Headphones are my sunglasses. I’ve got an extensive collection of big, fat, over-ear headphones, about 15 pairs, all told. Bright ones, square ones, camoflague and white ones. Glamour ones and candy coloured kids ones. I vary them depending on my mood, and the rest of my outfit. Headphones are the perfect combo of accessory and purpose. They’re hats with edge; fascinators with a point. As an added bonus, they serve as ear muffs during the winter.
When did I develop my headphone habit? Around three years ago, when I first spotted a hipster wearing Panasonic vintage ceramic finish headphones (rare at the time, now blissfully ubiquitous). I loved them on sight, devoted considerable amounts of time to tracking them down on-line, got them shipped in from the US at some expense, wore them just once and bam! A fashion-tech crossover obsession was born. Within weeks, Urban Outfitters had started stocking the exact model in UK stores. I felt validated; and brought another pair in an alternative colour.
My collection evolved in fits and bursts from there. The Audio Technica camouflage pair I bought after I saw a guy wearing them at Tokyo Narita airport. The Marshall classics I picked up on a work trip to New York. The gold and brown Skullcandys (my current faves) were accessorizing the head of a tourist when I first spotted them; I stalked him, and them, around Covent Garden until I got close enough to take note of the brand name. What next? Who knows. But – there WILL be more.
by Polly Vernon