During Sacai’s fall 2019 men’s wear show, which took place in Paris earlier this year, the models wore what appeared to be beaded necklaces that came in either shades of black, or a red, blue and white colorway. In the runway imagery they just look like beaded necklaces, but they are actually a collaboration with Beats on its Beats X wireless earphones.
Chitose Abe, Sacai’s creative director, said she wanted to incorporate Sacai’s philosophy of hybrid on the Beats product and transform it into something new. While she’s partnered with everyone from The New York Times to Nike Inc. on product, this is her first time working with a tech company.
“Sometimes I enjoy creating something apart from fashion,” said Abe. “For me, it was the first time to work with a tech brand associated with sound, but I wanted to try it because it was something I myself live with every day.”
It’s a first for Beats as well, which has partnered with various fashion brands including Balmain, MCM and Fragment, but hasn’t ventured into the jewelry category.
“Jewelry, more than most clothing items, is something intimate and specific that many people put on first thing each day,” said Luke Wood, president of Beats. “Headphones have also become a personal accessory that people consider as they get ready in the morning — it’s now a part of their outfit and their style. We wanted to bring the two together and make it the ultimate accessory for people who love great design and really appreciate the details. “The earphones will come in a co-branded Sacai and Beats carrying case and they have an eight-hour battery with a Fast Fuel feature that allows for two hours of playback from a five-minute charge. They will come in three colorways — deep black, burned red and true white — and will retail for $149.95. They are available to purchase on March 4. Syd of the R&B group the Internet, stars in the campaign.
Wood said Beats will continue to explore how they can expand their reach and become a meaningful part of consumers’ daily lives. “Beats has a significant footprint in the world of wearable tech, and we’re excited to work with brands like Sacai to broaden and push the definition of how audio hardware fits into our daily life,” said Wood. “Like everything you wear, especially your wearables and accessories, they reflect your identity. Sacai deeply understands the importance of self expression and that’s why I think the end result is so beautiful.”