Will.i.am has created a fashionable new tie-over with the music industry in collaboration with Kendall Jenner; they are called I.am+ Buttons. These are Bluetooth-compatible earphones that were released on Wednesday with a retail value of $230. They have been released in four different colorways that are exclusively for Apple users, in shades that match the iPhone 7; there are four other shades that will be sold at other retailers, though. On top of that, I.am+, will.i.am’s tech company, will be taking a portion of the proceeds and donating it to the I.am.angel Foundation, which is a program created to help fun educational opportunities in various communities.
As the name suggests, the earphones are button-esque; they are metallic and basically double as an accessory. You’re getting the best of music and fashion, because they’re super stylish on top of being technologically current and practical for people on the go. The rapper-turned-entrepreneur/philanthropist views these new earbuds as the culmination of a future where fashion and technology go hand in hand.
In an interview with Refinery29, he talked about his personal struggles with the separation between the two industries, which explains why he took this step to bring them together.
“It took me a while to find garments that make me feel like me, and we all have this same feeling when we then have to go out and buy devices that don’t look like anything that we’re wearing,” he said. “Why does the accessory only favor the phone and not my outfit? There has to be some middle ground between the two worlds.”
Thus, he created the Buttons. “We all live on our tech and in our fashion, but those two worlds have not come together yet,” he continued.
As of now, it’s impossible to tell whether or not the new i.am+ product will reach the rapper’s goal of merging the industries, but from the minimal information we have to go on as of yet, it seems there is a decent chance this will be a huge step in the right direction. Choosing to create special iPhone exclusive shades is a great step, in particular because Apple and celebrity culture already essentially go hand in hand. Style comes secondary to practicality in the world of technology, but thankfully will.i.am’s Buttons are moving us away from that.
We know the colors are great, but they are easy to wear on top of that – they also act as jewelry, if the other perks aren’t enough! The earbuds themselves are styled to look like metallic vinyl records, so when you’re listening to your music they might as well be earrings. When you’re not using them, however, they’re made to be worn around your neck; the Buttons earbuds are magnetic, so they’ll join together as a necklace of sorts.
Now, these will perform the same functions as a standard wireless earphone set (i.e. making calls via a built-in microphone, listening to music complete with a remote built in). The heightened price point naturally comes from the cutting-edge style and promise as a fashion statement, but also partially in that it promises crisp audio and an ultra-lightweight feel. So for $230 (around $70 more than Apple AirPods), you’re also getting everyday accessories that are sure to turn some heads.
Photos courtesy of @iamplusofficial