Right about now financial analysts, fanboys and fashion victims will be scrutinising Apple’s latest press conference, the usual Silicon-Valley-meets-Nuremberg-Rally Sturm und Drang.
Sifting through the usual technological detritus (another iPad, ANOTHER iPhone model, this time featuring a “Selfie” button to save your poor, overused thumbs from an RSI, a kerching iPencil cross-selling opportunity), the real shock is a hook-up with heritage luggage house Hermés concerning the Apple watch. A shock mainly because that Hermés has fought tooth-and-expensively-manicured claw to maintain its independence away from luxury conglomerates, and retain its exclusivity. Apple, on the other hand, has always waged a campaign of ubiquity and assimilation.
Take a closer look at the collaboration, and the more it makes sense. The Apple watch has mainly been marketed as a “hard luxury” product, and Apple’s partnership with Hermés legitimises that. It also shows the influence of former fashion executives, lured from companies like Burberry, Gap and Yves Saint Laurent, on the Apple Watch strategy. Hermés is possibly the only company which could’ve lacquered the Apple Watch with a little more allure; LVMH has promised to launch a TAG Heuer smartwatch within the next few months, which rules out other luxury leather goods houses Louis Vuitton and Loewe.
So what’s in it for Hermés? Firstly, the Hermés x Apple Watch is packaged in a reiteration of its iconic orange livery but, most importantly, Hermés will have beat their nemesis LVMH to the market. That’s one-nil to the family-owned luxury brand. Your move LVMH.
Article written by Lee Clatworthy (@bombfashion) for www.katiechutzpah.com