Wednesday 3rd April

| BY Michella Oré

Listen Up, The Era of Fashionable Earwear Tech Is Upon Us

If you feel like earbuds have gotten more fashion-friendly these days, you’re not projecting. From Fendi’s sleek, black and chrome buds to the Louis Vuitton monogramed pair that were spotted on Miley Cyrus earlier this year, wireless headwear has indeed received a fashionable upgrade.

In the 1980s, the Walkman was introduced and with it came a cheap option for headphones that made music on the go more accessible to the general public. Then came the 1990s and the Discman. From tapes to CDs, connecting to tech through our ears became a mainstay. Since then, we’ve experienced many variations of earwear – the crisp, white iPhone headphones, Bluetooth headsets carrying surround sound courtesy of Beats by Dre, and the Apple air pod.

While tech companies have been refining design for this branch of wearables for some time now, fashion houses have increasingly jumped into the fold. Chanel partnered with headphone manufacturing giant Monster for the release of their leather quilted headphones in 2014. Sold with a matching lambskin case, the sound engineering was provided by none other than Beats by Dre. A year later, Fendi took on Beats by Dr. Dre for A/W season and released their exclusive design for the Beats Pro model. From sunshine yellow to asphalt grey, the sound-isolating headphones were produced in a range of rich hues. Each pair was crafted of fine Selleria leather and included both the classic FF and Fendi Roma logos.

This year, Fendi sized-down as they launched their own version of wireless earbuds. Palladium-finished and Bluetooth compatible, these polished buds come with a disc-like leather case that is topped with the freshly updated Fendi logo that debuted AW17. The case also doubles as a power bank thanks to the featured USB port.

And now, it’s Louis Vuitton’s turn. Recently released, the Horizon wireless earphones are the brainchild of LV and NYC-based audio company, Master & Dynamic. Produced to accompany the new collection of Tambour Horizon watches, they are available in four colourways: jet black, snow white, cherry red (all of which feature the iconic LV monogram), and a final black pair with blue and yellow stripe overlay. Coming together with each pair is an LV stainless steel power bank and case which will give your buds up to 10 hours of battery life while keeping them properly protected.

At the end of March 2019, the International Data Corporation (IDC) released their forecast for tech wearables starting from 2019 and extending out to 2023. With a category list including the watch, wristband, and clothing, IDC predicts earwear experiencing a strong year taking up 27.4% of the market share for 2019. And it’s only expected to increase from there. This growth isn’t surprising when you think about the top items you’re likely to grab while heading out the door – wallet, keys, phone, and earbuds. Then there is the agony many are all too familiar with, creeping in once it becomes clear the buds you could have sworn were at the bottom of your pocket are actually not. We’ve been attached to our earwear for some time, for the last three decades in fact.

Of course, whether this trend of fashionable earwear has lasting power is something only time will tell. What we do know is that Fendi earbud’s internal battery lasts up to 60 hours which will take you all the way to Rome and back. 

Both the Louis Vuitton and the Fendi earbuds are available to shop online and in selected stores. //