Apple is evidently starting to shift some of their efforts into engaging with the world of fashion with the announcement of their new innovation, The Apple Watch.
Immediately after Apple’s special event that took place in San Francisco, the company revealed that the upcoming Apple Watch will be sold at a variety of luxury and innovative stores such as Selfridges, as well as in the popular speciality retailers; Dover Street Market both in London and Tokyo.
Set to release in April, the device is set to generate a momentous buzz and an influx of upfront sales. But initial buzz aside, in order for the Apple watch to sell at the sheer volumes that will be necessary to please investors, the Apple Watch will also have to work as a stylish and desirable fashion accessory as well as a functioning tech device. As far as technology stands to date, consumers do not expect all that much from the visual aesthetics of their chosen technology devices.
This fact allows a sleek and stylish design-focused company such as Apple to overshadow their current competitors with fresh and elegant products such as the ever-evolving iPhone and iPad. But with a step away from pure technology and with the debut of the Apple Watch, a device to be worn as an accessory on the body, the company is now venturing into the competitive fashion and accessories market, and fashion is an extremely different ballgame!
In the fashion world, consumers demand an overwhelming range of aesthetic and style options, which they then narrow down to suit their personal style and fashion needs. What’s more, consumers demand and desire these options at a pace that far surpasses the pace at which electronics companies normally release their new devices.
Apple has understood this, and unlike their successful approach to the monumental iPhone and iPad, which both come in a small range of visual options, Apple has put aesthetic and style customisation at the core of the Apple watch design, offering consumers a variety of screen sizes, and sixteen different styles of strap, including rubber, leather and steel, and six varieties of casings including stainless steel, aluminum, gold and rose gold. In advance of the Apple Watch launch, the company launched a simple unofficial website called Mix Your Watch, allowing people with a variety of design and aesthetic combinations.
Apple has recently stated that their ultimate goal has always been to make powerful and important technology more accessible, relevant, and altogether more personal. Apple has also stated that the watches represent a new and exciting chapter in the relationship and connection people have with technology.
“It’s the most personal product we’ve ever made, because it’s the first one designed to be worn.” - Apple
So the big question that lingers is - is this enough to break into the fashion industry? The Apple Watch currently offers an outline for personal expression that is actually far more constricted in comparison to what consumers now expect in the current huge fashion and accessories market.
The iPhone and iPad have been massive technology phenomenon, not only due to the sleek and superior design of Apple’s items, but because the company turned them into a lifestyle and a social platform, an approach Apple is set to duplicate with the Apple Watch. It seems that for the Apple Watch to succeed as a stylistic and desirable accessory as well as a functioning tech device, Apple will need to recruit a similar system of both fashion and accessories designers to progress into a much broader range of aesthetic and style options for the new product. This should finally help in making the Apple Watch into a legitimate platform for both fashion as well as App Technology.
Currently, the Apple Watch as has been described as a device is massively different from one that you would keep on your desk or carry in your pocket. It has been described as a tool and “a true expression of your personal taste’’
“we designed Apple Watch to reflect a wide range of styles and preferences, because we want you to love wearing it as much as you love using it” - Apple
The next big question will be whether the company embraces a number of third-party designs as apart of the core Apple Watch factors with an official ‘Made for Watch’ programme, much like the company’s previous ‘Made for iPhone’ and ‘Made for iPad’ programmes, and will they be sold in Apple Stores!? We are excited to find out.
Sources: Mix Your Watch, QZ