Can Diane Von Furstenberg Rid Google Glass Of Its Stigma?
The DVF | Made for Glass collection is now available to buy for $1,800, but the question remains - what will it take to make Google Glass chic?
Simplicity in design is what makes Diane Von Furstenburg’s iconic wrap dress the wardrobe staple that it is today. Now, DVF is applying her eye for simple luxury to Google Glass, with a collection that is intended to turn the controversial wearable technology into a coveted fashion accessory. But can the designs turn Glassholes into, dare I say it, Glasshionistas?
The DVF | Made for Glass collection, which is now available to buy for $1,800 on Net-a-Porter, is a collection of eyeglasses and sunglasses, designed in universally flattering shapes such as the cat eye and aviators, in a bid to make the wearable computer actually wearable. This has long been an obstacle that Glass has tried to overcome – earlier in the year, Google released a more fashion-forward titanium framed version, and in March they announced a collaboration with Luxxotica-owned brands Oakley and Ray-Ban.
While we have yet to see product from that collaboration, what we have seen is the first luxury version of Glass. The most important element of the collaboration, more than the design itself, is the DVF logo on the side. The bid to make the product appeal to the masses by turning to the luxury market first may be a wise move by Google. Already the price point limits mainstream consumer access, keeping the potential buyer pool relatively small. But like most luxury logic, limited editions, high prices and designer logos all equate to an aspirational appeal.
On Net-a-Porter, they are working really hard to show just how aspirational and suited Glass is to the luxury lifestyle. Below each DVF Glass style is outfit suggestions for work, the weekend, while traveling and even working out – showing just how easily Google Glass can fit into that lifestyle. Once, in theory, Google Glass becomes seen as a covetable luxury item, it can begin to trickle down to the masses with lower price points and more accessible collaborations.
But after all that, what about the actual designs? Despite DVF’s efforts, they still haven’t been able to move away from the glaring design difficulties inherent in the technology of Glass: the huge ear pieces at the end of the glasses’ arms and the small screen – the core of the technology – that turns every wearer into an unsettling cyborg. This is the ultimate problem with Glass – no matter the frame, its wearers’ still look like some bizarre proto-android. Plus, as all the attacks on Glass-wearers have shown, nobody trusts a person with a camera attached to their face.
But are these design limits something that consumers can get over? As with all nascent technology, it starts out bulky and unappealing before streamlining into a more palatable option. Consider the first computer – the size of a room, the first cell phone – the size of a brick. We are quick to judge Google and early adopters of Glass but as designers begin to think about how they can marry good design with technology, and as more people wear them, we all might become Glass advocates.
Just as we have adjusted to a world where people have become vulture-necked zombies wandering around the streets, heads down, faces staring at a glaring screen, so too might we accept people glancing up at their glasses and talking to themselves (but actually talking to their specs). We live in a world of science fiction, where change is as rapidly accepted as it is dismissed. Diane von Furstenburg was smart enough to see that, even without wearing her pair of Google Glasses.