Wearable Tech

Intel’s New $500 Smart Bracelet Has Yelp and Not Much Else

MICA, Intel and Opening Ceremony's questionably-useful new wearable device. (MICA)

Ever desperately needed to search Yelp, but have just been so on-the-go that even whipping out your iPhone is inconvenient? Yeah, us neither — which is why we’re a little concerned about Intel’s new wearable.

Spawned from a partnership between Intel and Opening Ceremony, the device is called MICA, or My Intelligent Communication Accessory. Set to debut in early December for the exorbitant price of $495, MICA is a chunky bangle with a screen on the inner wrist, from which users can carry out a series of, quite frankly, pretty unexciting functions. Read More

Fashion Tech

‘Cloth’ Lets Your Friends Choose Your Outfit From Afar

You can be just like this cool gal, cataloguing her outfits. (Cloth)

After a successful period of beta testing, Cloth — the iPhone app that lets you help your BFFAEAE decide on the totes perfect brunch outfit — officially launched to the public this morning.

Founded last year by Seth Porges, Wray Serna and Bradford Stephens, Cloth was inspired by people’s tendency to ask their friends for outfit advice when they’re getting ready to go somewhere. It aims to replicate every facet of the ~getting ready~ experience all within a single app. Read More

Fashion Tech

Reverse Disruption: Online Retailer Bonobos Lands $55 Million to Open Brick & Mortar Stores

Nothing in this room is for sale. (Photo via Bonobos)

Bonobos closed their Series D funding this morning at $55 million, bringing their total VC investments over $127 million. This time around, the injection will be used for building out the online retailer’s physical locations.

To the Cult of Disruption, opening physical stores may sound like innovation suicide, but the thing is, Bonobos stores don’t actually Read More

Fashion Plates

At Fashion 2.0 Awards, Social Media Teams Take the Spotlight

Zac Posen and Coco Rocha (Photo: facebook.com/stylecoalition)

Awards shows are never short on stuffiness masquerading as decorum — and you’d think that a ceremony for fashion industry insiders might be extra-uptight. But last night’s Fashion 2.0 Awards were anything but.

This was the fifth annual iteration of the awards show, which recognizes the fashion brands that use digital media best. The awards presenters are style bloggers and the honorees are fashion mavens who usually stay behind the scenes. The resultant atmosphere was laid-back, fun, modern and irreverent.

Guests arrived at the Merkin Concert Hall on West 67th Street and had their pictures taken in the carpeted lobby while bloggers milled about. Since many of the honorees were social media directors and bloggers, the lines were blurred as to who should be in front of the calendar and who should be behind it. We heard more than one pair of style bloggers (don’t they always socialize in twos?) wonder, “Should we go in front of the cameras or no?” Read More

Fashion Tech

Y Combinator Startup Shoptiques Hired Models to Give Out Free Hugs in NYC Today

(Photo: Shoptiques)

What’s a good publicity stunt without a stable of pretty women? Apparently even Y Combinator startups fall prey to that age-old logic. DNAInfo reports that Shoptiques, a fashion marketplace for local boutiques, has planned an elaborate jaunt around Manhattan today to dole out free hugs in exchange for some brand recognition. And judging from their Facebook page, looks like they’ll also have a ton of hot pink swag in tow.

Starting at 11 a.m., five models will begin giving free hugs out in SoHo, then travel up through Washington Square Park, Union Square, Times Square and end at Columbus Circle. The whole schtick is so well-planned that you can even track the models’ location on a sweetly-drawn map on Shoptiques’ website. Read More

New Digs

With Newly Opened New York Office, Polyvore Looks to Bond With Brands

Polyvore NYC office

The latest West Coast outfit to open up an outpost here in the chaotic environs of New York City: social commerce platform Polyvore. Their new neighborhood? Naturally it’s Soho, that downtown anthill swarming with fashionistas. While the company has had employees stationed here for years, the new office finally gives them a proper home.

Polyvore, which makes it easy for members to create those inspiration board-like collages so beloved by fashion bloggers and also to purchase whatever happens to be featured in those collages, just topped 17 million uniques per month. Over the last year the company has been working more closely with brands, including hosting its first fashion show in February, featuring FIT alums.

Cofounder Pasha Sadri told Betabeat via email that, “Being in close proximity to the fashion powerhouses of New York was a natural next step” for the company. Read More

Oh You Fancy Huh?

Christian Louboutin Sells $1,700 Heels to Techies, But Doesn’t Understand What ‘Computer Code’ Looks Like

(Photo: Christian Louboutin)

We should have seen this coming after New York Fashion Week’s odd obsession with QR codes. First came the Yves Saint Laurent eyeshadow in Facebook blue (helps highlight that glassy, staring-at-screens look in your eyes!). At £39, at least that’s cheaper than Christian Louboutin’s attempt at geekiness. The high-end shoe designer is offering its popular Lady Peep stiletto in a tech-inspired pattern for the fall.

There’s just one problem, besides the $1,695 price tag. The company seems to have confused “computer code” with a circuit diagram of a computer chip, according to the sales pitch on its website: Read More

Fashion Tech

Pop-Up Pretty! NYC Partners with Local Retailer for Fashion Tech STORY Store

Our setting. (Photo: Yelp)

Pop-ups are ever popping up about the city like so many mushrooms after a rainstorm, so it was only a matter of time before we saw one just for fashion startups. The New York City Economic Development Corporation has just announced that it’ll be collaborating with retailer Story  on a competition dubbed Project Pop-Up NYC. It’s targeted to both up-and-coming retailers and (more importantly for our purposes) innovative fashion tech startups.

Up to three winners will get their very own pop-up within STORY’s Chelsea outpost during the month of September, which of course coincides nicely with Fashion Week. They’ll also win PR support, mentoring and “exposure at key industry events.” That last bit sounds a bit fuzzy, but the right mentor is a pearl beyond price. As many as eight other companies will also get display space. Read More