Apple hires another fashion executive

Discussion in 'Apple, Inc and Tech Industry' started by Rogifan, Aug 7, 2014.

  1. Rogifan macrumors P6

    Rogifan

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    #1
    According to 9to5Mac Apple has hired the president of YSL Europe to work on Paul Deneve's team. They say Deneve's team is "working on new strategies for Apple’s official retail stores in order to make the stores more capable of selling and marketing fashion and wearable goods". We also recently heard about Apple hiring Patrick Pruniaux who was a sales VP at Tag Heuer, and Musa Tariq from Nike & Burberry to lead social media efforts.

    What I find interesting with these hires is how many of them are from retail or sales, not design. Also, reading through 9to5Mac's round up on Apple hires related to "iWatch"/wearables most of the hires are either engineers or medical scientists. Only one is a designer (Ben Shaffer, who lead shoe design at Nike). Considering fashion will be a big part of wearables I'm surprised more designers haven't been hired. Or perhaps they have but Apple has been able to keep that a secret?
     
  2. kdarling macrumors demi-god

    kdarling

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    #2
    I keep thinking about what Cook said when asked about smartwatches -- that you'd have to convince people to buy such wearables.

    And then there's all the whole fashion consultant hires.

    So that seems to point at jewelry, which could be a watch, or maybe not.

    Sometimes I wonder if they're doing something totally different than a watch. I mean, like a Star Trek comm badge, or a necklace or ???

    Thoughts? (No, don't bring up furry handcuffs - lol)
     
  3. Rogifan thread starter macrumors P6

    Rogifan

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    #3
    No clue. But their hires from the fashion world are all around sales, not design. Which leads me to believe Apple is working on more than one wearable product.
     
  4. rdowns macrumors Penryn

    rdowns

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    #4

    I don't know about more than one wearable but I do expect several different models. I also expect we'll see these products sold through new distribution channels like higher end department stores.
     
  5. kdarling macrumors demi-god

    kdarling

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    So a question is, why do they need all these sales experts?

    Hot new Apple products usually sell themselves. What's special about this (or these) new one(s)?

    Some have speculated the new hires are about distribution in regular jewelry or other high end stores.

    Is Apple going to get into fashion models? That is, sell devices that have a whole range of prices and looks depending on materials, etc?

    Have they done this kind of thing before?
     
  6. Arran macrumors 68040

    Arran

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    #6
    The high end dept store thing sounds plausible. Many Apple stores have the wrong ambience for selling expensive jewelry. Particularly when they're overrun by teenagers checking their twitter feeds.

    I also wouldn't be surprised to see some sort of co-branding with upscale watch and jewelry makers. Apple would provide the unassuming electronics modules and the partners would provide the beautifully crafted casings. It also means apple doesn't have to dive head-first into the fashion industry. The partners assume that risk, but since it's an industry they know, the risk is low.

    With all that in mind, the fashion industry hires might be as much for their Rolodexes as their expertise.
     
  7. Rogifan thread starter macrumors P6

    Rogifan

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    #7
    Yes, I think this is where Apple is going. Why else would Apple hire CEO's and sales executives from luxury fashion conglomerates? 9to5Mac's story said this team inside Apple was specifically working on strategies to make Apple stores more capable of marketing and selling fashion and wearable items.
     
  8. Rogifan thread starter macrumors P6

    Rogifan

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    #8
    Apple turning over product design to other companies would be quite a departure but maybe it would be more of a collaboration than 'we'll give you the guts and let you do everything else'? There was a rumor on Twitter that Jony Ive was working with Italian watchmaker Panerai. Curiously that tweet no longer exists.

     
  9. kdarling macrumors demi-god

    kdarling

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    #9
    Really? So not just getting a foot in the door of fashion stores, but bumping up the Apple stores a notch as well?

    Interesting. I'm imagining a little exclusive booth in one corner with sales people dressed in thousand dollar suits, fancy hors d'oeuvres on a silver platter, and a private back door entrance with valet parking :)
     
  10. Arran macrumors 68040

    Arran

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    #10
    I don't think it's going to be quite like that in suburban malls. :) Maybe in Beverly Hills.

    No, it'll be more around protecting pocketable merchandise in a store that has no doors. Making it sparkle. Projecting the right ambience. Providing a venue for clients to try different things on. Maybe different compensation for salespeople (like commission)?

    Stuff like that.
     
  11. kdarling macrumors demi-god

    kdarling

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    #11
    Thank you, that makes sense!
     
  12. thekev macrumors 604

    thekev

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    #12
    As I recall the closest Apple Stores would be The Grove and Century City. Apple does tend to move into higher end retail space, but at the same time they pick locations that draw a wide variety of customers. I can't really see them opening a store next to Prada or Barneys, when they are more about growing concepts to a wider market than restricting who can afford them.
     
  13. Rogifan thread starter macrumors P6

    Rogifan

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    #13
    Yep. :)

    http://9to5mac.com/2014/08/06/apple...dent-and-retail-head-into-the-cupertino-fold/

    ----------

    I wish some of the stores in the US were as nice as the ones they open outside the US. There are 5 stores in the Minneapolis area and all but one are in shopping malls and they all look the same.
     
  14. Arran macrumors 68040

    Arran

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    #14
    The problem is that not enough beautiful old buildings exist in the US that are in prime shopping areas (mostly 10-20 year old malls, regrettably).

    The lovely old European buildings you may be thinking of take a boatload of (Apple) cash to refurbish - but that's a fraction of what they cost to build originally. I doubt we even have the skills available now to build like that economically.
     
  15. Arran macrumors 68040

    Arran

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    #15
    I know it's not quite the same thing, but think of the App Store or the iTunes music store. Apple can't possibly produce all of the apps or songs to suit everyone's needs or tastes, so it sticks with providing the underlying technology (Macs and iPods). It then opens up the "personalization" bit to thousands of third parties (developers or musicians).

    Even though Apple does little to create these "personalized" elements, they still take a healthy 30% cut. Not a bad business model.
     
  16. Rogifan thread starter macrumors P6

    Rogifan

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    #16
    It's possible but I still think Apple will want a first party design that they can show off to the world. After all design is a big part of the company and selling an expensive watch (or whatever it is) will generate more revenue/profits than a cut of accessories. Of course it's entirely possible they'll have the option for mass customization and allow 3rd parties to handle that.
     
  17. Arran macrumors 68040

    Arran

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    #17
    Perfectly reasonable for first-out since this is a new product class.

    It's a bit like the Apple-designed cases launched alongside various iPod and iPhone models: Apple primed the pump with in-house case offerings that allowed purchasers to personalize their iDevices a little.

    And then hordes of case manufacturers joined the fray. I don't know if Apple gets a cut from third-party cases sold. I suspect not, and I'm sure they won't make that mistake with the iWatch.
     

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