Nov 2 2011

Phones and Fashion: Inexorably Intertwined?

Few would dispute that Apple is a brand and not merely a company with a nifty logo. This monolith of trend-setting is at the forefront of dictating the way in which we interact with technology. Back in 1984 when Apple released the Macintosh, you’d have been forgiven for thinking that style wasn’t at the forefront of Steve Jobs’ thoughts. The Macintosh came in a gruesome shade of beige, with a grey to brown keyboard that we can only recoil at today. The truth is though, style mattered to Apple even then.

Steve Jobs always spoke about that first Macintosh: how other companies were opting for grey and white, but Apple went ahead with beige because they wanted a product to mesh with the customer’s lifestyle. Something to match the other beige items in those pioneering minimalistic interiors.

But what of the original iPhone? Well on the night before its release, potential customers queued up in their thousands, some sleeping on the pavement so as to purchase one of these iconic pieces. Since then the hype around them has been cult-like, and it’s not hard to understand why. Indeed, many blogs would not even have been commissioned were it not for the iPhone. Thank heavens for Apple.

Fancy some cuff-links? Earrings? Maybe a cushion for your sofa? You can get all this jewellery and more, emblazoned with the image of an iPhone, staring back at you like some revered Grecian idol. If it’s just the phone you’re into, customise it beyond belief. Cover it with whatever you like; there are websites dedicated solely to that purpose, providing the iPhone-lover with everything they could possibly want. Choose from different colours, effects and patterns. Oh, and chuck a couple of Swarovski crystals on there while you’re at it. As website iStyle puts it, ‘Why be ordinary when you can be extraordinary?’

Fashion aside, Apple is also a way of life. The website named, funnily enough, iPhonelife also produces a magazine; a publication designed to help you make the most of your new best friend. If you’re not convinced by that, just look at certain iBand videos on YouTube to realise the potential for iPhone apps: with no less than 5 million views, it’s a more fleeting trend than Apple. It remains to be said that seeing a group of people playing whole songs – with guitars, drums and all – purely through the convenience of their dinky mobile phones is cool. Bizarre, but cool.

It also proves a point. Apple always did, and always will, give huge thought to the fashion appeal of their products, but fun and functionality are equally as important. When you see someone showing off their iPhone 4S, you can’t help but silently wish ‘If only my phone could do that – when’s my next upgrade due?’ Celebrities across the globe also endorse the brand, with pop moguls such as Britney and Pharrell flaunting their iPhones – but so too do gadget lovers such as Stephen Fry.

It doesn’t really matter if you’re fashion conscious or not; regardless of what you clad it with, your new will perform some pretty smart moves. Flowery; chrome; neon or translucent – it’s what’s on the inside that counts.

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