For the website of Remy, we decided not to use a hosting platform such as Wordpress. Even though fashion tech companies work very hard to differentiate themselves from other tech companies, at their heart, they are still hardware startups. In recent years, Twitter Bootstrap has become the industry standard for startup websites and all 5 of the fashion startups we examined, Ringly, Mira, Bellabeat, Everpurse, and Vinaya, used Bootstrap to construct their websites. We have never actually seen a startup website that did not use Bootstrap, that’s how popular it is.
Choosing to use Wordpress, which comes with pre-coded themes, would have made the Remy website easier to construct, but it would be ignored the aesthetic aspects of fashion tech. Since all of these products are only sold online, the website and how they present the devices is an extremely important when examining the sociology of fashion tech.
Thus, we decided to use Bootstrap hosted on Github Pages instead of Wordpress which doubled maybe even tripled our workload. In the end, we wrote about 2500 lines of code for this website. But the insight we received from scrutinizing the websites and their source code gave us a much better understanding of the issue at hand and the major role design plays in the gendered scripts of fashion tech. Remy is a fashion tech startup and every startup must have a Bootstrap website.
The Shop page of every website is the culmination of the entire company’s efforts to draw in the consumer. If you can entice someone enough to start browsing, you’ve succeeded in making your product desirable. As discussed, fashion tech companies rely on gendered scripts to market their technically mediocre devices and a large part of that is design.
Most technology companies aim to present themselves as innovative, fresh, and new and usually opt for sans serif fonts: the logos of Apple, Samsung, Google, and Fitbit all exemplify this edgy presentation of technology devices. In contrast, Remy’s logo employs a conservative serif font - a style found often in the fashion world such as Dior, Burberry, Gucci, and Prada. Though blocks of text are in the sans serif Open Sans which making reading easier on screens, titles and headings are in the serif Playfair Market, the same font as the logo. Symbols for fashion houses such as Dior are synonymous to quality and tradition, and Remy attempts to impersonate that aura of sophistication and class.
In another move that mimics fashion houses, Remy divides up its products into the Lady Collection and the Rock Collection with bag charms. The images of the Remy are pulled directly from the website of Ted Baker and Fendi. The Remy is literally identical to a normal furry bag charm, obscuring the technology entirely.
By calling each group a “collection,” Remy is once again putting fashion first, a move also used by Ringly which divides up its products into the Libra Collection, the Classic Collection, and the Aries Collection. Instead of giving the bag charms technical names such as the Samsung Gear S2, Fitbit Flex, or Motorola Moto 360, the different Remys have women’s names, another practice used by fashion designers. The names for the Lady Collection are names from the British monarchy and the pastel colors of the charms itself also conjure up the images of a proper lady. In contrast, the Rock Collection names its charms after Stevie Nicks, Courtney Love, and Janis Joplin, providing a different, slightly edgier script than the Lady Collection.
Also note that pastel pinks and chocolatey browns are the predominant color scheme for Remy - naturally trying to “shrink it and pink it” and appeal to women. Remy is also covered with photographs we took from high-end fashion companies and blogs. With these bloggers and models all sporting Remy, the products is presented as a must-have, ubiquitous fashion accessory as opposed to a wearable device. By featuring certain fashion bloggers as certain characters on the website and Instagram, the Remy lifestyle vibe is reinforced.
The Remy app also uses a textured, almost cloth background, which is very unusual for mobile apps and thus further deemphasizes the technical aspect of actually configuring your Remy. Notice that the image of the iPhone is also presented against a leather background and a white iPhone is used instead of black, further reinforcing the gender scripts of women using white iPhones and pink leather bags.
Overall, the Remy website has the structure of a tech startup site but the aesthetics and design of a fashion website.
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