In celebration of the launch of Startup Fashion Week 2016, TIF had the opportunity to chat with Dr. Gerald (Jerry) Wilmink, CEO and founder of Wisewear.com, on his brand, his passion for innovation and Wisewear’s upcoming collection with world renowned fashion icon Iris Apfel.(!!!!) Wisewear will be showcasing on the Startup Fashion Week runway October 7, 2016.
In a market saturated with flashy gadgets, it would seem challenging for a hardware-based start-up to compete against tech giants and their economies of scale. What more could consumers want from smart technology that is not already designed? Dr. Gerald “Jerry” Wilmink, founder of Wisewear, challenges this status quo with a ground-breaking idea that is not only fashionable but extremely functional and practical. His luxury ensemble of smart jewelry tailored to the modern women is not only beautifully designed but also contains a patented safety feature. When triggered, the bracelet will send your emergency contact a distress signal in the form of an text message with your GPS location.
“Most smart technology end up in a drawer after 90 days, we want to make a product that people will actually want to wear.” explained Jerry when asked about his idea to marry smart technology with fashion. “Our aim is to have the gadgets and electronics disappear, we want our products to be smart but we also want them to be beautiful.”
“When I first started the company, all I felt was terror and euphoria – I still do! Everything is pretty challenging. [Creating] hardware is hard, building an app and software alone is hard. When you add all of these aspects to it, it is very challenging.” Reflects Jerry on the start-up process. “Raising funds was tough. If I get $100, I’ll still keep knocking. It’s that kind of grit that you need to start a company. I got really thick skin from doing that.”
Wisewear recently announced an upcoming collaboration with the vibrant fashion icon Iris Apfel. “Iris was very passionate about a product that could help seniors” explained Jerry. “She has been intimately involved in the design, manufacturing and launching of her newest collection. We are very excited about it – trust me, you’ve never seen anything like it!”
We asked Jerry for a sneak peak of what we could expect from this collection.
“It’s very eccentric and unique. It’s mind blowing from the design aspect alone and then with hardware, it’s a really good collection.” Iris’ collection will be available next year on the Wisewear website.
You can find Wisewear products on Wisewear.com and also in the upcoming Holiday Collection of Saks Fifth Avenue Canada.