In a bid to succeed where all other luxury brands have fallen short, Louis Vuitton has announced its first foray into wearable tech with its new smartwatch. Called the Tambour Horizon—an update of Vuitton’s extant Tambour line—the watch is a collaboration with Google Android. And to fete the launch, Louis Vuitton recruited pretty much all of its brand ambassadors for a 30-second film, entitled “Connected Journeys,” promoting the new watch. Adele Exarchopoulos, Miranda Kerr, Jennifer Connelly, Catherine Deneuve, Laura Harrier, K-pop star Gong Yoo, and, of course, Jaden Smith, all appear in the short clip, an abstract meditation on time and travel and adventure.
“Don’t take time,” Connelly announces. “Let it take you,” Deneuve chimes in. “Across the sky,” Smith continues. The brand’s own approach to wearable tech seems to be similarly woo-woo: “We don’t know where the industry of connected objects is going, but we know it’s going to be massive,” said CEO and chairman Michael Burke, according to Business of Fashion. “You can either sit on the sidelines and observe, or you can dive in and be an actor.”
Burke didn’t miss the opportunity to shade the competition, in a separate interview with the New York Times: “There’s a lot of ugliness out there,” he said. “For us,” he added, “the aesthetic is non-negotiable.” (Brands like Michael Kors, in collaboration with Fossil, and Hermès, in collaboration with Apple, have previously set their sights on wearable tech.) To combat this graphic quandary, Louis Vuitton has unleashed three case options and 60 different interchangeable straps on the world.
Vuitton is also adapting the technology quite specifically to its globetrotting brand identity: In addition to the usual smartwatch features, it’s incorporated flight tracking and a city guide, which has been likened to a remote concierge service—probably readily equipped with precise GPS coordinates to your nearest Vuitton. The Tambour, unlike its peers, is also specifically designed to switch between platforms in China and the rest of the world, where messenger services and other apps differ.
It seems to be a rite of passage for brands to try their hands at smartwatches. “In the early 20th century we built helicopters,” Burke told the New York Times. “It didn’t mean we were going to turn into Boeing or Airbus. But it meant we were part of the conversation.” So, smartwatches are the new air travel?
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