MILAN, Italy – Dedicated followers of fashion designer Prada can now add a sleek mobile phone that dispenses with the conventional keypad to give that finishing touch-screen to their wardrobe.
The Prada phone, developed with South Korea's LG Electronics Inc., is an elegant, black model which complements Prada's accessories, with a flat liquid crystal display and a modern, square font specially designed by the company.
"It really defines, especially [for] a woman, interest in status and image," Prada spokesman Tomaso Galli told Reuters on the sidelines of the brand's fashion show earlier this month.
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The phone will cost about 600 euros ($777.5) for the basic model and should be available in Europe at the end of February and in Asia by end-March.
Galli insists that Prada's phone does not just follow in the footsteps of other designer/manufacturer team-ups attempting to capitalize on the trend for mixing high-tech with haute couture.
"Others ... just changed the color and added the brand name. What we're doing is launching a new product ... we have worked with LG on the font, the graphic interface, the design," he added.
The world's top mobile-phone maker, Nokia (NOK) offers a 270,000 euros ($349,900) diamond-studded "Signature Cobra" phone complete with ruby and diamond snakes on its sides, although its Vertu unit head said only eight would be made.
Italy's golden boys of fashion, Dolce & Gabbana, offer Motorola Inc (MOT) mobile phones in gold and silver with the brand's logo emblazoned on it.
"We think the telephone is an accessory that could become more and more linked with design and less with technology," Galli said.
Alongside its fashionable look, the Prada phone will also offer multimedia functions such as an MP3 player, a 2-megapixel video camera and e-mail access.