Pairing Google Glass with a pair of fashion-design frames is like tossing an expensive diamond bracelet onto the horn of a unicorn: It makes the unicorn much more classy, but it doesn't make the unicorn any more real.
Yet Google continues to look for ways to make its prototype, not-yet-ready-for-retail, still-imaginary-to-normal-folks face computer more mainstream accessible--and this effort now includes a direct appeal to style-conscious women. On Tuesday, Google announced that the Explorer version of Glass will be available with fashion-design frames from Diane Von Furstenberg starting June 23.
The collection, specifically called "DVF | Made for Glass" is geared only toward women, and includes five new frames and eight new sunshades: There's Aviator Graphite Flash, Navigator Orchid Mist Flash, and Shiny Elderberry--to give you just a small sampling of the rarefied names that are generated by House DVF.
And rarefied, indeed. Glass already costs $1500, but the DVF prescription-ready frames bump up the price to $1725. The sunglass shades, meanwhile, are a relative steal for $1,620. If you're interested, you can buy the eyewear from Net-a-Porter or Google directly.
On one level, I applaud Google for constantly, doggedly, methodically releasing updates to its Explorer hardware. And I absolutely get what it's trying to doing with Diane Von Furstenberg. She's a personification of high fashion.
But perhaps Google has reached just a bit too high with this partnership? Can mainstream Americans--even the most aspirational--actually see themselves in Diane (apparently pronounced "Dee-AHN")? Watch her introduce the Glass collection here. She reminds me of a three-way mash-up of Madonna, Arianna Huffington, and that privileged woman at the supermarket who mistakes anyone not wearing a green apron for being the produce manager. Yeah, we get it. The melons may not be ripe.
Is this a model many women aspire to, or is DVF just excessively high-fashion-weird?
Don't answer. It doesn't really matter. You're not actually expected to buy the glasses. Just knowing that Guy Fieri isn't Google's new fashion spokesperson is all Google really needs to accomplish in this latest installment of "Please don't be scared of Google Glass."