Convergence of the electronics and fashion markets?

When Bill Gates started the computer revolution in the 1970s, he wanted to bring PCs into every home and every office... Could he have predicted that 40 years later, many would not only own several PCs of different sizes, but could also hardly imagine their lives without them? For a modern man, a computer is not just a device that performs technical functions; it's an integral part of one’s image, and functionality alone is not enough. This maxim also applies to many computer accessories and electronic devices.

The showpieces at Design Week 2014, which is currently taking place, only confirm this. The 2=2 exhibition at the BLC business centre in Kaunas introduces products of a Lithuanian industrial design that have won international design awards, such as the Red Dot Award and iF Design Award.

Three of the ten award winners are computer accessories created by ACME Europe designers: namely the PEANUT mouse, the PEAK Messenger bag-backpack and MOON headphones. 

It is clear that electronics and fashion are merging, with Adidas headphones, Gucci computer bags and Burberry mobile-phone cases. Smart wearable items, such as bands and watches, are growing in popularity. Many smart accessories are already on offer for affordable prices in Lithuanian shopping centres. 

‘I visited Hong Kong recently and went into a computer accessory store there,’ says Ignas Rumbutis, Product Development Director at ACME Europe. ‘I was surprised not to find a single computer bag! When I asked the salesman about this, he offered to take a closer look at what people in the shopping centre were carrying. It is obvious that people don't want to carry around several bags, but need just one that is spacious and has an appropriate style.’

Creators of casual bags have therefore taken part of the market for computer accessories; and vice versa – manufacturers of computer accessories have started paying more attention not only to functionality, but also to design.

‘Why can’t the headphones you use every day match your favourite handbag or bracelet?’ ask representatives of the Frends brand, which offers a collection of headphones decorated with precious metals. Fashion designer Mara Hoffman has introduced a collection of decorated tribal iPhone 5 cases. 

One of the winners of this year’s iF Design Award for electronics is Copenhagen, a Danish portable speaker. Henrik Mathiassen, founder and head of Design-people, the company that created the design for the speaker, is very enthusiastic when explaining the concept. The speaker boasts a subtle Scandinavian design and was tailored exclusively for women, with various studies conducted to determine how women perceived style and what their needs and daily habits were. ‘If women like it, men will too,’ laughs Mathiassen.

These are just a few examples that show the inevitable convergence of the fashion and electronics markets. New ACME brand accessories from Urban harmony product line will be available in the Lithuanian market at the end of the summer. Several laptop bags and cases that follow the latest fashion trends are also planned.

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