The Grenade Bag: Wearable Tech’s New Explosion
Designer Asher Levine's exposure to wearable tech before the introduction of the grenade bag was his 2012 collaboration wth MakerBot and the launching of the world's first 3D printed sunglasses. These custom shades were a welcome deviation from Levine's view of style and design that have graced the likes of Lady Gaga, Black-Eyed Peas and Bruno Mars.
Designer Asher Levine
With a love and fascination for fashion since childhood, Levine at the young age of 26 has been sewing garments for 16 years, more than half of his life. He launched his own menswear label at the age of 22 and represents a uniique and solid voice within the fashion industry. Bold and innovative, his edgy, haute couture designs are hallmarked by daring innovation, experimentation and advanced technology.
What is this thing called the grenade bag?
Available in yellow and black, the grenade-styled shoulder bag has an adjustable strap and a buckled front closure. All the bags are made by hand at the Asher Levine Studio in New York and are comprised of a "neoprene compound." Invented by Dupont back in 1931, neoprene is a very versatile synthetic rubber used for chemical and water-resisitant applications.
The grenade bag and Tech in Motion
Asher Levine launched his first luxury bag at the Wearable Tech Fashion Show sponsored by Tech in Motion, an organizer of local events for technology communities across the nation and Canada. Originating in 2011, Tech in Motion has grown into an international event series boasting more than 20,000 members dedicated to bringing local tech communities and professionals together for the dual prupose of learning from each other and discovering new tech. During the Wearable Tech Fashion Show, the grenade bag's design was displayed via diverse multimedia systems, including video projections.
What is so special about the grenade bag?
This water-resistant bag offers a slick design coupled with smart connectivity. It is fitted wth a wireless Bluetooth device known as the Track R, which enables the user to track the bag via a smart phone. The Track R app is built to locate any Bluetooth device and it runs on a coin cell battery that is easy to replace and lasts for more than a year. While you might find yourself lost on any given day, your bag never will be thanks to this app.
Grenade bags are purchased on reserve and require about a week to create
Due to the fact that all of the grenade bags are hand-made at the Asher Levine Studio in New York, a reserve price permits the buildup of funds to produce the bag at an affordable cost to the consumer. if the bag is purchased at the reserve price for $295, once the amount is met, production begins and the finished product is shipped to the new owner within approximately one week's time.
The grenade bag may push the boundaries when it comes to gender as many of Levine's creations do, but the bag blends subtly and stylishly into both the technological aspect of fashion and an underlying metro-sexual concept. The elements of gender and identity are perfectly fused in the grenade bag.
In Levine's own words:
"You have to consider the function of clothing at its core...Clothing the body is one of the basic functions of protection...Humans are social creatures. Who you are, how you express yourself and how you look are all forms of communication; it is how you interact with the world, and in turn, how you are perceived. Fashion is the last industry that deals with communication that has yet to integrate technology..."
The grenade bag with its embedded GPS system is just the beginning of Levine's fusion between haute couture, technology and communication. The possibiities are endless and the future looks bright for this enterprising designer's edgy and innovative vision.
M Dee Dubroff
Fashion and Technology Blogger