect to your phone for service. But our favorite fashion-forward element is the curved display with customizable clock faces, which make it effortless to show your modern sense of style. Recently, Samsung collaborated with Diesel Black Gold to create a line of accessories for the watch. The partnership “embodies the union of innovative, design-conscious technologies with a contemporary and unique fashion ecosphere,” Samsung said in a press release at the time the collaboration was announced.

When is a shirt not just a shirt? When it merges biometrics into active lifestyle apparel, that’s when. Which is just what Ralph Lauren has done with the new Polo Tech Shirt that made its debut on the backs of the 2014 US Open
ball boys. Developed with OMsignal technology, the shirt, which works as a sensor (tracking distance, calories burned, intensity of movement, heart rate, stress rate, and more), seamlessly connects to an app on your tablet or smartphone to communicate the collected data. The second-skin fit enhances comfort and agility, and the sleek black design is marked by a neon yellow, oversized form of the brand’s signature polo player emblem. (Which one can only assume is a loud-and-proud declaration from the brand that Ralph Lauren is the first to offer a new type of “intelligent” apparel.)

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