Apple conference in Cupertino has coincided in time with the fashion week ongoing in New York. This didn’t stop the great personas of the fashion world to go to the West Coast to view the newest product of the technological giant – the Apple Watch. Thanks to that, for a day, the New York Fashion Week has been moved to the Silicon Valley. What an interesting precedent.
Not every technological company is able to turn to the fashion world. But not Apple. This company does emerging tech only and it is a synonym for great design, so Apple can do and sell everything. For example, Michael Kors has offered its products in the Apple Store for a long time. They also hired Angela Ahrendts several months ago, former CEO of Burberry who was responsible for the success of this legendary British brand and now is responsible for Apple’s sales. Moreover, one of the most important features that differentiates Apple from Google is design. All products from Cupertino, designed in California are one of a kind, they set trends for the whole world of technology.
The natural next step, therefore, was to show a product directed at the world of fashion (and against fashion technology companies). The producer did just that at the best time possible when many websites and blogs related to technology in fashion started to appear (let me remind you that mine was one of the first :)). The excitement for “wearables” has been increasing for month and, frankly, I don’t remember a product which would be as much awaited as the Apple watch. Global fashion industry was waiting for Apple to come.
NYFW moves to Cupertino
Many fashion celebrities, who posted their selfies with Apple Watch to Instagram after the conference, could be spotted in the stands. Among others one could see: Creative director Fabien Baron and Vogue Paris editor-in-chief Emmanuelle Alt, Olivier Zahm, founder of Purple magazine, Franca Sozzani, editor-in-chief of Vogue Italia, Laure Heriard Dubreuil, owner of the Webster boutique in Miami, Sarah Andelman, creative director of Colette in Paris, Hamish Robertson, founder of creative studio Vacation Days.
Some of them left NYFW for a day to see Apple Watch with their own eyes. This shows how great their expectations and importance are for wearable fashion and everyone in the industry can see it. Even Anna Wintour said in a “73 questions” interview that she loves Apple. She owns an iPad instead of an android tablet. You will see MacBooks instead of PCs in Vogue. The news about the Apple Watch appeared on fashion related websites as quickly as it did on the technology related ones. Brands such as Prada or Gucci are most likely to cooperate with Apple.
Apple will kill fashion startups or…
By releasing the much awaited Apple Watch the company probably destroyed some very good startups who produce new emerging technology – wearables: Pebble, FitBit (which released a beautiful bracelet with Tory Burch), Voxer, Misfit Wearables. When Apple attacks an industry it’s best for the manufacturers to immediately sell their companies. There’s no chance for wearable businesses to scale when Apple attacks so fiercely. Therefore, I expect a few multimillion purchases made by Apple, Google and Amazon in 2015.
The only rescue for startups that I can see is pivoting and licensing their technologies for use by fashion brands – so that more intelligent jewellery can be bought. I think that the day has come when wearables will stop looking like mobile computers and will hold a very important place in the world of jewellery. I can’t wait for that marriage! Imagine Cartier and Misfit Wearables… That would be awesome! Global fashion infustry will be very exiting in 2015!
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