By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
NEW YORK - Monster used Fashion Week here to debut its latest audio addition: the Butterfly headphones, a result of a collaboration with fashion designer Vivienne Tam.
At a press conference last week, Noel Lee, head monster, called the Butterfly headphones a marriage of fashion and consumer electronics. Whereas Monster’s Lady Gaga headphones (the Heartbeats, another fashion-inspired model) were tuned for pop music, Lee said, the Butterfly pair was tuned for a lighter, more open sound, specifically for string and orchestral instruments.
The Butterfly design stems from Tam’s spring 2010 fashion collection, and Tam noted the strong symbolism the butterfly image holds among Asian people.
Explaining why she had partnered with Monster for headphones, Tam said, “When you hear the sound of the music, you hear textures and colors. I wanted to bring the colors to technology.”
The Butterfly headphones, which Lee called “in-ear speakers” and Tam likened to a piece of jewelry, feature a light gold-brushed finish and butterfly images on the earpieces.
Lee said Monster wanted to create “something that a female would wear,” because Monster has found that “women are not seeking better sound like men are.”
The Butterfly headphones will retail for $199 when they begin shipping in the beginning of April. Lee said Monster was working in conjunction with Tam and Hewlett-Packard on a marketing plan, but he did not elaborate further. A Tam-designed netbook was also on display at the press conference that featured a similar butterfly theme, but no further details were provided.
When asked about distribution plans, Lee said, “It’s an exclusive product [and] we want to keep it exclusive,” adding that the headphones will not be a mass general distribution product.
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