Wearable Tech Now Rules the Runway

By Rachel Jacoby Zoldan

The wearable tech trend is not a new one—think about pedometers people carried in their purses or pockets years ago, or even the metal headphones you jammed out to your Walkman with way back when. First, the fit crowd caught on—and madness ensued. (Think: Amazon’s own dedicated boutique.) But finally the most fashionable of crowds have caught on to the trend, adoring models and front-row crowds alike at New York Fashion Week and beyond. Here, a look at the coolest.


Courtesy of Tory Burch/FitBit

Tory Burch x FitBit
This collaboration exemplified what’s really a fantastic meeting of minds. All-American designer Burch created four different (although all equally chic) cases for the FitBit flex, one of SELF's favorite trackers. We're partial to the glitzy Gold Bangle, but some of you may prefer one of the quieter, monogrammed rubber bracelets.


Courtesy of YSL Beauty

YSL Beauty x Google Glass
Although not yet widely available—nor a purchasable service—makeup artists helming YSL Beauty counters are slowly being equipped with custom-designed pairs of Google Glass to record your makeup application, as well as send you a slew of other data to your email account.


Courtesy of Rebecca Minkoff

Rebecca Minkoff x Case Mate
Ahead-of-the-curve Minkoff knew cross-body bags were forever going to be in style when she first launched her handbag collection in 2009, and likewise now knows wearable tech isn’t going anywhere. To accessorize her Spring 2015 presentation, Minkoff introduced a five-piece tech range in collaboration with Case-Mate, including this chic bracelet we’d wear even if it didn’t help us track our vitals.

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Courtesy of Samsung

Diesel Black Gold x Samsung
The brand collaboration with Samsung Gear S wearables in different shapes, colors and details, was inspired by highly stylized New Wave rock stars and tough rockabilly heroines that the modern contemporary collection that is Diesel Black Gold. But the Samsung S isn’t just a tracker—it brings the smartphone to your wrist, with Bluetooth, 3G and WiFi connectivity. And oh yeah, they’re just as edgy as the SS 15 collection from Diesel Black Gold was.


Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for Marc Jacobs

Marc Jacobs x Beats by Dre
Perhaps the most interesting (and yet most subtle) exploration of technology came from Marc Jacobs, who closed out NYFW with a military-themed show. He didn’t incorporate wearable tech into his designs, but rather for his guests. Instead of having music blasting through speakers, showgoers were hooked into the show’s audio via Beats by Dre headphones—simultaneously connecting everyone to the same experience, and isolating them from each other.


Courtesy of Sensoree

File this under insane. Essentially, the helmet is a mood ring for your brain—the headgear changes color according to your brain activity. If the headset turns red, your brain is transmitting delta waves, which suggest sleep; if it turns orange, that means your brain is transmitting theta waves, which suggest deep relaxation; yellow or green means you’re transmitting beta waves, a sign of an alert mind; and blue or purple means you’re transmitting gamma waves, a sign of a “multi-sensory brain state.”

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Courtesy of DVF

DVF x Google Glass
Think of DVF as the Columubus of stylish wearables, as she was the first to enter the space when when she teamed up with Google Glass and massive eyewear-maker Luxottica to design more mainstream-looking face computers. And Google’s relationship with Diane von Furstenberg is deepening: They launched a collection called “DVF | Made for Glass” that includes five styles sold on website Net-a-Porter for roughly $1,500 to $1,800 each. While we may not have the four figures in our pockets, we can still lust after a pair, right?


Courtesy of CuteCircuit

Design Katy Perry’s tour wardrobe and you’re already cool. But debut a ready-to-wear line full of technology at fashion’s most innovative week of the year? Pretty, pretty, pretty impressive. The garments are connected to a smartphone on a free app via Bluetooth. From there, the user has control of their garment and can alter the color or pattern. And while the app (and the SS15 clothing) won’t be available for a bit, here’s to Technicolor dreams, amiright?


Courtesy of Ralph Lauren

Ralph Lauren x US Open
If you peeled your eyes for a second from the action on this year’s U.S. Open courts, you’d have seen the ball boys in a uniform of form-fitting black Ralph Lauren tees. But, they aren’t your average athletic t-shirt. Instead, the nylon fiber is woven with conductive silver-coated thread that monitors your heart rate, breathing and stress levels, then transmits that data to your phone app or computer screen so you can measure performance and other vital stats. Cool, right?

Click here to see more wearable tech styles.

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