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Business Observer Friday, Apr. 11, 2014 8 years ago

Geeks are getting fashionable

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In a speech to more than 160 technology executives in Fort Myers recently gathered for the Southwest Florida Regional Technology Partnership awards, technology consultant Sandra Donatelli says fashion is the key to new consumer technology.

Let's be honest: Geeks aren't exactly fashion leaders.

But that could change soon.

In a speech to more than 160 technology executives in Fort Myers recently gathered for the Southwest Florida Regional Technology Partnership awards, technology consultant Sandra Donatelli says fashion is the key to new consumer technology. In particular, she says wearable technology that looks like high-end jewelry and accessories could be the next big things in technology.

Donatelli should know. Dressed in a flowing Chanel shawl, the technology maven who says she plans to move to Naples from New York has consulted with the French fashion house and others about their information technology strategy.

“Every single day, fashion will trump technology,” Donatelli says, pointing to one guest's unflattering Google glasses but saying the company could redeem itself as it has partnered with Luxottica, the biggest manufacturer of brand-name glasses, such as Oakley and Ray-Ban.

Donatelli didn't spare the fashion gurus either, including hometown favorite Chico's FAS. “The fashion industry thinks it's just a fad,” she says.

But everyone's waiting on the one company that has made its technology a fashion statement: Apple. Donatelli notes that Apple hired the former CEOs of Burberry and Yves St. Laurent.

“Apple is the big one everyone is waiting for,” says Donatelli.

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