As the Apple Watch undergoes its latest incarnation by French luxury house Hèrmes, Euan Plater looks into how trends in technology grow, and why we will all be wearing tech soon, even if we haven’t been won over yet.
Wearable tech, whatever that actually applies to, has been the hot topic of 2015 – largely due to its supposed shortcomings. Why then, do I feel that the same people criticising it today will purchase it tomorrow? Because both history and the behemoth of the fashion industry says so, and who I am to disagree?
Any industry, in its early years, will follow an entirely dull and predictable schedule: an initial product is made and inevitably flops; brands begin competing to reach the market first with a viable product; early adopters emerge despite popular speculation from the general public; finally, the product receives mass consumer buy-in the world over. This train is never, ever, late.
Why then, the question becomes, do so many people fervently fight against new applications of technology? Why go to the effort? The answer is anyone’s guess and is also perhaps the product of much larger cultural forces than Tim Cook or Anna Wintour, however, one perspective would suggest that people don’t want to invest in something they don’t currently have – paradoxical, yes, but entirely rational.
In the case of a very popular watch that’s starting to hit the wrists of geeks and glitterati alike – Wintour again, who was one of the first to be seen wearing the Apple watch while other high profile fashion editors were excitedly tweeting about the delivery of theirs – there’s a big a question to be answered: where does it fit into the world of luxury fashion? If a 24-carat gold iPhone from Colette – the Parisian equivalent of Dover Street Market – was fashion’s stamp on technology then the Apple Watch (not the iWatch!) is technology’s stamp on fashion. How this plays out exactly is yet to be seen, but if history is anything to go by, I have no doubt it will enjoy widespread success.
When was the last time you heard the prefix “cordless” before the word phone? When was the last time you heard some saying “wireless” radio? When something is new we give it an adjective to make it stand out, but eventually, regardless of what people have to say, these descriptive differentiators disappear entirely. Why then, would wearable tech – or watches – be any different?
Words by Euan Plater