By embellishing the usually monochromatic cabled length of Beats by Dre BeatsX Headphones with patterns of colorful bead combinations, Chitose Abe of Japanese label sacai rebels against standards and expectations, transforming a piece of technology into an fashionable ornamentation.
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Abe’s reference to beaded necklaces in its numerous cultural iterations is inherent, with the Japanese designer pitting the modernity of technology against the long history of decorative fashion with a joyful ease, the result not unlike colorful charms adorning Japanese users’ phones. In its darkest “True Black” iteration, the beads along the headphone cord also seems to evoke onenju – Japanese Buddhist counting beads traditionally used for meditative practices. How fitting, considering the increasingly personalized and private nature of music that has accompanied the ubiquity of headphones every passing year.
Beads of each three colorways – “Burned Red,” “Deep White” and “True Black” – are all removable, allowing customization and personalization. Besides the bead ornamentation and identifiable colors, the reinterpreted design is furthered by a logo of the Japanese fashion brand adorning its carrying pouch.
The collaborative effort of sacai with Beats by Dre BeatsX will officially be made available on March 4, for a retail price of $150 over at Apple.com alongside via arbiters of fashion, Dover Street Market and Maxfield.