BUSINESS OF FASHION: WEARABLE TECH TURNS PROFIT FOR FASHION WORLD
When Apple presented its latest smart gadget the Apple Watch in early September, the public filtered into two reactions: cheering and jeering. Speculation of the device had floated for months with tech nerds clamoring to figure out the functionality of its miniature size. As the tides go, Apple only seems to be getting bigger in its design (hello Galaxy- I mean iPhone 6), but the tiny flat watch is about the size of the 6th generation iPod Nano; just slap a wristband on it and you’ve got your wristpiece.
Opening Ceremony, however, has come up with a tasteful solution to the unsexy design of the Apple Watch. In an interview with Co.DESIGN, co-founder of O.C. Humberto Leon reveals a gem of a jewelry piece called “My Intelligent Communication Accessory,” or MICA. MICA is a wearable device that highlights as major wrist candy. The band is a product of Opening Ceremony’s distinguished style and Intel’s super intelligence. An amalgamation of semi-precious stones, pearls and obsidian, MICA is one fashionable tech piece that is beating its competitors by aesthetic (sorry Fitbit). What makes the piece so intriguing is that its designers know that MICA will not replace smart phones, but it can be used as a filter. Everyone has the MICA wearer’s phone number, but she wants to reach out to a select number of people through invitation – a private connection. The watch still allows the wearer to access emails, contacts, Facebook …etc.
MICA lets her say, “I’m in a meeting and there are only 10, 15, 100 people that I’d actually need to reply back to right now. I don’t need to hear from my dry cleaner, just my spouse, my parent, my nanny, by best friend, maybe my boss.”
Naturally, Opening Ceremony is not the only company trying to capitalize on smartwatches. These interactive small-scale dynamos are blowing up in the fashion world leading many luxury watchmakers weary of smartwatch manufacturers and handing out copyright infringement notices to such pirates. Digital watch faces are being peer-shared for free in the Internet disrupting the peace of major labels like Richemont or Mondaine. Chief of technology and research at hybrid fashion incubator Manufacture New York, Dr. Amanda Parkes believes that wearable technology is not only marketed to tech dudes, but becoming a major force in the fashion world, which is why smart textiles and fibre science will pave the way to a foremost lucrative accessory.