When Fitbit unveiled their new Alta fitness tracker a few weeks ago, it was clear that the company was beginning to take design and fashionability more seriously. Trading out the brand’s iconic rubber band featuring a barely noticeable screen, the Alta predominately features a monochrome touch screen which connects at either end to interchangeable bands. Even though the wearable ships with a rubber wrist band, you can purchase leather or metal bands. At NYFW, buzz worthy NYC fashion brand Public School New York included several “designed for the runway” Fitbit accessories among the looks walking the runway. All of the accessories were created by the designers specifically for the Alta. The idea was to show that tech doesn’t have to be this odd thing which is tacked on top of your outfit; wearables can be integrated into a seamless look for any occasion. Don’t camp out on the Fitbit or PSNY websites though waiting for these accessories to go on sale. Fitbit has stated that they were created specifically for NYFW to provide a feel of what the final products would be like when released later this year.
Just who is Public School New York? Headed up by designers Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne, the NYC based company produces both mens and womenswear. The company launched in 2008 but it was their re-launch in 2012 that really defined the brand. Working mainly with a confined pallet of blacks, whites, navy, and grays, the duo craft looks that are sporty but not casual, creating a mix of high and low to achieve something that is classy but with street-cred. PSNY has made its way inside top retailers, is a favorite of celebrities, and has won several CFDA awards. Perhaps pointing to the youth behind the brand and an understanding of the current fashion landscape, this is not Public School’s first partnership with another brand. Chow and Osborne have previously partnered with J. Crew for a capsule collection, designed a Nike Jordan, and even working with Tumi to design luggage.
A partnership with PSNY is a huge deal for Fitbit. While the wearables company had previously worked with Tory Burch on a line of accessories, the fashion brand is steadfast and rarely buzz worthy. PSNY on the other hand is hot, on-trend, and high-design. PSNY has the potential to give Fitbit, and wearables in general, the OK with taste makers to move from geeky gadget to trendy accessory.