A new era of fashion-driven tech launches at CES
Through the years, fashion has never truly been a major focus at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada.
While wearables have long been a featured element at the world’s largest gathering for technology and innovation, most of those elements have focused more on function than form. While certain lines of smartwatches, jewelry and accessories have edged their way toward high-design, most have not. As a result, CES has never really showcased a world of top-level couture.
Thanks to the participation of an award-winning singer, dancer, choreographer and television personality, CES 2023 served as the launchpad for the IdolEyes Fashion Audio Glasses by Paula Abdul.
The glasses are described as a glamorous take on eye-care protection, complete with Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity that allows the user to make and take phone calls and host online meetings, while also delivering an out-of-ear audio experience that gives users a whole new way to listen to music, podcasts and audio.
For Abdul, introducing this product in Vegas was an absolute no-brainer.
“What setting could possibly be better than CES to launch this product?” she asked. “I am so happy to finally be entering into the tech arena … and as you know, I’ve played in many arenas, but I’ve always wanted to be in this world. Through those years, I’ve needed the right partner, but now, thanks to 1of1 Custom, I have just that partner. I’m just so excited to get into this space and marry tech with wearable fashion accessories.”
For Abdul, fashion is indeed the key behind it. But for Dennis Lee, founder and CEO of 1of1 Custom, the technology was just as important.
“I’ve been an audio geek my entire life,” Lee said. “I was that kid in class who had the Sony thing through my sleeve listening. Here at 1of1, we are of the belief that future of audio is visual, and for the past 12 years we’ve actually outfitted custom audio gear to some of the world’s top musicians. For her IdolEyes Audio Glasses, our engineering and design teams worked with Paula to come up with the product that was fully representative of her brand, making sure to combine a great audio listening experience with her stylish design.”
Available for both women and men, the product’s first model comes in seven colors and is available immediately starting at $199 on 1o1 Custom’s website and Abdul’s website with a rollout on Amazon and in retail stores scheduled for later in the year.
Elsewhere at the show, another pair of highly-influential personalities unveiled their own take on high-fashion women’s footwear.
Orthopedic surgeon Dr. Taryn Rose and prominent designer Enrico Cuini have combined cutting edge innovation with luxury Italian design to produce a line of high-fashion, men’s and women’s shoes. The shoes are widely embraced as the most comfortable and best fitting on the market.
The collaboration between Dr. Rose (known for her eponymous collection that marries fashion with function) and Italian footwear designer Cuini deploys the company’s patented and proprietary technology to produce personalized, made-to-measure fits through computer vision and trade secret algorithms. Their shoes dissipate pressure across a greater foot surface area to dynamically allow for pressure relief, stability and energy return, making even the highest, sexiest stilettos amazingly comfortable.
“There are two broad categories of why it is so challenging to make heels comfortable,” Rose said. “First, it’s about physics, which our proprietary foot support system addresses and second, it’s about proper fit. Our sophisticated measuring systems uses image recognition and AI to avoid the difficulty of training sales staff while, at the same time, delivering the best fitting and most comfortable shoes in the market.”
And at prices that range from $800 to $2,000, the quality is absolutely commensurate with the design; all of which brings to mind a question — are Abdul’s IdolEyes Fashion Audio Glasses and Cuini’s tech-driven footwear an outlier here at CES 2023, or are they just the tip of the iceberg of a new and emerging technology and fashion trend?
Steve Winter and Kenny Fried are WTOP contributors who work for Brotman|Winter|Fried, a division of Sage Communications.