Thom Browne on what happens to the stylization of Samsung’s latest folds

Thom Browne on what happens to the stylization of Samsung’s latest folds


When Samsung introduced the original Galaxy Z Flip in 2020, it surprised us all with one “last thing”. The company unveiled special editions of Flip, Galaxy Buds and Galaxy Watch, designed by American designer Thom Browne. Since then, all the folding Samsungs they have released have been available in a special version of Thom Browne (TB). Only 3,500 units of these limited edition packages are available and, according to Browne, “supposedly sold out in minutes.”

This year, Samsung is offering the Fold 3 and Flip 3 Thom Browne packages for $ 3,449 and $ 2,349 respectively. Each box includes versions of the TB-themed folding theme, Buds 2, Galaxy Watch 4, trio wireless charger and a selection of covers and straps. The wireless charger Fold 3, Buds 2, Watch 4 and the usual cost of $ 1,799, $ 150, $ 250 and $ 80 respectively, for a total of about $ 2,280, not including cases and straps. So pay about $ 1,000 more for Thom Browne’s aesthetic.

The packaging of the special edition Fold 3 package is extravagant. Each device has its own labeled container and is located in sculpted slots inside a giant box. Fortunately, most of the packaging is paper, so I didn’t feel too guilty about the environmental impact. A drawer under the devices contains all the accessories, such as a pair of TB-themed straps for the watch, a case for the Fold 3 and cases for the Buds 2 cargo case. There is also a special S Pen Pro in the Fold package that is white with blue and red stripes inside.

All devices have the Thom Browne brand and this year’s set features the designer’s red, white and blue stripes. This is a deliberate selection of colors that wants to be a tribute to American sportswear, but also recognizes that it is an Olympic year.

“The reference to red, white, and blue, and specifically to white with the red edging, was very reminiscent of the old Olympics and the old Olympic uniforms,” Browne told Engadget. “I love sports, I love athletes, I’ve been so inspired by athletes at this level,” he said. (He’s a swimmer, in case you were wondering. And while we’re in parentheses, I’m a pitcher.)

But the striped-centered design and the well-known color scheme have always been part of Samsung’s packages, which Browne said “is something I find very characteristic.” He has made sure to keep recognizable elements of his brand in it, because he believed people “would have been disappointed if it had been treated differently”.

The reason not only appears externally on Galaxy devices, but the Fold 3 and Watch 4 also have custom wallpapers on TB themes. The default background for the special edition Fold is covered with the white and gray vertical lines of the designer’s signature with a small square of postage stamps in the middle like the clock widget. At the top center of the screen is a small band of the red-white-and-blue pattern reminiscent of a fabric marker. System icons and fonts also match the general theme.

Galaxy Z Fold 3 Thom Browne Edition

Cherylnn Low / Engadget

While there are no size differences between the TB edition devices and their standard counterparts, the Fold and Watch brand’s shiny metal finish makes them feel more elegant in some ways. I also greatly prefer Thom Browne watch straps to the boring, thick versions of Samsung. And while the company doesn’t have much room to add designer flowers, I love that I still managed to paint small strips of red-white-and-blue on each headset. Although they have this shape, they look like French flags that reverse the color.

Now that Thom Browne versions of these devices are in their third iteration, the designer is well aware of the process of getting them. Each edition has taken about a year to create and Browne said “the most important thing for these collaborations is that you see the best of both sides.”

For Browne, the partnership has been a “very good, very supportive and mutually respectful relationship” that has lasted more than 15 years. Although special edition folders have only been around for about two years, Samsung has already brought their collections to their stores in the past. But the opportunity to create a Thom Browne version of the original Z Flip was intriguing. Browne said the first phone he ever had was a flip phone, so “it was interesting to me, however, the idea of ​​reintroducing this iconic phone made it a very relevant device for the current events “.

Samsung Thom Browne Edition package


While Browne says Samsung has never put limits on how it wanted to approach its designs for devices, something it would do if anything were possible would be a phone made of pure gold. “That would be a challenge I would like to pose to Samsung.”

Perhaps because of the content he has of the association, Browne said he would not want to work with any other company in this field. He’s not thinking about making a Thom Browne smartwatch, though he’s willing to consider other Samsung products.

Ultimately, the biggest benefit for him is probably visibility. “I hope, in a way, that the phone will introduce a lot of new people to the world of Thom Browne.”

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