Dana Lorenz has always dreamed of staging a runway show. “Since high school,” she says. But as the designer behind jewelry lines Fenton and Fallon, the catwalk seemed like a reach. But last week, with a little help from friends Ohne Titel (with whom she collaborated on clothing designs), the addition of some vintage jeans, customized Aquazzura shoes, and Albertus Swanepoel hats, Lorenz held her first Fallon show during NYFW.
Yet the thing that really made it all possible was the inclusion of not-always-so-fashion-y accessories. In particular, Samsung’s Galaxy Gear—the company’s newly introduced “smartwatch”—as well as the latest edition of its popular smartphone, the Galaxy Note 3. These gadgets were woven into several looks by Lorenz and her stylist, Julia Von Boehm, in a way that looked so natural and right. Especially when compared with past instances of laptops and other gadgets on the runway.
That’s probably because Lorenz, who first met the Samsung marketing team in Milan at a Vogue Italia event, went into it with a mission: to create “cool leather accessories” to complement Samsung’s products. “I approached Samsung to be involved with the show, and they explained that they had a product they might want to launch on the runway,” she says. That product ended up being Galaxy Gear, the smartwatch that goes on sale in early October and starts at $299. Lorenz did indeed create those leather, hardware-accented accessories—the studded Galaxy Note 3 carrying cases and Galaxy Gear stud accessories will be available at select retailers—but she also found that the gadgets themselves worked particularly well in her runway looks. A “jewelry heist” themed video, which played in the background at the show, was already giving off a whole espionage vibe, and the techy elements added to that. “The watch has a James Bond thing about it,” Lorenz says.
Of course, money is reason enough for an established-but-still-growing designer like Lorenz to bring on a corporate sponsor like Samsung, which surely helped to make the runway show possible. And Lorenz’s high-fashion status is great for Samsung, which wants to appeal to the iPhone-loyal crowd. But these partnerships fail more often than they succeed–and it’s nice to see art and commerce mesh in a compelling way that creates buzz for both brands. “I’m an old-school type, yet I’m obsessed with these devices,” Lorenz says. “That means something.”