Tech brands partnering with fashion houses are nothing new, but lately there has been a growing excitement about how the two distinct sectors come together to attract a range of young, high disposable income customers in an increasingly social trading space. From luxury fashion labels selling their designs to Nintendo’s hit game Animal Crossing: New Horizons to virtual pop-ups and even MicrosoftThe Xbox team works with Adidas to create limited edition Xbox sneakers. In fact, fashion-tech collaborations will be much deeper and stronger in the future Metaverse where the real and the digital world collide.
In the last few months alone, there have been a number of fashion-tech collaborations between the world’s largest tech brands and luxury fashion houses. These fashion-tech collaborations are not only important marketing and PR tools, they also create something really new. Even if collaborations are not a great source of income, they create brand awareness and maintain enthusiasm for the product. These are some of the best fashion tech collaborations we’ve seen in 2021.
Gucci and Xbox
Just in time for their respective anniversaries, Xbox and the Italian luxury fashion house Gucci have teamed up for a special edition of the Xbox Series X. The $ 10,000 bundle includes an Xbox Series X, Microsoft’s latest next-generation console, with a laser-engraved pattern of Gucci’s trademark Rhombi design. It also comes with Gucci’s vintage bag, which is similar in style to the house’s Fake / Not Fake luggage line released last year.
The bundle also includes two Xbox controllers that have a patented Gucci stripe on the left handle. A subscription to Xbox Game Pass is also included in the package. You are literally paying a huge sum for this limited edition Xbox Series X, which normally sells for Rs 50,000, for a Gucci name. The tote bag embossed with “Xbox” drives the price of the package, as a similar bag from Gucci’s Fake / Not Fake line sold for about $ 5,800 last year. Gucci will only sell 100 Xbox Series X consoles in its most prestigious stores, including New York City, Beverly Hills, Milan, London, Berlin, Beijing and Tokyo.
Ray-Ban and Meta
Meta’s (formerly called Facebook) Working with Ray-Ban is not about bringing out a limited product or a collection in small quantities at selected retail locations. This “product waste” strategy is an industry phenomenon and the hype business works for a number of reasons. But Meta’s pitch for $ 299 smart glasses, which it did with Ray-Ban parent Luxottica, revolves around the company’s foray into the metaverse. The glasses, called Ray-Ban Stories, are similar to devices like Snapchat Spectacles.
These are by no means augmented reality (AR) glasses, but rather “intelligent” glasses with which people can take pictures, listen to music and make phone calls hands-free. The smart glasses come in three styles including the Ray-Ban ‘Wayfarer’ which is a symbol of fashion and has featured in many cult films, including the classic 1961 film Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Some like these glasses scary and an injury of privacy, but in reality they give a glimpse into Meta’s wider vision to bring the information to our eyes.
Tag Heuer and Nintendo
Probably one of this year’s unexpected fashion-tech collaborations, the Tag Heuer Super Mario Limited Edition watch shows off the branding power of Mario, the most popular video game character of all time. In this case, Tag Heuer’s “long-term” collaboration with Nintendo is ultimately about reaching a new wave of affluent, yet fashion-conscious audiences who were previously unreachable. The collaboration with LVMH’s Tag Heuer and Nintendo is proof that the traditional demographics for luxury timepieces are shifting from the “affluent age group” to millennial users.
At just 2,000 pieces at $ 2150 each, the limited edition smartwatch has a Mario flair, complete with a redesigned user interface and the classic “M” on the crown. Collaborations like this work primarily because they’re not co-branding marketing plugs. Instead, a product should reflect a unique point of view by bringing together different influences.
Thom Browne and Samsung
Known for his distinctive tailoring, the collaboration of American designer Thom Browne with Samsung did exactly what it intended and made its name known in tech circles. Browne has worked extensively with the South Korean giant lately, adding an element of subtle luxury to Samsung’s high-end foldable phones.
With its contemporary feel, Browne’s influence blends in well with Samsung’s design ethos. The Thom Browne Galaxy Z Fold 3 special edition, available for $ 3,499, has the designer’s signature red, white, and blue stripes. The bundle also includes leather accessories, a Samsung Smartwatch, a pen and Samsung Galaxy Buds. The popularity of the Thom Browne Galaxy Z Fold 3 can be seen from the fact that the limited bundle was sold out in a few minutes when it was launched earlier this year, despite its high price in Taiwan.
Berluti and Bang & Olufsen
Earlier this year, two fashion and audio giants came together to create the luxury collaboration of the year. Luxury leather goods manufacturer Berluti and Danish audio brand Bang & Olufsen have teamed up to create something very special. The six-part limited edition, which ranges from a waterproof Bluetooth speaker to wireless headphones to a home speaker, honors the heritage and craftsmanship of both brands.
Bang & Olufsen is presented as a high-end fashion item and has crafted some of its most iconic products from Berluti’s emblematic Venezia leather. However, the collection is not cheap. For example, the Beolab 90 Berluti Edition speaker is a bespoke system and costs $ 137,000, making it the most expensive audio system B&O has ever made.