Fashion-forward technology: pieces that are as chic as they are functional

Five stylish accessories for when you're on the move

Fashion froward technology: from handbags you can watch, to headhones that double as a neckace and a wearable phone case. Supplied 
Fashion froward technology: from handbags you can watch, to headhones that double as a neckace and a wearable phone case. Supplied 

There is no doubt that technology has become fully ingrained in daily life, but it has not necessarily taken over your wardrobe. Here we round up five products that prove it may be about to, from headphones that double up as a necklace, to a handbag complete with screens ...

1. Beats x Sacai necklace

Beats by Dre x Sacai headpone necklace. Getty Images 
Beats by Dre x Sacai headpone necklace. Getty Images

When models took to the runway for Sacai’s autumn/winter 2019 menswear show in Paris in January, many wore what looked like colourful beaded necklaces. In fact, the jaunty accessories were carefully concealed earphones created in collaboration with Beats by Dre. The Beats X wireless eartips are connected by a flex-form cable that can be decorated at will. The earphones are sold with 76 individual beads in Sacai’s signature colours – red, blue and white – allowing users to create their own designs and colour combinations. With a battery life of eight hours, the eartips themselves come in three colours: burned red, deep white and true blue. A Remote Talk function allows you to take calls with a built-in mic, play music, adjust volume and activate Siri. When they are not in use, the magnetic sides of the earphones slot together to create a stylish piece of jewellery. “We wanted to incorporate a technique and style that allowed free-mindedness,” says Chitose Abe, Sacai’s founder and designer.

Beats X and Sacai, Dh550,

2. Wearable Dior phonecase

Dior phone case. Getty Images 
Dior phone case. Getty Images

For his winter 2019/2020 menswear collection, Dior designer Kim Jones drew on the French maison’s couture heritage, but juxtaposed these elements with hyper-modern accessories touted as “the electronic essentials of life today”. For those prone to misplacing their wireless earphones, Dior presented a supremely stylish solution: AirPod cases in iridescent hues, with a cord wire that can be slung around the neck or worn as a bracelet. There were also sleek phone cases in Plexiglas, leather or Dior Oblique canvas, designed to fit not one, but two phones – because, really, who can make do with just one handset these days? The durable Plexiglas versions are adorned with prints of works by popular American punk artist Raymond Pettibon, adding an extra layer of modernity.

Phone cases, price on request,

3. Louis Vuitton handbag with screens

Louis Vuitton handbag. Supplied 
Louis Vuitton handbag. Supplied

Is this the handbag of the future? For its cruise 2020 show, which unfolded in New York’s JFK airport, Louis Vuitton presented its most innovative canvas yet. The sides of its signature Speedy bags were fitted with mouldable video screens, which LV described as “a new cuttingedge fusion of technology and craft”. While they are still prototypes, and we have no idea what moving images we would display on the side of ours, the bags are indicative of the brand’s plans to bridge the gap between our smartphones and fashion accessories.

4. Leather Berluti x Native Union charging dock

Berluti x Native Union charging dock. Supplied 
Berluti x Native Union charging dock. Supplied

There’s naught more ubiquitous in this day and age than the humble phone charger – but, through a collaboration with Native Union, Berluti has elevated this most essential of accoutrements to new stylish heights. Native Union was launched by John Bruner and Igor Duc, who were “disenchanted by the nondescript, mass-produced plastic that filled the mobile accessories market”. Playing on Berluti’s mastery of Venezia leather, the two companies have created a curated collection of accessories that include a leathertrimmed woven nylon iPhone charger, a leather smart charger and adaptor travel set, wireless charging docks and an iPhone case. This circular wireless charger is topped with the highest quality Venezia calfskin. Placing it face up is enough to start charging an iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone X and all other Qi compatible devices. It’s the refined way to keep your cables in check.

Berluti leather charging dock, Dh3,150,

5. An Ember Travel Mug

Ember travel mug. Supplied 
Ember travel mug. Supplied

Keep your hot drinks at optimum temperature with the Ember travel mug. The sleek, streamlined appearance of this portable container belies the fact that it features seven temperature sensors, a cooling system and a microprocessor-controlled heating system, which will allow you to set your preferred temperature and then maintain it. With the Ember app, you can save presets, adjust the temperature remotely and track your coffee consumption via Apple Health integration. A digital display on the mug will let you know when the mug needs to be recharged, while a leakproof lid will prevent spills.

Ember travel mug (coming soon), Dh550,

Published: June 17, 2019 12:58 PM


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