Cover Story

Smartphone Couture

realme has become the number 1 smartphone maker among smartphone brands in Bangladesh. It has been a long time coming for realme as the saturated mobile market in Bangladesh looks for the best value for money. COLORS Business’ gets the first exclusive take on realme’s latest release, the realme GT Master edition.

realme is a technology brand officially established on May 4, 2018, by Li Bingzhong, focusing on superior quality and trendsetting smartphones and IoT products. realme is globally oriented and headquartered in Shenzhen, Guangdong Province, China.

The aspiration of realme is to provide products with a comprehensive superior experience for the young. Due to the abilities in cutting-edge technologies of smartphones and IoT, realme brings consumers products with trendsetting technologies, features, and trendsetting experiences that are first applied in the price segment. With the brand attitude of “Dare to Leap”, realme is willing to be the first choice for young people to live an intelligent and trendsetting life.

realme has cumulatively shipped over 50 million smartphones by the end of Q3 2020, becoming the world’s fastest-growing smartphone brand to hit this mark. By now, realme has entered 61 markets worldwide, including China, India, Southeast Asia, South Asia, Europe, Russia, Australia, Middle East, Africa, etc. realme is committed to offering powerful performance, stylish design, sincere services, and would persistently exploring more possibilities for trendsetting technology products.

Around the 1860s, Levi Strauss invented the ‘blue jeans’ made of indigo-painted canvas that he had bought for making tents. Later, copper rivets were added to reinforce the stress points in strategic places, for instance, the pocket corners. Such examples of coalescing fashion and technology have existed throughout history in many forms. Fashion and technology, both have been at the forefront of innovation, and today, they are growing and merging at a much faster pace. 

It is no surprise that in the fast-developing digital environment, fashion holds a great deal of importance in our daily lives. Smartphones, for example, have been an essential trendsetter tool that conveys a statement about users’ personalities. From old mobile phones being used as collector’s items to changing phone covers to match outfits, smartphones have become an inseparable element of fashion and an integral part of our lifestyles.

Even fashion designers and smartphone brands know it. That’s why they are putting emphasis on this. Mehruz Munir, Creative Director and Founder of Zurhem, said, “I think smartphones are an integral part of our lives and our lifestyles.” Coming from a family with no one in the creative field, Mehruz knew at a very early age that he wanted to pursue fashion designing. That is when he took a leap of faith and enrolled into London College of Fashion to educate himself on this dynamic industry and returned to Bangladesh to start his own fashion label called Zurhem.

The design of smartphones undoubtedly holds an enormous amount of significance in the current digital world. Mobile manufacturers did not fail to see the trend and started incorporating fashion elements into these devices creating a digital accessory market. Fashion trends are taken as inspiration every now and then for designing smartphones. Such as, realme GT Master Edition is a unique smartphone that was designed by the acclaimed Japanese industrial design Master Naoto Fukasawa. Made from exquisite environment-friendly vegan leather, the smartphone replicates the horizontal grid lines of suitcases. 

The realme GT Master Edition comes with two color options - Voyager Grey and Daybreak Blue. The back shell of the GT Master Edition in Voyager Grey symbolizes the joys of traveling. Whereas Daybreak Blue has been created using the unique landscape of the earth as the design concept, inspired by Naoto Fukasawa’s concept of travel. 

Inspired by the most illustrative aspect of traveling- suitcases, Naoto Fukasawa took inspiration from life so that people can recall their travel stories. In addition, the use of low saturation and high tolerance gray color makes people feel comfortable and tranquil briefly. “I think that it is interesting when brands like realme focus on their design and elevate their appearance. I was looking at this phone from realme, which had this 3D, vegan leather touch to it. It is not just the design that they can work with; rather, I think that they truly paid attention to the consumers of today when it came to producing and designing their smartphones.”, said Mehruz Munir regarding the design pattern of realme’s new masterpiece. 

Smartphones are not just devices; instead, they define our style statement accommodating the fast-paced global fashion environment. Once that used to be a necessity, smartphones have transformed into fashion accessories that enrich those who carry it. This means the usage of phones are not limited to talking, but they are also a means to communicate symbolically as the phone becomes an extension of one’s self-image. Currently, fashion and trend-conscious people are equally concerned about the look and design of their phones as they are about its features. In fact, the design factor shapes up a majority of the consumers’ decision-making process while purchasing smartphones. 

Mehruz sporting the realme GT Master Edition

So, smartphone brands must take inspiration from fashion, play with colors, customize the designs, and incorporate them into the devices. “I feel mobile manufacturers can customize the phones a little bit with the use of accessories. Not just with cases, but with other lifestyle accessories. They can maybe use a pouch or a belt pad or something like that. Smartphone designers can come up with a way to change the look of the phone easily. I remember a couple of years ago you could change the back cover effortlessly. If you felt like you wanted to go with yellow today, then you go with a yellow cover or maybe go with a black cover. I feel that you can elevate on that and allow more flexibility for customization, which is something missing these days.”, said Mehruz Munir when asked about what more mobile phone designers can do to merge fashion into smartphones. 

In the fast-changing fashion environment of the modern world, technology has been adopted as accessories that demonstrate our style and personalities. The way people choose and purchase smartphones according to their requirements is an excellent example of how fashion and technology keep growing together.

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