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Hearing aids are not usually synonymous with style or fashion trends. Yet, Ari Seth Cohen of the blog Advanced Style thinks they can be just as fashionable as any other accessory. His hope is that a more attractive medical device will bring more joy to those who need them.
Cohen created the blog Advanced Style, where he features fashionable older women and the stylish outfits that they wear — a street style blog for the older set, if you will. The site has become so popular, in fact, it has also become a book and documentary (currently on Netflix) that documents gorgeous older women who prove that style has no age limit. Many of them are well into their 80s and 90s, and still know how to appropriately rock a new trend.
Audicus, who dub themselves the “Warby Parker of hearing aids” for cutting costs in a similar way, collaborated with Cohen to create a collection of four hearing aids with removable adhesives in bright patterns like leopard print, black-and-white polka dots and silver hologram.
"For a long time I’ve thought about doing projects with devices," Cohen told Fashionista. "I was a caretaker for my grandmother, and when you’re a caretaker you’re surrounded by hearing aids, canes, walkers and all these things. If they were more attractive, they would bring lot of joy to the people who have to use them."
Similarly, Audicus’ goal of partnering with Cohen was to beat the stigma that’s often associated with hearing aids: that they’re homely and only serve as a necessary medical aid.
"People think hearing aids are still big and clunky, they're associated with old age or being handicapped and very few people know these products are tiny, elegant and sophisticated," Audicus CEO Patrick Freuler told Fashionista.
“There is less fear attached to wearing glasses, but for some reason any other item typically associated with growing older becomes frightening," explains Cohen on his blog. "One of my goals with this project is to help change the image of aging and to celebrate the vibrancy and vitality of growing old.”