Google hopes fashion expertise will give Glass a boost with new hire

New boss Ivy Ross will have to help Google overcome privacy fears and social awkwardness

Fashion executive Ivy Ross is joining Google on May 19 to lead the company's Glass efforts.

Fashion executive Ivy Ross is joining Google on May 19 to lead the company's Glass efforts.

Google has hired a former Calvin Klein and Gap executive to help make Glass socially acceptable and turn it into a mainstream product.

Ivy Ross, who is joining Google on Monday, said in a Google+ post that part of her job will be to explain why the head-mounted computer makes sense to a wider audience. That includes helping overcome privacy fears and making the product more socially acceptable.

Privacy advocates have expressed concern about Glass' video recording capability and some wearers have been accosted and mocked while wearing the product in public.

Ross' Linkedin page lists an impressive and quite varied resume. Previous posts include executive roles at companies including Gap, Mattel, Calvin Klein and Coach. Also, glasses aren't new for Ross, who spent a number of years at Bausch & Lomb.

Earlier this year, Google also partnered with the Luxottica Group, an Italian company that owns Ray-Ban, Oakley and other brands, to help design, manufacture and distribute Glass frames.

Ross joins Google at an important time in the development of Glass, which went on general sale in the U.S. earlier this week. Google is still beta testing the product, but the company is hoping to get feedback from more users with the wider availability. The price tag is still US$1,500.

Google isn't the only company that has mined the fashion industry for talent. Apple's new retail boss Angela Ahrendts joined the company from Burberry, for example.

Send news tips and comments to mikael_ricknas@idg.com

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Mikael Ricknäs

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