Amid a spate of high-tech bags on their way to market this spring, the HiSmart convertible urban bag by Lepow aims to stand out, thanks to a two-in-one chip that enables technology the Silicon Valley company has been working on for nearly three years. “So far, a smart bag is just a portable charging station. We thought, ‘We can do more than that,’” Julianna He, Lepow cofounder and chief operating officer, said during a demonstration of the bag, whose Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign launched recently. With the special chip, embedded in a compact remote-control device encased in a leather-accented strap, the bag delivers Bluetooth connectivity and location-based functionality. Many high-tech bags only offer one or the other. Wearers can use the bag to send and receive phone calls, record voice memos, control music and remote-trigger a smartphone’s camera shutter for hands-free photography. A pinning feature makes it possible to capture a specific location — say, a parking space — with a press of the remote and return to it later with the help of a mobile app. The bag is also capable of ringing misplaced phones and alerting one’s phone when it’s about to exceed pairing range, a handy feature that could help prevent accidentally leaving the bag behind. Designed for men and women, the bag comes in waterproof black or brown canvas with Italian leather accents and German Fidlock magnetic closures. Convertible from an 18-inch backpack into a 12-inch messenger style, the one-and-a-half pound bag contains 12 interior pockets, including sleeves for a laptop and tablet devices. A modular design for the remote control means the device can be removed and switched out when future, upgraded versions become available. Executives from Lepow, who say the company name translates to “happiness power” from Chinese, say they opted to crowdfund their latest project in order to get consumer feedback as they launch what is the company’s first soft goods product. “We think fashion tech is the future,” He said of the company’s expansion beyond portable technology accessories. Founded in 2011, with offices in Sunnyvale, Calif., and Shenzhen, China, Lepow also sells colorful, design-minded portable batteries, smartphone charging cases and Bluetooth speakers. With a $50,000 goal intended for use toward production costs, the crowdfunding campaign is offering 500 pre-orders for $189 each, a 37 percent discount off the HiSmart’s expected $299 retail price. The campaign ends at 11:59 p.m. Pacific Time on April 15. The first units are slated to ship to backers in July.
In honor the @CFDA’s announcement of @iamnaomicampbell receiving the Fashion Icon Award at the 2018 #CFDAAwards, which will take place on June 4, here’s a #tbt of the supermodel on @michaelkors’ runway in 1991. #wwdfashion #wwdarchive (📷: George Chinsee)
“I was making the guacamole when my scout saw me,” says model @stuckinteenage on being discovered just six months ago while working at @chipotlemexicangrill. Since then Williams has signed with @dnamodels, walked in her first show at @calvinklein and landed on the cover of @vogueitalia – a high point of any model’s career. To read @lisajlockwood’s full interview with the model on her experiences thus far, head to WWD.com – link in bio. (📷: George Chinsee)
“I love the idea of dialogue, period. It’s where I’ve always gotten my inspiration from: hearing other women speak, their journeys and their paths,” said @hereisgina, who delivered the keynote speech during @sxsw for @createcultivate in partnership with @fossil. For her two panels, Rodriguez chose female empowering, female-led and female entrepreneurs to focus on. Head to WWD.com to read more about her thoughts on Time’s Up, growing up in a family of women and why we “need a girls’ club.” #wwdeye #sxsw (📷: @jgreenery)
Leading luxury brand are shaking things up to keep up with streetwear. Case in point: the arrival of @mrkimjones as artistic director of @diorhomme. Jones, who succeeds @Kris_Van_Assche, is seen as one of the handful of designers who can actually straddle the luxury and streetwear worlds — which could lead to even more changes at established brands. What could this mean for the rest of the menswear landscape? Head to WWD.com to find out what experts predict #wwdfashion (📷: @franckmura)
“It’s like buying groceries. You’re going to buy the best mango, the best mozzarella, the best things. You have to, or others are going to take it all,” said @gabrielahearst on why she uses only the finest fabrics. Last week, Hearst received her first @cfda nomination for Womenswear Designer of the Year, and earlier this month she opened a permanent showroom in Paris. To read @jessiredale’s interview with the designer and find out why this is shaping up to be a big year for her, head to WWD.com. #wwdfashion (📷: @francoisgoize)
“It’s an interesting thing, playing a younger version of your mother. It’s an interesting concept. I adore my mom and love her in every capacity, but it was just something that had never crossed my mind,” says @anniemstarke on playing a young Joan Castleman in “The Wife.” The same role will be played by her mother Glenn Close. Read more about her growing up in the film industry as the daughter of producer John H. Starke and Close and what she has planned for the future #wwdeye (📷: @nataliamantini)
@asics is launching a new streetwear sneaker inspired by its latest ambassador, @steveaoki. The Hyper-Kenzen x Aoki, which will launch at @footlocker stores exclusively tomorrow, is a slip-on style that incorporates the brand’s proprietary Gel technology through beads integrated into the midsole for comfort and endurance. Read the full story on WWD.com.