OtterBox tries its hand at marrying tech with fashion

OtterBox wants to be more than a straightjacket for your phone.

The popular cellphone case company — known for its cumbersome, yet ultra-protective design — is seeking to glamorize its aesthetic through a collaboration with “Project Runway All Stars.” The partnership comes on the heels of a recent campaign with Nina Garcia, creative director of Marie Claire Magazine and a judge on the show.

“I think that’s the part that’s really exciting for us at OtterBox, to take something that has a utilitarian function to it, and make something that’s a fashion accessory that people want to show off,” Barbara Meyer, public relations director at OtterBox, told Digiday.

Dom Streater, a Philadelphia-based designer, was deemed the winner of the “Print on Print” challenge, which aired last night on “Project Runway.” Her designs will be part of a limited edition series offered for all iPhone6 and iPhone 6s models, as well as the Galaxy S7.

Streater, who won the 12th season of “Project Runway” in 2013, called the OtterBox challenge “refreshing” and a welcome break from traditional fashion design.

“It was fun and new,” she said. “We rarely have a chance to do something like this, we’re either making a top, pair of pants, a jumpsuit, et cetera.”

The collaboration represents an ongoing effort to marry technology with fashion, seen in recent efforts such as Tory Burch’s FitBit line and Diane von Furstenberg’s Google Glass campaign.

Such partnerships have yet to yield a bit hit, though, particularly in the world of wearables. As Quartz reported, “making technology truly wearable is not just a matter of dressing up a device. It will require vigorous innovation that wholly integrates form with function.”

However, Meyer holds no doubt that fashion and technology will continue to dovetail.

“The more you use the technology, the more it really becomes part of you, and like anything that becomes part of you, you want it to be an extension of yourself and a way to show who you are and your sense of style,” Meyer said.

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