Google Glass Getting Designer von Furstenberg Frames

 
 
By Todd R. Weiss  |  Posted 2014-06-10
 
 
 
Google Glass

Google Glass continues to gain a high-fashion edge now that Glass frames designed by American fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg will go on sale starting June 23.

The latest fashion frames for Glass were recently unveiled in a Google+ post on the Google Glass page as the von Furstenberg DVF Made for Glass Collection, which will be sold exclusively through the Net-A-Porter high-fashion Website. The frames will be sold to Glass Explorers who are using the devices as part of a continuing effort by Google to expand its user test base before moving Glass to a final product in the future.

"Starting June 23, you can purchase the collection exclusively on +NET-A-PORTER and google.com/glass, which includes five new frames and eight new shades to give you even more ways to make Glass your own," the post states. "At that time, you'll also be able to purchase the Titanium collection on +MR PORTER," which is the men's fashion address on the site.

The von Furstenberg brand was one of the first to experiment with Google Glass when the fashion brand used Glass to give online viewers "an insider's view of the +DVF Spring 2013 runway show with DVF [through Google Glass]," according to the post.

Net-A-Porter is a premier online luxury fashion retailer that presents its items for sale in the style of a fashion magazine, according to the company. Launched in June 2000, the site includes products from iconic fashion brands including Michael Kors, Karl Lagerfeld, Alexander Wang, Marc Jacobs, Collette Dinnigan, Charlotte Olympia, Jonathan Saunders, Alexander McQueen, Emilio Pucci, Givenchy, Valentino, Stella McCartney, Gucci and Fendi.

This is not the first time that fashion frames for Glass have been discussed by Google and its partners. In March 2014, Google announced that it was partnering with eyeglass frame vendor The Luxottica Group to someday offer trendy frames from famous makers such as Ray-Ban, Oakley, Vogue-Eyewear and Alain Mikli as Glass units get closer to rumored retail production. Those plans give future Glass owners more fashion possibilities as more frames that work with Glass are developed.

Additional details on when Luxottica frames for Glass will be available will be released in the future, according to the companies. Much of that work will likely be done after the public release of Glass devices, when the market will be seeking such options, according to Google. Initially, at least, the deal with Luxottica will only be for products in the U.S. market.

So far, early Glass "Explorer" testers—the devices are not yet available for retail sales—are able to choose from only four frames available for purchase, including curved, thin, split and bold frames, according to Google. All four available models are displayed on the Glass Website. Those frames were announced in January when Google revealed that vision insurance vendor VSP Global will offer reimbursements for Glass frames and lenses under a deal announced by the companies. VSP Global will cover a portion of Google Glass frames and prescription lenses for its insurance customers.

Attachable sun shades are also available in several styles for purchase under that program. The frames cost $225, while the shades sell for $150, according to Google. Users will have to check with VSP to find out how much of the fees are reimbursable under their vision plans.

In May 2014, Google announced that beta versions of Glass devices can now be purchased by anyone in the United States as long as the company has them in stock. The move came as the company is continuing its recent efforts to expand the number of early "Explorer" users who are trying the devices out in the wild. The Glass devices, which sell for $1,500 plus taxes, can be configured and ordered at the Glass Website, according to Google. Several options and add-ons can raise the price of the devices.

Google Glass has been a topic of conversation among techies since news of the futuristic eyeglass-mounted computer devices first surfaced in 2012 at the Google I/O developer's conference. Developers at the show were offered the chance to buy early "Explorer" versions of Glass for $1,500 for testing and development. Glass was the hit of that conference.

Since the first Glass devices began shipping to Explorers in April 2013, some users have already been modifying their Glass units to work with prescription lenses, based on reports from users on social media sites and other sources. The Explorer versions sell for $1,500 each, plus shipping.

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