Drones Take The Runway At New York Fashion Week

As the lights dimmed at the Rebecca Minkoff runway show at New York Fashion Week on Friday, a drone hovered above the band in the center of the runway.

The drone, a Yuneec Typhoon quadcopter complete with a 3-axis precision video camera, followed overhead as each model strutted down the runway to capture aerial footage of the show (and the celebrities in attendance, of course).

For those of you who aren’t up on your #fashion, Rebecca Minkoff is a designer women’s accessories and apparel brand, known for its relatively affordable luxury handbags.

It’s not the first time we’ve seen drones on the runway. At Milan Fashion Week last year, Fendi used drones to capture a live stream of its show. And at the slightly oxymoronic Silicon Valley Fashion Week in May, drones replaced living models altogether.

For Rebecca Minkoff, however, the drones are a representation of the brand’s vision rather than a high-tech gimmick to wow the crowd.

“We wanted to incorporate drone technology into the show because the millennial woman is probably going to have her own drone in the next couple of years,” says Uri Minkoff, the brand’s co-founder and CEO.

Minkoff is referring to gadgets like Nixie, the wearable drone startup that won Intel’s Make It Wearable Challenge last year at CES.

“Obviously these things are still in prototype and we don’t have them today, but in the next couple of years we’ll see the selfie stick go away and maybe we’ll all have personal drones,” Minkoff says.

On Friday, Rebecca Minkoff also debuted a new line of tech-enabled products, including iPhone wallets with built-in charging capability and the first designer collection of Apple Watch bands. And unlike most of the Spring 2016 fashion you’ll see on the runway this week, these products are available now.

“Unlike the Hermes band, ours are available to ship this month,” Minkoff says. “Especially with the newest iPhone 6s coming out, women are wanting to buy their tech accessories now instead of waiting six months.”

Beyond tech-enabled iPhone wallets and handbags, Minkoff says the brand is exploring geolocation tech in larger handbags, wearable-integrated fabrics (especially with the launch of its new athletic apparel line), and virtual reality for both in-store and at-home shopping.

“A lot of tech partners are reaching out because we’re leading this revolution in women’s wear,” says Minkoff. “We’re the techie in the room.”