Google Glass: the soon-to-be stylish little engine that could.
In a push to appeal to a broader (and chicer) set, Google is ushering in a new era in wearable tech with the help of Diane von Furstenberg and Net-A-Porter’s Natalie Massenet. Today, when von Furstenberg unveils her resort collection, she will show a new collaboration with Google Glass: five frames in eight different colorways that incorporate the Glass technology and will be available for sale on Net-A-Porter on June 23. The $1,700 price tag is steep, considering the Glass Explorer Program’s failure to go mainstream; but Massenet says there is a market at the intersection of style and functionality.
“When Google Glass walked the runway, I texted the number-two person at Google and said, ‘What’s happening?’” Massenet told Women’s Wear Daily. “I think it’s fair to say that we were calling their head of marketing consistently to see what can be done.” She later added that glasswear and technology are “eminently commercial” and that this project with Glass will not be Net-A-Porter’s first and final foray into wearable tech.
Von Furstenberg first wore a less-stylish prototype of Glass during her Spring 2013 runway show and helped promote the device by showing New York Fashion Week “through the eyes of the people who made it happen.” Since, influencers like Tory Burch and Nina Garcia have rallied behind the concept. A supporter of the initiative from its launch, von Furstenberg says it takes multitasking—a needed skill in today’s society—to the next level.
“It actually does not block your sight at all,” she told WWD. “You can be driving and watching a movie. I probably shouldn’t say that. The point is that you can be filming things while you’re doing them.”
For Google Glass lead designer Isabelle Olsson, that means unveiling options that don’t make women, in particular, look like they’ve stepped out of a tech convention.
“For a long time, we’ve been saying that it’s really important that people can express their own style while wearing Glass,” Olsson said. “The titanium [look of the first Glass models] was designed to be unisex, so the cool thing about the DVF [offering] is that it’s catering to women.”
But there’s still something for the boys. In addition to selling a $1,700 package for women, Net-A-Porter will also sell a $1,650 set for men with Glass, titanium optical frames, and a pair of sunglasses.