Fitbit now features a Tory Burch-branded line of fitness trackers. The devices themselves—the gizmos that actually turn your movements into data—feature the recognizably be-mazed Burchian logo, rendered in rich golds and silvers; they’re displayed, in turn, on bands of metal and leather. In a few cases, they hang from chains like pendant necklaces. The partnership that gave rise to these jewelry-esque trackers, the Burch meets the ’bit, brings the ideas they embody—fitness! fashion!—together, and suggests what anyone who has ever worn a Fitbit bracelet, or a Jawbone Up, or a Withings watch, knows to be true: That fitness tracking can double, in its way, as a fashion statement.
The problem with fashion trends, though, is that they tend to be true to their name: They’re fickle, coming in and out of style with predictable volatility. (According to the Klum Law of Fashion Thermodynamics: “One day you’re in, and the next day, you’re out.”) In that sense, it’s unsurprising what the Associated Press is now reporting: That many fitness tracker owners are abandoning their devices, consigning them to junk drawers/obliging relatives/the junk drawers of obliging relatives.
There's Virginia Atkinson, a writer in Adrian, Michigan, who “was expecting a cheerleader but found monotony” with her device. There's Deepak Jayasimha, who regularly walks three to four miles a day, and who found that his Jawbone Up “stopped giving him information he didn't already know.” (He gave the bracelet to his wife, who, having stopped using it after two weeks, sent it to her father in India. He has yet to use it.) There's Annabel Kelly, a researcher in New Canaan, Connecticut, who wore a Withings Activite Pop—one of two she won at a conference—for only a day before getting frustrated when it failed to credit her for cross-training she did at the gym. (She ended up giving the devices to her 5- and 7-year-old daughters to track their exercise habits.)