Why Fossil Group won our Fashion Tech Collection of the Year award

Find out why Fossil and Fitbit picked up style gongs at our first Awards
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In the last - we, promise - in our series detailing how we chose the winners of some of the biggest Wareable Tech Awards categories, let's look at fashion tech.

First up, part way through our judging process we made the decision to award a collection rather than one individual wearable. We took our cues from the industry which has put a much bigger emphasis on customisation and collaboration in 2016.

Read this: See all the Wareable Tech Awards winners

Our shortlist for 2016 includes startups like Ringly for its gemstone smart ring and bracelet collections and Bellabeat for its Leaf and Leaf Urban, which uses interesting materials to rethink the look and feel of a tracker. Plus Topshop and bPay's pretty unique series of contactless payment fashion accessories made the cut too.

To round out the list we have Apple for its work with Hermès and Coach and its own ceramic Watch edition. That's not to mention the third party watch strap market that has exploded to cater for Watch customisation.

But the decisive winner from both the Wareable editorial team and our guest judges is Fossil Group. There's a couple of reasons Fossil is doing great things for wearable tech's relationship with fashion.

One: variety. Now, thanks to Fossil, if you're interested in buying your first wearable you can choose between a minimalist smart analogue watch, a glittery band with cat ears, a sporty smartwatch with a digital screen, the list goes on. Fossil has launched around 100 wearables, of all shapes, materials, prices and sizes, in the past year.

Why Fossil Group won our Fashion Tech Collection of the Year award

Two: brand power. Fossil Group's accessory and watch brands include (deep breath): Fossil, Diesel, Michael Kors, Skagen, Emporio Armani, Kate Spade New York, Misfit and Chaps. Not only do the brand names give the whole industry a lift with each new announcement, the wearables are being sold via their stores and sites.

That means fashion conscious shoppers who may not have picked up a Samsung smartwatch or Fitbit tracker in years past may come across Kate Spade's bangles, Misfit's Swarovski smart jewellery or a smart Armani watch.

Now, Fossil's wearables haven't quite got the technology right - we'd have liked the Michael Kors Android Wear watches to have the same crisp screens as the Tag Heuer Connected, for instance. And those flat tyres really have to go. But the overall vision is a winner.

Look out for Fitbit

Our highly commended for Fashion Tech Collection of 2016 is Fitbit. Now, in fitness tracker terms Fitbit is a big name. But it has cleverly ramped up its designer collaborations starting with Tory Burch and adding NY label Public School and Vera Wang to the fold for the Alta. TB's new designs will appear in 2017 and expect more names to be announced.

Throw in real 22-karat gold versions of the Blaze and Alta and accessories for the tiny Flex 2 to these classy collaborations and you've got a blueprint for health and fitness tech beyond black plastic bands. (Though Fitbit still makes those too).

TAGGED Fashion Fossil

How we test


Sophie was Wareable's associate editor. She joined the team from Stuff magazine where she was an in-house reviewer. For three and a half years, she tested every smartphone, tablet, and robot vacuum that mattered. 

A fan of thoughtful design, innovative apps, and that Spike Jonze film, she is currently wondering how many fitness tracker reviews it will take to get her fit. Current bet: 19.

Sophie has also written for a host of sites, including Metro, the Evening Standard, the Times, the Telegraph, Little White Lies, the Press Association and the Debrief.

She now works for Wired.

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