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Ralph Lauren's wearable tech mission

FashionBy Sunday World
Ralph Lauren's wearable tech mission

Ralph Lauren believes it is the "most feasible" option for taking wearable tech mainstream.

The label proved it was ahead of the game when it introduced the PoloTech 'smart shirt' last year, and on August 27 the $295 garment will be made available to the masses.

While Apple's iWatch may have been one of the first fashionable gadgets that really took off, Ralph Lauren is sure it's onto something.

“When we sat down in our offices to decide which fabrics and shirts to apply this to technology to, we made a lot of choices,” David Lauren, executive vice president of global advertising, marketing and corporate communications, explained to WWD. “Ultimately, this kind of technology will be merged into all the kinds of clothing that we make: Polo shirts, pants, skirts, suits. Being first to market had a lot of complexities.

"What the Apple Watch has begun to do is to see technology slowly expand beyond sports. Ralph Lauren is bringing it to a bigger lifestyle world. We’re the most feasible opportunity to bring it to the mainstream.”

It took two years to develop the smart shirt and it now features an impressive new fitness app. While it might seem like a futuristic invention, David is keen not to alienate people and says that's why the shirt's design is so simple.

“Our goal is to make it accessible, so customers get it and aren’t scared of the technology,” he explained. “It’s like Henry Ford said, ‘Give me any colour as long as it’s black.’ He wanted people to feel comfortable with cars first.”

A women's smart shirt is in the works.

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