realme and Heliot Emil design a phone chest strap worthy of Paris Fashion Week

Almost all smartphone brands try to wax philosophical about the design and manufacturing processes that their tech-oriented devices go through each generation. This kind of marketing language has become even more pronounced in recent years as more people see smartphones as more than just some piece of equipment but also a part of their lifestyle and even their personality. Apple is often regarded as the exemplar in this area with its acute attention to detail and thoughtful, minimalist designs. It isn’t the only one, of course, and young phone brand realme is taking big steps in that direction, including making its presence known at this year’s Paris Fashion Week.

Designer: Heliot Emil for realme

For the longest time, smartphones were seen simply as computers in our pockets, glorified telephones that you can take anywhere with you, connect to the Internet, and maybe watch videos or play a game or two. Their nature and people’s perception leaned more towards technological tools, and their designs revolve around usability and ergonomics more than style and presentation. The outlier seems to have been Apple, whose iPhones were regarded as lifestyle products more than just tools. It seems, however, that rest of the mobile industry has caught on, especially now that smartphones are also becoming instruments of self-expression.

realme is a brand that was born from the need to target a more youthful audience, an age group that thirsted for and demanded products that matched their often mercurial lifestyles. At first, that mission seemed to center around offering smartphones that younger people could easily afford, but realme has quickly grown up to cater to a more discerning crowd, one that placed beautiful product design on the same level as cameras and battery life. Thus, the realme Design Studio was born in 2020, amidst a chaotic wave of changes battering the world, producing a variety of products that tickled the senses as much as the mind.

realme’s new taste for design probably found its highest expression at the Paris Fashion Week, where the who’s who of haute couture converge to flaunt their latest visions and expressions. This year, the phone brand joined minds with Copenhagen-based fashion marque HELIO EMIL to create a functional and fashionable accessory that showcases how “techwear meets tech.” A chest strap bag, which almost looks like a gun holster, becomes a classy way to carry your phone securely while showing off its stylish design seen through cutouts on the bag’s leather-like surface.

The smartphone bag itself is already an eye-catching piece, but it was designed to hold an even more eye-catching phone. Those holes are intended to let the realme 9 PRO+ flaunt its starlight-inspired design, especially the Sunrise Blue model, whose hue changes from blue to red when exposed to UV light like the sun. In effect, you would be proudly wearing a color-changing piece of technology on your chest and showcasing realme’s love for trendsetting designs.

This is just the tip of the iceberg for the phone brand, though. realme has already collaborated with design industry giants, including the likes of Naoto Fukasawa, hailed as a master of contemporary industrial design and whose brilliant mind brought into being a luggage-inspired phone last year and this year’s environmentally-conscious device. In fact, realme made its boldest step yet this year when it launched the first phone with a bio-based polymer shell, establishing itself as a brand that isn’t just concerned about looks but also about its role in creating a greener tomorrow.