Just a few blocks from Google’s New York offices, the company held an event today that marked the launch of a partnership with fashion icon Diane von Furstenberg. Partnership rumors have been floating around the still-young Glass brand since its inception, and there's a reason: Google considers this an important step in expanding the reach of the product, which has seen its fair share of detractors. Von Furstenberg herself is no stranger to the tech after using Glass at a runway event in 2012, and she was seen at today's event wearing many of the new designs throughout the afternoon while she maneuvered through the crowd. Google’s presence was split across three tables in the two open floors of the showroom, the frames resting on wooden tables that were surrounded by DVF's 2014/15 collection, original Andy Warhol paintings, and the fashion press elite.
The attendees' reactions to Glass were a reminder that, outside of the tech world, many people still aren’t totally sure what exactly Glass is and does. Initial responses typically fell into one of two categories of surprise: visible and joyful illumination, or deeper confusion — like when some wearers voiced surprise that Glass’ screen wasn’t a full display across the field of vision. Google hopes the partnership will minimize these issues, and lead designer Isabelle Olsson was on hand to reinforce that. "We want people to love this technology and use it in their everyday life, but for that to be a reality it has to fit their style and their needs," Olsson said. "The most important thing for people to feel like it’s for them is having the options there, but doing it in a sustainable way. We can’t all of a sudden flip a switch and you have thousands of styles."
Olsson also explained how she felt that working with Diane von Furstenberg felt like a logical next step following the company’s first attempt at making Glass more consumer-ready when it created the Titanium collection earlier this year. "We know that we can’t compete with a glasses store of 1,000 styles so that’s why we first went with a very minimal approach, and now we’re kind of doing the opposite of having an offering that’s very, very expressive."