NEW YORK — Google Glass is about to get a little more wearable.
The first collection of prescription frames for Google’s foray into wearable technology will go on sale today at google.com/glass. It’s the product’s biggest launch since the introduction of the Explorer Program last February, which opened the door for about 10,000 people to test out the $1,500 Explorer edition.
The first version of Glass was originally unveiled in September 2012 at Diane von Furstenberg’s spring 2013 runway show. Since then, the sector has quickly become an intriguing new front in the battle for consumer attention, although it is still growing into its potential. Fitness trackers such as Nike’s FuelBand have gained some traction, and a growing list of smartwatches are coming onto the market.
Google’s new Glass offering includes $225 titanium optical frames, with round, square and nearly rimless versions, as well as $150 nonprescription sunglass styles in black, gray, white, turquoise and tangerine. The 42-g. frames are lighter than most sunglasses and are intended for existing users, who can attach their Glass devices.
The introduction of Glass frames comes just as Google gears up for the highly anticipated consumer launch of the product later this year.
“We’re making it a more natural part of your life. [Wearing Glass] will be easier with this, plus you have more choices,” said Google Glass lead designer Isabelle Olsson in an interview with WWD at the Google Glass Basecamp in Chelsea Market. “It’s a very natural extension of things that you already wear. For some people, this will come even more naturally than the regular [Glass].”
Olsson, a Stockholm native who wore the rounded Curve frames in black with matching black Glass, said she adhered to three main design tenants from the start of the project two-and-a-half years ago: lightness, simplicity and scalability. Her biggest concern throughout the design process — besides ensuring the technology worked — was being able to compete with an optical store that can carry thousands of styles. Also important was creating a tight assortment of silhouettes that fit a lot of people.
“It was difficult because there was no benchmark with Glass,” Olsson said. “We started from scratch. But now that we’ve created that benchmark, we can evolve and listen to people’s feedback and create something even better.”
She said Glass is more natural than something one might wear on their wrist because of the proximity to the user’s eyes.
“When you look at something, you take a picture of it; when you speak it’s right there. Even the way you take the pictures (swiping one’s hand along the side), the gesture is so natural in that sense,” Olsson said, adding that it’s important to “stay open” and think of new evolutions to make technology more effortless.
Google has partnered with VSP Vision Care to train eye-care professionals about Glass and the corresponding optical frames. A list of VSP optometrists will be provided to Explorers during the ordering process.
In yet another fashion show shuffle, @elleryland is moving its show in sync with the Paris couture calendar — though the brand is still keeping one foot on the city’s ready-to-wear schedule. Their runway show in January will coincide with the launch of a new strategy: designing two main collections each year instead of four, which will then be released in four drops. “As we all know, the system needs to change. We need to show sooner to give time back to artisans and designers to do what they do best — create,” said founder Kym Ellery. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @kukukuba)
@maxmara’s classic 101801 coat was the cornerstone of its pre-fall 2018 collection. The design team expanded the traditional double-breasted, kimono-sleeved style into a trapeze coat, lean belted styles and a peacoat and presented them in monochromatic looks – like the camel one pictured here. #wwdfashion #prefall18 (📷: George Chinsee)
The @cfda has shifted the dates of #NYFW, with Men’s showing on February 5 through February 7, and Women’s will directly follow, running from February 8 through 14. The preliminary schedule will be released on the CFDA’s web site in the next few days, but Mark Beckham, VP of marketing for the CFDA, revealed that @rafsimons will be back to close the men’s-specific part of the week with a show on February 7 #wwdfashion (📷: Kelly Taub)
@ferragamo is introducing a new space dedicated to the development of women’s and men’s leather good samples. The laboratory, which is created eco-friendly materials and designed to reduce the environmental impact of the manufacturing processes, will allow the company to expand its accessories offering through traditional artisanal approaches. #wwdfashion (📷: @aitorrosasphoto)
How does a “regular, degular, schmegular” girl from the Bronx, N.Y., become a Grammy-nominated artist with a certified platinum record in less than a year? Call it the @iamcardib come up. The 25-year-old has become a musical sensation, and the fashion world is taking note. “If I could describe her style I would say drama. She’s really into the dramatics,” says Cardi B’s stylist @kollincarter. See how Carter styles her bold and out there looks with the link in bio. #wwdfashion
“There is no formula. There is no guideline. I can watch Ted Talks all day, but there is no one who can advise me on exactly what it is I should be doing,” said @ronniefieg, CEO of @kith, in an interview with WWD’s @ariahughes at the brand’s new SoHo office in Manhattan. Head to WWD.com to see how Fieg went from hanging out in shoe stockrooms at 13 to building his own business. #wwdfashion (📷: @weston.wells)
@fearofgod and @maxfieldla have teamed up on a pop-up installation. The store, located in the gallery space across from Maxfield’s Melrose Ave location, is the site of the brand’s House of God pop-up in which Fear of God founder @jerrylorenzo has created a church-inspired installation. A dozen vintage church pews sit in front of an LED screen playing 90s gospel singers in an effort to re-create an environment akin to a Southern Baptist Church, Lorenzo explained. Read more about the pop-up on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: Jennifer Johnson)
Known for his sleek, sophisticated American glamour, Norman Norell is the subject of an upcoming exhibition at @fitnyc. “Norell: Dean of American Fashion,” which runs from February 9 through April 14, will feature approximately 100 ensembles and accessories. His best work is exemplified by the designer’s glittering “mermaid” gowns frosted with thousands of hand-sewn sequins – like the one pictured. (📷: William Helburn) #wwdfashion
For pre-fall 2018, @balmain didn’t let go of the glitz. A crystal embroidered baseball jacket priced at around $40,000 hangs in the “couture” section of the brand’s first men’s pre-collection. Sporting the words “Balmain Army” across the back, the item took around two months to make. “When it was completed, it was like Christmas, it was like, ‘It’s done, it’s exactly what I wanted,’” said Balmain’s creative director @olivier_rousteing during a tour of the collection in a Paris showroom on Monday. #wwdfashion