Fashion industry embracing Google Glass more than any other vertical?

Fashion industry embracing Google Glass more than any other vertical?

Summary: Ultra geeky or haute couture? Google Glass is (surprisingly) proving to be both.

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For an ultra-nerdy piece of gadgetry that has spawned some awfully geeky Tumblrs, one of the most highbrow (not to mention elitist) industries is arguably embracing Google Glass more than the rest.

That would be the fashion industry.

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As my colleague Andrew Nusca pointed out in a separate article about haughty Silicon Valley attitudes last week, the narrative surrounding the computerized spectacles is in a constant state of flux.

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On the one hand, you have tech evangelist and prominent blogger Robert Scoble and the legions of "White Men Wearing Google Glass." No disrespect to any of them, but not exactly the most stylish bunch as far as the fashion houses on Rue du Rivoli are concerned.

At the same time, you have the likes of Diane von Furstenberg trotting Glass out on the catwalks during Fashion Week to accessorize next season's collections.

Now for its annual flagship September issue, Vogue has splashed Glass across a 12-page spread. (And if that wasn't enough to demonstrate its new fanaticism with Silicon Valley, the Anna Wintour-helmed glossy also threw in a full package toasting Yahoo chief Marissa Mayer.)

Essentially, the Google PR team has been working to distance Glass from the looks on those now-infamous Tumblrs -- instead working laboriously to portray a sexier or (at the very least) a more mass market-friendly image.

And thus far, the fashion industry has been very (and surprisingly) compliant -- if not flat out encouraging.

Now, with limited functionality paired with a $1,500 price tag for only a prototype model, Google Glass is far from a consumer product yet.

But that's not the point.

Someday, Glass (and wearable technology in general) could be just a run-of-the-mill vertical in the technology market, much like how tablets have soared from just a single success story alone in the wild (the iPad) just a few years ago to a segment doubling in global shipments each quarter.

In order to get there, promoting the right image is absolutely critical.

When asked point blank if the fashion industry is embracing Glass more than any other business vertical at this point, reps for the Google Glass team itself played rather coy.

On the intersection of Glass and fashion, a Google spokesperson offered the following response:

The Glass team has worked hard over the last couple of years to simplify Glass and make it beautifully designed. Seeing Glass represented on the catwalk at fashion week last year, or so beautifully in Vogue's September issue is a huge thrill for the entire Glass team.

Modesty isn't necessarily an adjective that could be applied to either Glass or the fashion industry, which perhaps lends to why the two are so well-matched.

But modesty could be applicable in regards to that assessment.

Image via The Google Glass team

Topics: Mobility, Android, Google, Smartphones, Tech Industry

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  • Surprise, surprise–stylists are susceptible to PR efforts.

    That's the foundation of the business part of the fashion industry, but if you want to see how this ends, go look through some back issues of fashion magazines from the 70s and 80s. You'll see all kinds of trends, fads, and long-forgotten products that made it into photo layouts as props. When you see designers and fashion models wearing Glass on their own time, or dime, THEN it will be noteworthy.
    matthew_maurice