Headphones are making a loud fashion statement

Los Angeles Times Fashion Critic

The next head-turning women’s fashion tech accessory is a pair of headphones.

At least that’s what L.A.-based music world stylist/fashion designer Andrea Lieberman and Encinitas-based electronics brand Frends are hoping. They’ve collaborated on two new styles of fashionable headphones that will be sold exclusively at the Intermix boutique on Robertson Boulevard and at beginning May 29.

Drew Barrymore, Anne Hathaway and other celebs have already been photographed sporting Frends’ stylish “Layla” and “Taylor” headphones plugged into their portables, with jewelry-inspired rose or yellow gold ear caps. But the limited-edition A.L.C. for Frends collaboration takes the “Layla” ($225) and “Taylor” ($275) styles into new territory, with quilted leather ear caps in black or white. Think of them as something akin to a go-anywhere, little black (or white) quilted bag.

“We are all connected through technology and our hand-held devices,” says Keir Dillon, a former pro-snowboarder who co-founded Frends in 2006 and launched its first women’s headphone styles in 2012. “With our headphones, we want to give women another way to express themselves, and we hope they will want to have multiple pairs to match their outfits.”

For Lieberman, who established Jennifer Lopez as a fashion figure by putting her in that plunging green Versace dress at the 2000 Grammys and helped create Gwen Stefani’s style persona and L.A.M.B. fashion collection before launching her own A.L.C. label in 2009, the project was a no-brainer. “They’re fashionable but low key,” she says of the headphones. “They fit into our modern black-and-white aesthetic. And a leather jacket was one of the first pieces we started with at A.L.C., so quilted leather headphones felt so natural.”


Personally, I hope this is the start of many more designer headphone collaborations.

Incidentally, hip-hop mogul Dr. Dre, who created the popular Beats by Dre headphones in 2008, is also turning an ear toward the fashionable female customer, with the Beats Mixr headphones ($249.95) now available in limited-edition neon colors for summer.