Luxury retailers put a stylish spin on wearable technologyNEW YORK - Luxury fashion is making inroads in wearable tech as more designers try their hands at developing smart, stylish accessories and clothing aimed at tracking performance and health or simply making connected lives easier to manage.
“We actually think the fashion industry should be in the driver’s seat,” Ayse Ildeniz, vice president of business development and strategy for Intel’s new devices group, said at a January event in Las Vegas.
Designers are listening. Luxury brand Ralph Lauren plans to unveil its high-performance smart compression shirt, the Polo Tech, on Monday at the start of the U.S. Open. The company took in feedback from players and ball boys during practice sessions and plans to begin selling the shirt this spring, said David Lauren, an executive vice president of his father’s namesake company.
Hewlett-Packard called on designer Michael Bastian and online retailer Gilt to develop a high-design smart watch that is Android and iOS compatible, allowing a user to take in notifications for email, text and calls, and to manage music and apps. It reportedly, could hit the market this fall.
And Tory Burch partnered with Fitbit for accessories she designed exclusively for use with the fitness brand’s Flex.
Fashion also has Intel’s ear. Ildeniz said at the winter Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas that the chip company is collaborating with Opening Ceremony, the Council of Fashion Designers of America and luxury retailer Barneys to find new ways for technology developers and fashion designers to work more closely.