The luxury fashion market is changing. With the growing influence of Chinese consumers and the young affluent willing to spend more on luxury, well-established Parisian and Italian fashion houses – Louis Vuitton, Gucci and Prada – are increasingly adding tech accessories to broaden their market appeal.
From Louis Vuitton hiring Virgil Abloh as its new Men’s Artistic Director to Alessandro Michele serving as Gucci’s Creative Director, traditional luxury labels are open to experiment and collaborate with other labels to serve a new wave of customers. Now, even the biggest names of haute couture Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent and Christian Dior have begun selling “fashion tech accessories”. In fact, brands like Louis Vuitton are one step ahead with Tambour Horizon smartwatches and truly wireless ‘Horizon Earphones.’
Express Technology takes a look at some of the tech accessories that make a fashion statement.
Louis Vuitton Horizon Black and Green Earphones
If you thought the AirPods Pro was the ultimate truly wireless earbuds, think again. Designed in collaboration with Virgil Abloh, the Louis Vuitton Horizon wireless earbuds bear the iconic LV initials and the monogram flowers. Along with the style quotient, Louis Vuitton’s $1190 (or approx Rs 84,488) earphones also feature active noise cancellation and ambient listening mode. The truly wireless earphones offer 30 hours of battery, complete with a special charging case with wireless induction charging support. Several celebrities have been spotted wearing the ultra-luxurious earbuds, including Sophie Turner, Miley Cyrus and K-pop stars.
Yves Saint Laurent x Google ‘smart’ bag
French haute couture house Yves Saint Laurent’s collaboration with Google surprised many in both the tech and fashion world. YSL and Google have closely worked on a smart backpack with smart touch sensors on the strap that allows users to control their smartphones. As part of Google’s “Project Jacquard”, the $1000 (or approx Rs 73,587) Cite-E backpack has an interactive touch area allowing for gestures. Once paired with a smartphone (it can be an iPhone or Android phone), the nylon-made backpack lets you control the music, take a picture with a gesture, or access Google Maps. While some might call it “overpriced”, the Cite-E isn’t expensive at all. In fact, the fashion house is known for selling high-end bags with Ostrich leather skin for over $4000 apiece.
Fendi x Chaos smartwatch case
Inspired by vintage cigarette cases and gold lighters, Fendi’s latest collaboration with London lifestyle label Chaos is a case for Apple Watch. This vintage-style accessory for the 40mm Apple Watch is designed with a clip so that it can be easily attached to your belt or bag. It’s all shimmering gold with the Fendi and Chaos logos embossed on the front. Who says a watch has to be worn on the wrist? The Fendi collab with Chaos does cost you money: a cool 490 Euros( or approx Rs 43,143).
Chanel AirPods Pro case
For the handbag obsessives, the Classic Chanel Double Flap bag is a collector’s item. Influenced by the house’s iconic Classic Double Flap bag, Chanel recently introduced the AirPod Pro case that looks just like its iconic bag. The case has the familiar interlocking CCs (introduced by Karl Lagerfeld in the 80s), as well as the interwoven leather. Since it is a case, there are some changes made to the design. The case can be clasped into your purse with a keychain, thanks to the rope handle that comes with two clips. Crafted from lambskin, Chanel’s AirPods Pro case is priced at $975 (or approx Rs 71,812). For many Chanel lovers, this AirPods Pro case is what would call a classic piece.
Louis Vuitton Tambour Horizon smartwatch
It’s almost impossible to put together a round-up of the best luxury tech accessories without including the LV Tambour Horizon smartwatch. Perfect for travellers and golfers, the Tambour Horizon adorns the famous LV logo and motifs. Powered by Wear OS by Google, and running the Snapdragon Wear 3100 platform, the Horizon watch features a 42mm case. As practical as it is beautiful, the French Maison has made a statement smartwatch that remains instantly recognisable as a Louis Vuitton creation. With two signature apps available exclusively for the watch — the LV Guide and My Flight – the Tambour Horizon is a fashion-forward take on today’s smartwatches. The price for the watch starts at $2,250 (or approx Rs 165,690) for the base model, with the top-end model costing $8,500 (or approx Rs 625,969).
Gucci x Disney Donald Duck iPhone 11 Pro case
Gucci’s latest collaboration with Disney is a match made in heaven. While there are many statement pieces in the collection, one item that caught our attention is the case for the iPhone. It’s an adorable case with Donald Duck and an all-capitalized signature Gucci font. The case is only available for the iPhone 11 series, though. It retails for $395 (or approx Rs 29,091), which is not much considering it is a Gucci product.
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