They say fashion is a sign of the times. And with today’s regular headlines featuring mass shootings and life-threatening viruses, fashion is going there.
Enter, on-guard accessories. A whole slew of new bags, jewelry and more offering added protection from modern daily threats. A functional market that debuted years ago with clothing and accessories that protect against the sun, on-guard accessories are now offering much more.
IDENTITY THEFT PROTECTION
“Everybody lives by their mobile devices—iphones, ipads, kindles, and the list goes on. Your life is on your device. At the same time you need to protect your personal information that’s carried on these devices. It’s now becoming more of a necessity,” says Danielle DiFerdinando, designer and owner of Danielle Nicole.
DiFerdinando recently launched a line of handbags and wallets exclusively on HSN with hidden radio technology identification, also known as RFID, which uses radio waves to identify an object or information, often using serial numbers and bar codes. Digital pickpockets use this technology to scan credit card numbers and other personal information, then download it to use at their discretion. Incorporating RFID technology into accessories adds another layer of protection against thieves.
Kelly Carroll Burgin, owner and founder of K. Carroll Accessories adds, “Identity theft is the fastest growing crime in the U.S. Consumers want to be protected.” And judging by the sales of her RFID-protected cell phone wallets, which completely sold out over the summer, she is correct that consumer demand is there.
DiFerdinando’s RFID line also sold out on HSN, proving not only that safety is definitely first for consumers, but that the problem is felt on a national level instead of just concentrated areas, like large cities, where crime rates are typically higher. Both her line and K. Carroll already have plans for a category expansion in the upcoming seasons.
MASS SHOOTINGS AND TERRORIST ATTACKS
For Kate Woolstenhulme, founder and creator of Designer Concealed Carry, the need for a gun concealing handbag came from a fashion point of view. “I started searching for a handbag for my own use. I was living in Miami where colorful and fashionable handbags are the norm-but the concealed carry offerings were either black or brown and appeared for law enforcement, not women who are used to having every option,” says Woolstenhulme. “There also was nothing available in the higher price ranges, so I saw the need and set out to fill it.”
Woolstenhulme was proven right that women need chic bags and concealed guns; the collection boasts four styles with over 56 colors and types of leather and sells, with no plans to expand its scope of product into new areas like small leather goods due to the success of her handbags.
For more extreme threats, like a terrorist attack or mass shooting, the Savior Multi-Threat Shield, is a laptop bag that also doubles as a bulletproof shield, as an example. Upon looking at the bag, with its classic design cast in basic black, no one would ever guess the bag unfolds to thwart off stray bullets.
Here’s a demo video on how the Savior works:
If these threats seem far-fetched, other accessory brands are taking on a much more common one—personal safety. For solo runners and women about town, Siren offers a ring that sounds an alarm when pressed during a personal assault.
LOCTOTE recently launched on IndieGogo and has raised over $1.2 million to produce the Flack Sack, a drawstring backpack made with slash and cut-resistant fabric and a literal lock to keep sticky hands out; it also incorporates RFID technology.
Protective accessories also address health concerns now, like what Dorfman Pacific is doing against the Zika virus. Through its Stetson brand, Dorfman Pacific expanded its line of hats by utilizing a No Fly Zone technology, a nylon fabrication with a layer of permethrin to keep mosquitoes and other Zika-carrying bugs at bay.
Sun safety has been an ongoing concern. And while sun protective clothing and accessories may not be a new phenomenon, they are becoming evermore important as global warming continues to heat up the planet. Outdoor fashion retailer REI stocks a full department of sun protective clothing and accessories with tips on how to shop for the most effective sun protective items.
With proven consumer demand and innovative technologies, it seems that accessories are keeping up with consumer fear and added protection is set to become a standard in handbags, wallets, cell phone cases and more.