Gucci and will.i.am join forces to make a smartwatch

The Italian fashion house join the smart wristbands war

With the Apple Watch landing in stores next month, Gucci has announced this week its own smartwatch collaboration with will.i.am.

The Italian luxury fashion house announced the partnership at the watch industry’s international trade fair, Baselworld, yesterday.

The Black Eyed Peas singer has joined forces with Gucci Timepieces on a “smartband” which is a “fashionable wristband” that can reportedly make and receive phone calls, send and receive text messages and emails, store music, maps and your calendar, and track your fitness too.

The price, composition or date of launch is yet to be revealed.

The news of the latest collaboration comes after Apple unveiled a luxury version of its Apple Watch, The Edition, earlier this month, which came with the staggering price tag of £12,000.

“Wearable technology and smart devices represent a new frontier for the fashion industry. It is very appropriate that Gucci is leading the way through this collaboration with will.i.am, as innovation has always been such an important part of our DNA,” said Gucci President and CEO Marco Bizzarri.

The 94-year-old fashion house has recently seen the departure of former CEO Patrizio de Marco and creative director Frida Giannini. Today, with new creative director Alessandro Michele at the helm, and this tech collaboration with will.i.am in the works, Gucci seems to be well on the way to reinventing itself.

 “Gucci Timepieces is fully embracing the future of wearable technology that is now ahead”, President of Gucci Timepieces, Stephane Linder, told the audience at Basel.

A Gucci representative told The Telegraph that the “watch is still a concept”. So, whether the brand’s i.am+ watch will hit stores anytime soon is unknown.

This, however, is not the musician’s first attempt at a smartwatch. Last year he launched The Puls “smart cuff” in partnership with AT&T, which has similar functions but comes in the form of a giant cuff.

puls-will.i.am-smartwatch.jpg
will.i.am's smartwatch Puls

Gucci’s design looks slightly sleeker and perhaps more appealing for the style-conscious crowd. Technically it's believed the Gucci design will not have anything on Apple or Google’s operation system, but regardless of how functional it is, Gucci’s entry to the watch market is further evidence of a developing role for smart watches within the fashion world.

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