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Butterflies and birds byte into NY Fashion Week

September 18, 2009

Spotted at New York Fashion Week: Butterflies and hummingbirds hovered inside the tents, but these particular species came equipped with at least a gigabyte or two.

Designer Vivienne Tam’s“Butterfly Lovers” digital clutch laptop from Hewlett-Packard made its debut on the runway with her Spring and Summer 2010 collection. Just inside the entrance to the Bryant Park Tents, a hummingbird was ready for its close-up — on the cover of one of the Palm Pixi Artist Series limited-edition cellphones on display.

Just two of the most colorful examples of how fashion is using technology to court design-savvy customers, one of the biggest trends seen at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, which wrapped up late Thursday night.

“For me, fashion plus technology equals ‘double happiness,’” Tam told Reuters backstage.

Indeed, the “enter” key on her latest HP laptop is imprinted with the Chinese characters for “double happiness.”

The champagne-gold laptop will have more capacity and more features than her first limited-edition HP digital clutch with the red “Peony” print cover, which Tam unveiled on the runway last September. The “Peony” laptop — light enough for a woman to carry like a clutch evening bag — has 1 gigabyte of RAM, according to the Neiman Marcus online catalog, where it’s listed “in stock” for $699.99.

Tam says her inspiration came from the classic Chinese love story, the “Butterfly Lovers,” who are regarded as China’s “Romeo and Juliet.” A classical music lover, Tam noted that this year is the 50th anniversary of the Butterfly Lovers Concerto.

HP sees fashionable tech for women as a golden market, with plenty of opportunity to expand with wireless mice, storage devices and other accessories, says Satjiv S. Chahil, senior vice president of global marketing.

Check out this video of the “Butterfly Lovers” laptop on display at the Fashion Week party in Vivienne Tam’s boutique:

Meanwhile, Palm aims to serve fashion-conscious men and women with its Pixi Artist Series phones with limited-edition covers designed by five artists. The Hummingbird cover by artist Cole Gerst in bright orange and green on a light turquoise background looks unmistakably feminine, while the Skull by artist Jeremy Fish in cream and black appears more in sync with a male aesthetic.

The new Palm Pixi phone line will be launched for the holiday season in partnership with Sprint Nextel, says Palm senior product manager Mike Akamine. Each artist’s design will be offered on only 5,000 phones — for a total limited run of 25,000 units, Akamine told Reuters.
Each phone will have about 7 gigabytes of available internal user storage.
Check out the Palm Pixi Artist Series phones:

http://www.palm.com/us/products/phones/pixi/artist.html

For a look at another designer using tech to reach more customers, check out this video of Norma Kamali showing her spring clothes outside the Apple store in Soho:

Take a look at Reuters story:
Technology in starring role at New York Fashion Week

http://www.reuters.com/article/technologyNews/idUSTRE58H4TD20090918

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