Vittorio Zunino Celotto
A collaboration between big names Huawei, Vogue China and Fornasetti sparked the creation of the Fornasetti smart watch, the unveiling of which was done at Vogue China’s 10-year anniversary celebrations. Celebrated at the closure of Milan Fashion Week, the introduction of the special edition watch has allowed for it to be seen in the limelight of the fashion world.
Huawei, a global innovation company, works towards bettering and expanding on telecom networks. With a focus on consumer product, technical innovation and research and development, the company has expanded through Asia, Europe, the US and Russia. Huawei’s crowd-sourcing specialists have opened up a platform for outside artists and designers to contribute designs for appropriate accessories to complement the watch such as customized skins, or potential ideas for future technologies such as smart phones or smart watches.
The watch itself is a product of Huawei Business Group, but the design was customized by Fornasetti, the celebrated interior design and fashion label. The watch has all the traditional makings of a high-quality, sophisticated watch such as the scratch-resistant sapphire crystal class and stainless steel frame, as well as the traditional 42 mm diameter of the watch face itself. What makes this accessory stand out is its technical capabilities, inclusive of playing music downloads offline, Bluetooth connections and a heart rate and motion sensor. These make it the ideal companion for monitored physical activity without the bulk of other smart technologies.
Designer Barnaba Fornasetti said his design had a multi-dimensional inspiration to it which contributed to the final product. ‘The Fornasetti brand is built upon the revival and reinvention of its classic designs and objects, giving them a new purpose and always keeping its artisan approach. The Lina face is a part of my father’s legacy and to reinforce its timeless design, I paradoxically decided to apply it on a cutting edge product that keeps time.’ The image on the watch face is a vintage-style depiction of a woman’s face, namely inspired by that of Lina Cavalieri, an Italian opera singer. This image is an established symbol of Fornasetti and has been used in a similar fashion in the label’s past designs.
The collaboration between the three large names has allowed space for future business endeavours, opening up each other’s company networks. Glory Zhang of Huawei said, ‘This collaboration with Fornasetti is the start of an exciting journey for Huawei, delivering connections between innovative technology and art, design and culture. This is the first of many exciting cultural collaborations as we move to become an innovator within the arts’.
Notable attendees of the event included models Karlie Kloss and Sean O’Pry, AC Milan footballer Riccardo Montolivo and model Cristina de Pin, fashion photographer Mario Testino, Giorgio Armani, Vogue China editor-in-chief Angelica Cheung. Representing Huawei was Glory Zhang, its chief marketing officer. All attendees of the event were gifted with the smart watches and modelled them for the evening.—Alex Barrow
Vittorio Zunino Celotto