With summer on the way and you on the road — to the beach, the cabin, or Barcelona for lunch — you’ll need to be mobile and equipped with essential tech gear that keeps you connected and entertained.
You know it and I know it, but it took a long time for makers of gadgets we love to realize that looks count. Imagine other utilitarian items — say, your purse – only being available in putty and grey. Home appliances have a long history of aiming for fashion as well as utility — think milky yellow KitchenAid mixers or that avocado green refrigerator in your first apartment (hey, it was a hip color when it was first installed in the 70s).
Lucky for us, there’s now a candy bowl’s worth of everything from mobile phones to digital cameras that are as fab as they are functional.
We have to thank Apple’s iMac for pushing other tech companies to move away from grey or putty colored shells.
And the iPod is no exception. But if you want more color options, ColorWare has iPods and minis in matte anodized aluminum cases in twenty two colors including Midnight, Envy and Ferrari. ColorWare also does up laptops and more in eye-popping colors.
If you want to spice up the iPod you already own, get a ShockShell case — rubberized PVC around and aluminum core — for your iPod mini from Slappa. Mod Swirl is our fave, but if you must be pink, they’ve got you covered. slappa link
What’s the essential item to throw in your bag for a trip to anywhere? A camera, of course, to write home with pictures.
Like Gwen Stefani, you might make a pilgrimage to the Harajuku district in Tokyo this summer to see the boys and girls in their street finery. Or maybe, like Gwen, you might just recruit a few Japanese kids to follow you around all summer … bringing Harajuku along with you.
(If you don’t know what all the fuss is over Harajuku, check out Shoichi Aoki’s classic sourcebook of over-the-top, street-fashion portraits, “Fruits from Phaidon.”)
Even if you’re not following Gwen’s travel itinerary, you can snap up special edition HP Photosmart R607 Harajuku Lovers digital camera she designed for Hewlett-Packard. With it’s Gwen-designed bag, wrist strap and charms, plus a DVD with Gwen interview, remix track and more, the 4.2 megapixel camera is all the camera you’d expect from HP packed into an ice-blue body adorned with kanji and Gwen-isms. Camera Link
When it’s next to your lovely face so often, your cell phone better look sharp. Whether you’re a girlie girl or a rocker grrl, you can get a cell phone that fits your style. Following on the success of Anna Sui’s sexy deep purple Samsung/T-Mobile limited edition e315 (Kim Gordon has one, do you?), this spring, Betsey Johnson gets into the game with a sweet pink rose-adorned signature phone. Both come with built-in camera, video, caller ID and IM capabilities.
The Limited Edition Anna Sui e315 Mobile by Samsung comes with an Anna-designed carrying case, a phone charm and an Anna Sui “Rouge S” lipgloss. Betsey’s e315 comes with a sweet little matching handbag.
Anna Sui phone
Betsey Johnson phone
For the girl with money to burn, Kimora Lee Simmons came out with a Baby Phat quilted pink cell phone dusted with diamonds last year. It’s a heavy hitting phone with the latest technology under the hood, but it only works with Nextel networks. Other mad money fashion phones include the Versace Limited Edition Nokia 7270 and the Seimens SL65 ESCADA Rockin’ Rio phone. A girl can dream.
Speaking of dreams, keep an eye on Siemens. The company canceled their Xelibri line of design phones that included a pendant on a necklace and this compact-inspired phone. But the idea’s not dead in the water. Why shouldn’t your phone be a beautifully designed object? Yum.
For our previous Summer Essentials accessory feature click here.