Apple announced last Tuesday that Paul Deneve, who stepped down as CEO of luxury fashion house Saint Laurent to take up his new position, is joining Apple as vice president of “special projects”, the specifics of which are still under wraps. The company stated that Deneve would report directly to its CEO, Tim Cook. In the 1990s, Deneve worked at Apple Europe in sales and marketing, while his distinguished fashion credentials include high level positions at fashion houses Nina Ricci and Lanvin.
This recent move by Apple, following so soon after news of its international efforts to register trademarks for the “iWatch” in numerous countries, has industry watchers speculating that perhaps Deneve will be involved in the design and marketing of the tech company’s rumored impending ‘smart watch’. Putting two and two together, having Deneve on board might signal a push in the direction of ‘wearable technology’ that consumers would actually want to wear, if a high-end pedigree is attached to the high-tech product. This would definitely be in line with Apple’s reputation for their sleek, minimalist style and user-friendly design.
Deneve’s brand of business sense may also help him fit right in with the heads behind Apple, which saw a major turnaround in the 2000s and has since been firmly established as a top player in the tech industry worldwide, especially after the introduction of the iconic iPhone. Last year, the longstanding Yves Saint Laurent name was changed to simply Saint Laurent for YSL’s high fashion line (although the beauty line still retains the ‘Yves’ in its label). The alteration was made under the direction of designer and photographer, Hedi Slimane, as the new creative director, along with a new logo. Deneve was responsible for Slimane’s hiring, and so was instrumental in injecting the brand’s image with a more youthful style. If Deneve will really be part of a smart watch project at Apple, his experience in the fashion business would lend an edge to marketing electronic devices with ready-to-wear appeal.
Crossing technology with fashion historically has not yielded any game-changing results for either industry, but perhaps with the advent of the smart watch or wearable technology in general, creative minds and innovators will find a way to break new ground. In any case, technological advancements and novel designs means even greater significance will be put on intellectual property protection and practices.
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Time. July 3, 2013. Apple Taps Saint Laurent CEO Paul Deneve As a VP. Retrieved on July 9, 2013 from http://style.time.com/2013/07/03/apple-taps-saint-laurent-ceo-paul-deneve-as-a-vp/
CMS Wire. July 3, 2013. Apple Hires Fashion Guru; World Awaits Next Move. Retrieved on July 9, 2013 from http://www.cmswire.com/cms/customer-experience/apple-hires-fashion-guru-world-awaits-next-move-021615.php
Image source: http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Paul_Deneve.jpeg