There’s a new digital accessories company in town–meet Ashley Chloe, the brand who’s first product, the Helix Cuff, launches on Kickstarter today. Their inaugural offering aims to solve the problem of tangled cords by creating “tiny in-ear headphones” that manages to mix both a new type of wearable tech with a fashion-forward design. We caught up with Angela Pan, founder and CEO of Ashley Chloe, to tell us more.
Describe Ashley Chloe.
Ashley Chloe caters to fashion-forward shoppers who crave sleek digital accessories designed expressly for the modern lifestyle. With our world-class product design and engineering teams, we set out to bridge the gap between high fashion and functional form in developing the new Helix Cuff wearable tech accessory. We are headquartered in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Tell us about the Helix.
Helix harnesses Bluetooth wireless technology to pair tiny in-ear headphones, cleverly hidden in a sleek, high fashion cuff, with user’s favorite iOS and Android mobile, wearable and smart devices. Helix has a unique looping design that allows users to wrap the connecting cord for the headphones into a groove on the wrist cuff when the headset is not in use. There is a tiny, discreet cache on the cuff that provides on-the-go storage for the headphones. Helix is offered in white, black and bright red with embellishments in 18K gold, champagne gold or silver aluminum. Aside from the immediate aesthetic appeal of Helix, users also get stereo-sound quality, a built-in microphone, and track/call control ability. With Helix, tangled earphone cords are now a thing of the past!
What inspired you to create Helix?
Almost everyone I see in the digital age has the same problem when it comes to carrying and storing headphones while not in use. Where do you put them when you’re on the go, but still want to keep them with you and untangled? As a person drawn to the aesthetics involved in fashion and the innovation found within the world of technology, the answer to this question came naturally to me. Fashion and functionality are the principles on which we created the Helix, as something unique for music-lovers, gadget lovers, athletes, fashionistas, and smartphone addicts.
What sets Helix apart from other wearables?
Although tangled headphone cords are an obvious issue in the digital age, such an accessory for digital devices has never before been created! The wearables market is overflowing with fitness trackers, biomarkers, and smart watches, but there has never existed a complementary digital accessory allowing you to effortlessly store your headphones while keeping them with you at all times—until Helix.
What has been the hardest obstacle for you in creating Helix?
I would have to say our biggest obstacle in creating Helix came during the design process. It was definitely a challenge to find a way to shape the storage component in order to fit the earbuds in place, without compromising on sound quality or aesthetic appeal. Luckily, I was able to collaborate with an extremely talented team — including our chief designer, Mika Nenonen, who was at Nest and Nokia. We were able to achieve the unique looping form of Helix by keeping in mind the delicate nature of the human wrist. With a perfectly structured look and feel, both men and women can wear Helix with complete comfort, versatility, and sense of style. The human wrist is extremely valuable real estate and people won’t adopt yet another wearable unless it’s beautiful, comfortable, pleasurable to the touch, and delivers true value.
What has been your favorite part?
My favorite part in developing Helix was finding a way to creatively blend fashion and technology. Collaborating with the engineers to bring my vision of Helix to life was an extremely detailed process. By using a 3-D printer, we were able to work through many design iterations and try them all out before deciding on the perfect one. Not only did we create an accessory designed specifically to pair with the most popular iOS and Android mobile devices, but we also implemented some of the most innovative technology options on the market in order to do so. The entire process was innovative and efficient, as is the final result, Helix.
Where can we buy Helix? When is it available? What is the cost?
We’re making Helix available initially through a Kickstarter campaign. The classic Helix Cuff is available now for a $149 pledge, or $269 for the 18K gold edition. After the Kickstarter campaign closes on September 17, 2015, we’ll sell Helix initially through the Ashley Chloe website at an MSRP of $199, or $299 for the 18K gold cuff. We’ll ship Helix to our Kickstarter supporters first; they’ll get Helix in December in time for the holidays. Visit the Helix website or Kickstarter campaign page to make contributions and see reward options. Readers may even still be able to get the “early bird” discount of $99.
What can we expect next from Ashley Chloe?
Ashley Chloe has just gotten started! We’ve built up our dream team of designers and engineers who hail from Nest, Nokia, IBM, Lenovo; marketing and branding experts in fashion and consumer electronics; and hardware and software experts with deep supply chain expertise. Our entire team is extremely eager to continue innovating in the wearables space, so the sky is the limit. We’re already got our next product in the initial planning stages, so you’ll just have to wait and see.
Check out the Helix Cuff’s Kickstarter page to find out more about this new wearable tech accessory. We love the idea behind the product, and are curious to watch as the company tests the market for the clever device.
Third Wave Fashion has been your fashion tech think tank since 2011. We publish the first ever printed fashion tech magazine, Third Wave. Follow us on Twitter or subscribe to our newsletter to stay on top of the latest in fashion tech + wearables. You look lovely today!