Capitalizing on Fashion Week: How This Tech Accessory Company Made It to the Runway

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During New York Fashion Week, a barrage of luxury, beauty and champagne brands make their way into sponsorship booths and goodie bags. The week’s events attract the most elegant and graceful designers, models, and celebrities (as well as scenesters). But one company that prides itself on catering to the “klutzy, spontaneous, chaotic, graceless individuals,” somehow made it to the runway.

Otterbox, a leading manufacturer of smartphone cases, unveiled a special edition phone case with fashion icon Nina Garcia.

“We want to show that our products are durable and fashionable,” says Barbara Meyer, marketing manager at the Fort Collins, Colo.-based company.

But perhaps more interesting is OtterBox’s partnership with an emerging fashion designer. The move took its brand beyond the sea of sponsorship booths. Instead, it was part of the grand finale piece for the Katty Xiomara Spring 2015 show. 

Related: Talent's Never Enough: Emerging Fashion Designers on Honing Business Savvy

During the Nolcha Fashion Week show, (a platform showcasing independent and international designers), the Portuguese designer unveiled her collaboration with OtterBox to market its Alpha Glass screen protectors. A model sporting “The OtterBox Dress” strutted down the runway in a dress adorned and fringed with the fortified glass material for cellular phones.

“One of the most rewarding aspects of my work is overcoming obstacles,” Xiomara says.  “Creating an ensemble from glass screen protectors provides a unique challenge for me as it is something that has never been done.”

Watch our interview with Meyer from OtterBox to view the tech-accessories dress and learn more about how the company found their footing in the fashion industry.

Related: How Russell Simmons Plans to Dress and Inspire a New Generation of Fashion Designers

Edition: November 2016

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