It’s always weird seeing Hermès, the French high fashion brand, paired with Apple on the Apple Watch. For a cool $1,250, you can have an exclusive watch face and a $500 watch band to go with your $800 watch. It’s so infuriatingly Apple, and yet it makes no sense as a partnership for a device the company pitches more as a health device and less of a fashion accessory every year. Apple and Nike? Yeah, okay that one I get. But Hermès? Take the Coach and Fossil approach and just sell the watch bands on your own site.
The strangest part is how Hermès isn’t alone in this tech/fashion intersection. In the past decade, I’ve seen the two industries collide in a number of ways, from fashion companies introducing smart devices (like Fossil’s very own Gen 5 watch), to partnerships similar to what Hermès has, to tech companies dipping their feet into the fashion game (think of companies like Stitch Fix, Thread, and even smart mirror companies like Care OS that can show you with a new outfit on in AR).
As alien as this intersection seems to me, it can be argued to be a natural fit. Both fashion and technology center around the individual experience. They shape how the consumer lives and what they choose to wear or accessorize with every day. It shows personality. I remember the pre-smartphone days when feature phones were popular based on what color or what shape they took. The almighty RAZR was iconic: more people cared about its slim profile and the fact you could get it in a brushed pink metal than its specifications. Of course, this was in an age where specifications were nominal and near-pointless, aside from the camera. Oh, and when Apple sold a laptop with a handle?! The colorful iBook G3 not only came in five colors, but the handle made it more than just a portable computer — it became an accessory.
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