09.24.2014Personal Tech

When Fashion and Technology Meet, Mingle and Merge

This is a guest post from Rachel Schostak, founder of the Detroit-based fashion tech startup Styleshack, a shop local platform that connects consumers to neighborhood boutiques and specialty stores throughout the country.

Samsung, Intel and Apple all have product lines in the form of wearable accessories. In addition to obvious tech companies launching wearable devices, now, the fashion world is jumping into the wearable tech market!

While I don’t personally own a wearable tech device (not yet, at least), I was interested to know if these devices are actually practical. The Verizon Midwest Area team kindly let me test out the Samsung Gear 2 Neo Smart Watch.


Over the past few weeks, I have been experimenting with the device while going about my everyday life. In addition to using the watch to keep track of the time, in a bold digital display, I felt the watch gave me a bit of freedom from my phone. I did not feel the urge to constantly pick up my phone to look at the time (as many of us do), or feel the urge to see if I missed texts or important phone calls. The Gear 2 Neo sends alerts when phone calls, texts or emails are sent your way.

In terms of functionality, this baby {Gear 2 Neo} is better than your average watch—it’s water resistant, an accurate heart rate monitor, Bluetooth capable, and I was able to sync and receive notifications from my social media accounts! All in all, I enjoyed using the watch. My preference, however, in terms of style and design, would be a smaller face, as the Gear 2 Neo was quite big on my wrist. My style is more along the lines of the “Gear Fit” design!


Wearable Tech – Trending Now {Timing is Everything}

Wearable technology is one of the hottest trends fresh off of New York Fashion Week (Spring/Summer 2015) runway. The future of fashion is all about utilizing technology to create better product lines for consumers.


While testing the Samsung Gear 2 Neo Smart Watch, ironically, I also observed via my Twitter feed and favorite fashion publications that many fashion brands utilized technology in their current product lines and Spring/Summer collections. The question raised is: Am I buying into this wearable tech market trend? The answer: Yes, I am. I think these devices can ultimately improve our lives in many ways, from health to business productivity and more.

I was reading an article the other day in Women's Wear Daily, which quoted Uri Minkoff {CEO at Rebecca Minkoff}, and one of the reasons the RM brand felt it was necessary to create a tech-enabled accessory was for the working woman. He stated, “The development of the notification bracelet resulted, in part, from a backlash against a working woman who had her mobile device on her at all times — often at the table during a meeting or dinner. There are a few people that a woman, for emergency purposes, has to have some connection with,” Minkoff said, explaining that she can still be in touch and have her phone put away, but if it’s one of those few people trying to reach her, she can take it out and it’s acceptable. The solution they created—Rebecca Minkoff necklaces and bracelet accessories that can be used as phone chargers, notifications from calls, emails or texts.

Technology companies are smart to partner up with talented designers and fashion brands. Technology companies want to design products with a fashionable and functional approach. Why not collaborate with the brands that do it best? The approach to implement technology into beautiful accessories and stylized products {which, fashion companies are already creating} is really, a no brainer. Now, for us consumers, we don’t have to just “wear” technology or a “device” - we have more choices. Wearable technology has become functional fashion!

The fashion and function relationship is a symbiotic one and seems to be a new type of product category. Here are few examples of recent wearable tech device partnership & launches:







  • Ralph Lauren unveiled a Polo Tech Shirt recently at the U.S. Open This is a smart T-shirt that can monitor heart rate, breathing, steps taken and more.




Will these items have a long-time market value? When the price, product design and function are on point, I think it will. One thing is for sure, the fashion community is eager to embrace technology, and we will see fashion and technology influencing and enhancing the way our clothing and accessories are designed!

I believe the products that will have the most longevity will be those that are aesthetically pleasing and have a practical solution for the consumer.

Are you going to embrace wearable technology? Which products are you most excited about? Tweet to us: @Styleshack using #wearabletech or #functionalfashion.

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