If Apple's marketing efforts are any indication, the Apple Watch's success hinges on whether you and I—fashion bloggers and style enthusiasts—buy the accessory. The company's latests efforts came over the weekend in Milan with a lavish dinner where the company's design execs Jony Ive and Marc Newson hosted guests including fashion blogger Audrey Tritto, who posted on Instagram a shot of the place cards, as well as a shot of herself wearing the watch.
Apple has teamed up with luxury shops inlcuding Collette in Paris, Selfridges in London, Galeries Lafayette in Paris, Isetan in Singapore, Dover Street Markets in London and Tokyo, The Corner in Berline, 10 Corso Como in Milan and Maxfield in Los Angeles to sell and promote the watch.
Apple is clearly positioning its timepiece as a fashion accessory rather than a tech gadget, presumably because, like fashion, it's not exactly necessary. It is what it is: an accessory. It can't replace your iPhone for convenience or functionality, so it must be useful, fun, cool and … chic.
But is it chic? Some fashion folks don't think so. Jean-Claude Biver, the president of LVMH's watches division told WWD:
They are making a few fundamental mistakes. The watch has no sex appeal. It is much too feminine and too similar to the other smartwatches on the market. Frankly, it looks like it was created by a first-year design student.
Will Apple learn the same difficult lesson with the iWatch that Google did with Glass? Despite being featured in the September issue of Vogue and on Diane von Furstenberg's runway, the fashion set never really wanted Glass. Apple is trying to avoid Google's mistakes by hiring fashion executives from Burberry, Gap, Saint Laurent and Tag Heuer. Stores are even recruiting salespeople with fashion backgrounds according to leaked documents. But Google made similar efforts.
Apple's aesthetics game, though, has always surpassed Google's. How many fashion friends do you have who own an Android phone? Plus, Apple has a secret weapon: Newson's wife Charlotte Stockdale is a London-based stylist and fashion director at i-D magazine.