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Isabelle Crossley
Sep 19, 2019
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Saint Laurent collaborates with Jacquard by Google for smart backpack

Translated by
Isabelle Crossley
Sep 19, 2019

After previously collaborating with Levi's, Jacquard by Google has collaborated with Saint Laurent which has used its intelligent yarns in its new smart Cit-e backpack, available at its Rive Droite stores in Paris and Los Angeles as well as on its e-commerce store.

The Saint Laurent Cit-e allows the wearer to access around 20 features on their mobile phone such as listening to music and taking a photo - Saint Laurent

Jacquard by Google’s textiles enable the wearer to access around 20 features on their smartphone via its facility to detect pressure and friction in the manner of a phone screen. Launched in 2016, the concept released its first commercial product in 2017, a jacket created in collaboration with Levi’s.

The jacket allows the wearer to control their phone through the left sleeve. The Saint Laurent bag allows the wearer to do the same via the Cit-e’s left strap. “Where it was integrated with fabric for Levi’s, this time the Jacquard is integrated with leather. The device can now be integrated into all materials,” Camille Bénech, the EMEA program manager for Jacquard, told FashionNetwork.com.

Over the last two years, the Jacquard project miniaturised its micro-computer, now reduced to a tag more easily integrated into a piece of clothing. The software functionality has also improved and allows for customisation of the bag controls via 20 features which can be selected through a mobile app. Amongst the latest additions, accessible features include taking a photo, opening Google Maps, and opening the day’s agenda. 

The Jacquard mobile app, previously limited to the US market, is now also accessible in the UK, France, Germany, Italy, and Japan. Up-and-coming collaborations between Jacquard and other brands are expected to be announced by the end of the year, said Bénech, simply stating that Jacquard will not be limited to luxury brands only. 

The left strap of the bag facilitates four different interactions, is customisable, and featuresa light button indicating notifications - Saint Laurent

Although the increasing availability of Jacquard is expected to eventually lead to a drop in retail prices, the integration of this device is still being marketed as an investment at present. Saint Laurent’s Cit-e bag is priced at €795 ($995), €100 more than the version of the bag that does not include Jacquard. 

The bag’s launch precedes the upcoming Google Arts & Culture “Please Touch the Thread” exhibition which will take place from October 16 to 20 at the Mobilier National in Paris. The exhibition will present the work of three artists, Chloé Bensahel, Amor Munoz, and Oma Space, who have participated in the Google Arts & Culture artists residency where they worked with Jacquard for their own art projects. 

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