The Apple Watch — particularly the undoubtedly very expensive 18-karat gold edition — sees Apple attempt to move closer into the world of fashion and luxury than it's ever been before. But that's a world that might take some convincing, which seems to be why, following a collaboration with Colette during Paris Fashion Week, CEO Tim Cook and design chief Jony Ive have arranged for supermodel Liu Wen to wear the watch on the cover of the next Vogue China.
"I just thought that they were perfect accessories for the modern-day woman."
"When Jonathan Ive and Tim Cook talked me through how they developed the concept of the Apple Watch from the beginning, I was impressed by their thoughts and passion for the project," editor-in-chief Angelica Cheung tells Business of Fashion. "Then I saw the watches and thought they looked rather good; some are sporty and others are very classic and elegant. At the same time, they all have so many functions that would be useful in our daily life. I just thought that they combined technology, style and functionality and were very modern and, therefore, perfect accessories for the modern-day woman which is what the Vogue China woman is about."
Apple introduced a gold version of the iPhone 5S a year ago in what was widely seen as a bid to appeal to the Chinese market, and collaborated with Burberry to use the phone in a runway show. The company has also made high-profile hires from the fashion world such as former Burberry CEO Angela Ahrendts and ex-Yves Saint Laurent president and CEO Paul Deneve. Vogue profiled Jony Ive for its US edition earlier this month.
Although the Apple Watch is far from a conventional luxury product, Cheung believes it'll appeal to a wide range of Chinese consumers. "We are an ancient country but at the same time a very young country when it comes to fashion and new products. We love to embrace everything that is new, modern and positive," she says. "All these convince us that the intersection of fashion and technology is a natural progression, not something alien."
The November issue of Vogue China will be out on Monday, October 13th, just ahead of pre-orders for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus opening on the Friday.