Mobile phone as a fashion statement

It looks as if this week everybody wrote an article about Gucci’s case for i-Pod.

But the i-Pod is not the only tech gadget to be revamped by fashion.

It got to the point where in February, the GSM Congress in Cannes even organized a mobile-phone themed fashion show that demonstrated that some manufacturers and their clients want their handset to be in full view, as any other fashion accessory.

Now that everybody’s got a mobile phone, the point for fashionistas is to possess one that’s more stylish, more technically advanced (even if you just use it to call your mum) or more flashy.

Some of the most famous phones turned fashion accessory belong to the Xelibri range of Siemens which features spring-summer and fall-winter collections. Among its jewels, Xelibri 6 looks like a powder compact and indeed lets you phone and check your makeup with two beauty mirrors (one with magnification);


number 8 has no pointy corners, no sharp edges and no buttons and its owner can proudly wear it around the neck thanks to the ring necklace accessory, it also has an integrated radio.

Very impressive and very fashionable too: the Samsung T500 – aka Flaunt – tailored for women.
First, there’s the look: it’s samll, ruby red, light. But the external LCD is surrounded by zirconia that can even flash pink or green, the screen can be turned into a mirror.
Let’s turn to the Menu, now: the folder “Life” contains “Health” divided in “Pink Schedule” to help manage the menstrual cycle, “BioRythm” to inform the user where she is in her physical, emotional and intellectual cycle, “Fatness” to tell her how flabby she’s getting and “Calorie” (my favourite) to calculate how much calories are burned during a series of activities. Its masculine counterpart is the T400 and apart from the fact that it is squarer and larger and boosts no “Health” section, it shows no strong masculine characteristics.

Nokia recently put on the market the 7200 , covered in Xpress-on™ textile (which beige version looks Vuittonish). The owner can invest in a co-ordinated “Style Pack containing covers (some are blank so user can design his own), soft pouch and wrist strap with matching wallpapers and screensavers.


The latest arrival (in Japan though) is Panasonic P252iS available in five colours each with a different girly fruity logo.


Big names in the world of luxury were called to add a posh touch to the handsets. In February, the new cover front of Motorola V600 made by Swarovski was the second experience of the kind since the V70 had previously been upgraded by the famous jeweller a year before.

This month, Motorola again proposed a limited (only 99 items) edition mobile phone of the V600 with couture cover, outer and screens and additional content designed by Vivienne Westwood.

The run for exclusive phones took an impressive speed when, two years ago, Nokia launched the world’s first luxury mobile phone company : Vertu Ltd which first devices (24,000 euros), was cased in platinum, displayed a sapphire crystal glass screen and had a dedicated concierge service. Of course, years before other manufacturers had issued limited editions of expensive phones or built custom-made ones, but Vertu took it a step further by redesigning the inside of the phone as well. His communication is different too, while other handset are introduced on the market through big gathering such as the Cebit or the 3GSM of Cannes, Vertu launches its devices on Paris fashion shows or sells them in Harrods Fine Jewellery and Luxury Watches Hall for example.

I’d better stop the list here, the subject looks endless. Victims of the craze are the usual one: rich women would become addicted to objects like Vertu, while teenagers wouldn’t be seen with a bulky phone, and run to get the latest “cute” or technically gifted one: just like clothes, phones are now a clear sign of how deep your parents’ pockets are.

But it’s not just mobile that takes advantage of fashion, the opposite happens too.

During London Fashion Week (February), FrostFrench teamed up with mobile operator O2 filming the catwalk and sending the images to mobile phones so that the masses could admire it within seven minutes (offering video clips on mobiles had been done before: at the Edinburgh Festival, preview videos of shows could be watched on handsets for free.

Well, the love story between phones and fashion has got many many other surprise in store for us. Let’s wait and see.

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