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Porsche, Prada Launch Cell Phones

Design-driven technology continues to be a growth path for companies both in and outside the fashion world.

Prada’s new cell phone.

MILAN — Design-driven technology continues to be a growth path for companies both in and outside the fashion world.

This story first appeared in the October 17, 2008 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

Footwear brand Roger Vivier has launched a Web site, rogervivier.com, which includes the house’s collections as well as information on the firm’s history. The site soon will add an e-commerce function, but only for select clients.

Agence Super Gazole, along with Vivier’s designer Bruno Frisoni and brand ambassador Ines de la Fressange, designed the site, which also includes a blog called “Carnet d’Ines,” where the company’s longtime muse shares insider addresses and discoveries.

Meanwhile, two brands have further expanded their mobile phone offerings. Prada and Porsche have both launched their second mobile phones, each priced at 600 euros, or $817 at current exchange. Both phones will be in stores in November.

Prada hopes to do even better with its second phone with South Korean giant LG Electronics Inc. after selling one million units of its first touch screen phone.

The black and silver phone has an exclusive slide out Qwerty (one letter per key) keyboard that differentiates it from its predecessor. Thanks to this keyboard, a spokesman claimed, the phone is the first ever that can be used both vertically (with the touch screen function) or horizontally (with the keyboard).

Other features include a five megapixel camera, a video call function and a full-power HTML browser. The phone initially will be sold only in Europe.

The second mobile from sports car powerhouse Porsche is the P’9522, which will be sold in the 73 Porsche Design stores worldwide, including the four in the U.S.

The gray and black device, with a 2.8-inch touch screen, is made from a solid block of aluminum covered with an antiscratch glass sheet.

A sensor imprinted with the owner’s fingerprints protects personal data, and the phone also has a camera, an auto focus video camera, an MP3 reader and a high-speed Wi-Fi connection. Sales forecasts were unavailable.