FrontRunners: Go For The Gustto
French leather accessories maker Gustto (858. 336.7067, www.gustto.com) bridges the gap between fashion and electronics. Gustto President Agathe Planchon was an early adopter of personal technology and presumed that if she desired more stylish holders for her phone, PDA, and compact digital camera, then others would, too. “I came to realize that every single person would eventually carry portable digital devices,” she explains. “At some point, all those devices will turn into fashion statements reflecting personality, tastes, and social status.” Planchon likens this transformation to that of the wristwatch, which, through the influence of fashion houses such as Cartier, evolved from a utilitarian device to an expressive accoutrement. “[Portable electronics] are the watches of our times,” she says. “Being fashionable now means being seen not just using a digital camera or a cell phone but wearing one as well.” In designing the clutches, belts, and shoulder straps that hold the devices, Planchon strives for quiet elegance and functional simplicity. Planchon will also create custom-designed cases to accommodate electronic devices with nontraditional sizes or shapes.