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How technology became fashion

From Asap Rocky's kid-core tamagotchi to Lily Rose Depp's Y2K headphones

How technology became fashion  From Asap Rocky's kid-core tamagotchi to Lily Rose Depp's Y2K headphones
Martin Margiela SS17
Martin Margiela SS17
Marine Serre SS19

What does it take for an object seemingly removed from fashion to become a trend? Perhaps simply its availability on the market and a handsome sponsor who makes it seem desirable? Since the years of the economic boom, when a Smeg fridge was a status symbol for the most prominent families and owning a telephone or television set was a source of great pride in the neighbourhood, technology has come a long way, until it has become an indispensable part of our daily lives, often in a size that fits comfortably in our pockets. But when exactly did a hi-tech accessory become an integral part of an outfit, often becoming the spokesperson for a specific aesthetic? From Asap Rocky's kid-core tamagotchi, to Lily Rose Depp's Y2K headphones, via Kanye's 'futuristic' AirPods Max, what do the tech accessories we use say about us today, and how do they relate to fashion? 

The Pre-iPhone Era

Before the iPhone became the phone par excellence, generating hype comparable to Supreme in its golden years, with queues miles long and waiting lists for every new release, the world of telephony was much more diverse. The Blackberry, recently declared out of production, was the first technological product to represent social status, but these were also the days when Kanye West used his flip phone (re-launched last year by Samsung in full '0s wake) and fashion experimented with branded mobile phones. From the Motorola i883 Baby Phat, branded by former model Kimora Lee Simmons, sported by Janet Jackson, Lil'Kim and Britney Spears and studded with 0.4 carat diamonds, to Juicy Couture's pastel pink T-Mobile, to the Dolce & Gabbana Motorola Razr V3i in 2005 or the Nokia 7270 Limited Edition by Versace in baroque print, there was a time when mobile phones were truly a luxury accessory comparable to an it bag or the latest pair of Prada boots. From career men with blackberrys to sneakerheads with the Supreme-branded BLU Burner Phone, including heiresses with the latest $85,000 Dior Phone Réverie, you could tell a lot about an individual's personality (and bank account) by simply looking at their phone.

The weird headphone trend 

Martin Margiela SS17
Martin Margiela SS17
Marine Serre SS19

Since Apple's genius intuition to accompany the launch of the iPod in 2011 with the first pair of white headphones the world had ever seen (distinguishing it from the darker shades of its competitors), headphones have proved to be a versatile accessory and a source of inspiration for the catwalks of major fashion designers. Matelassé leather headphones in collaboration with Monster for Chanel's AW15, Martin Margela's call centre helmet in FW16, Marine Serre's retractable earphones in SS19, D&G's €4,379 headset and Louis Vuitton's Horizon headphones designed by Virgil Abloh. But, if the appeal of the various phone brands has been swept away by the advent of the iPhone, the same cannot be said of the AirPods, whose supremacy is threatened both by Apple's latest model, the new AirPods Max, but also by wired earbuds and beats. A revival that has turned dated hi-tech models into a new trendy accessory and that the Instagram account @wireditgirls bears witness to through "mood" shots that tell of the love and passion for a technological era carried on, in many cases, by those who did not live through that era, including photos of Timothée Chalamet in Call Me By Your Name and street style of Bella Hadid, Lily-Rose Depp and Zoe Kravitz.

Analogue photography is the new fashion fetish

It has been five years since Kendall Jenner showed off her Contax T2 at Jimmy Fallon's show, and two and a half years since Frank Ocean covered the Met Gala for Vogue with his trusty analogue. For some time now, analogue photography has been the new fashion fetish: not only headphones and mobile phones, nostalgia for bygone technological eras also involves film and camcorders, both for celebrities and established fashion photographers. From Rory Kramer, who opened an archive account for his analogue shots, to Tyler Mitchell, who turned up at last year's Met Gala in a total Bode outfit and with a Yashica around his neck. Tom Holland, Zendaya, Peggy Gou, Chris Hemsworth, Emily Ratajkowski, are just some of the celebrities who in recent years, and especially in recent months, have been portrayed with an Olympus or a disposable Kodak in their hand or around their neck. 

Due to the Y2K revival of the latest catwalks and an obsessive tendency for celebrities to take care of every detail of their look, including the books in their hands, the most fashionable technological accessory is no longer the latest release, a sterile show-off of one's purchasing power, but anything that appears unusual, dated, vintage. Gen Z and Millennials take refuge - driven by childhood memories of cassette tapes, Tumblr, MySpace, a record player instead of a radio - in a technological era far enough removed to be historicised and return to the present in the form of a trend, a piece of furniture or a cool accessory.