25 April 2015Vogue:
Since its announcement last September and subsequent release earlier this month, it is safe to say that the Apple Watch has caused less of a stir and more of a tidal wave, straddling the fashion and technology industries like no other product before it. So who better to open the inaugural Condé Nast International Luxury Conference – fittingly staged in Florence, the birthplace of the Renaissance – than man of the hour Jony Ive, senior vice president of design at Apple. Joined onstage by one of his most revered contemporaries and friends, designer Marc Newson, who helped to create the Apple adornment, Ive explained to the conference’s host, Suzy Menkes, how the company’s approach to 21st-century luxury compares with traditional luxury as we know it.
My prejudices about the fashion world made me expect this interview to be a dull slog. I was very wrong. Menkes asks bold questions that the typical tech interviewers who get access to Apple executives, almost all of which are Apple PR shills, don’t dare ask. She asks Ive questions he clearly wasn’t prepared for: ‘People, in this audience in fact, are worried that Apple is eating at our luxury world. You are now competing with fine jewellery. What do you say to that?’.
I’m paraphrasing — watch the video to see it in context — but what a great question.