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July 28 2014

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11 posts tagged "Apple"

iLifestyle, Coming Soon? Apple Taps Yet Another Fashion Exec

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Apple Hosts Its Worldwide Developers ConferenceWhen Apple poached Angela Ahrendts last year, it marked a major turning point for the megabrand—the former Burberry CEO was enlisted to bring Apple back to its roots and make it not just a tech brand, but a luxury lifestyle label. Paul Deneve, the former CEO of Yves Saint Laurent, also made the leap from fashion to Silicon Valley to work on special projects at Apple. Today, Vanessa Friedman of The New York Times reported that yet another fashion exec has made the jump to Apple. The sales vice president for TAG Heuer, Patrick Pruniaux, has been tapped for an unspecified role with the company.

Though it has not been confirmed, it looks like we might have the man who will helm that iWatch everyone has been buzzing about. When it was first announced that Deneve was joining Apple, there were plenty of rumors floating around that he would be taking on that project. Those turned out to be false. But who better than a TAG Heuer expert to best the competing Samsung Galaxy Gear watch?

With the iWatch reportedly due out in October and a new version of fashion’s greatest accessory, the iPhone, coming out this fall, Apple is busy preparing for some big releases.

But the bigger question remains: What else does it have up its sleeves? It’s now got an all-star team of veteran luxury executives, with presumably more joining it soon. But Ahrendts, who is the head of Apple’s retail and online stores, is a turnaround artist, and like Steve Jobs, she’s an exec with a vision. Certainly, wearable tech is where the focus is these days, with everyone from Google to Opening Ceremony to Nike getting into the game, but Apple hasn’t made its mark in this niche. Yet. Might we see an Apple wearable tech piece make its debut on the runways at New York fashion week, instead of in a more traditional rollout? We wouldn’t be a bit surprised.

Photo: Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

Fashion Over Function: Why Wearable Tech Is the Worst

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Google GlassNews broke yesterday morning that Google has enlisted Luxottica—the company that crafts eyewear for such brands as Prada, Ray-Ban, Chanel, Versace, and beyond—to make Google Glass less hideous. That’s all good and fine—at least the Internet giant is placing an appropriate amount of importance on aesthetics. But I have to be honest: I am deeply tired of hearing about, writing about, and thinking about wearable tech. I have no desire to be hooked up to a device all day. The nonstop e-mail-induced vibrating of my iPhone already gives me heart palpitations, and I don’t need my rings, bracelets, and specs incessantly nagging me, too.

Considering Apple’s recent hires—Saint Laurent’s former CEO of special projects Paul Deneve and Burberry’s former CEO Angela Ahrendts—and Humberto Leon and Carol Lim’s partnership with Intel, wearable tech is no doubt about to explode. And it has the potential to generate big business among Millennials who are lost without their tablets, smartphones, and various other gadgets. I’m just not interested in participating in this particular big bang.

That’s not to say that wearable tech isn’t impressive from, well, you know, a tech standpoint. I find it mind-boggling that a Nike Fuel Band has the capacity to track your steps and calories burned, and then spit that information out into the World Wide Web. However, I’m unsure why the world (or the NSA, for that matter) needs to know your, or my, workout routine. Nor do I enjoy being bombarded on Facebook by everyone’s “humble brags” about how many miles they ran today. I’ve unfriended people for less. But I digress.

As someone who has dedicated my life to fashion, I refuse to compromise on the appearance of a garment or accessory. I’d much prefer to spend my wages on a decadent pair of low-tech vintage sunnies than on a mediocre style with Wi-Fi.

Furthermore, when is enough tech enough? Despite the fact that it doubles as my career, fashion is my escape—and I think a lot of people feel that way. When I slip on a new dress or place my favorite hat upon my head, I get butterflies in my stomach. All my troubles dissolve (if only for an instant), and it’s as though I’ve been transported to my own personal sartorial oasis. Why on earth would I trade in those moments of bliss for a flashing frock with 4G capabilities?

And what’s so great about being connected all the time, anyway? Forever burned in my mind is an election party I attended in 2012. The invitees were educated, opinionated, entertaining, and dynamic, but for a good portion of the evening, I had to check their Twitter feeds in order to get their thoughts on the polls. What could have been a riveting few hours of discussion was diminished to a silent, nonstop tweet-fest. While I sat there with my iPhone tucked in my handbag (my mother always told me that it was rude to stare at one’s phone in social situations because it makes your company feel as though they’re not important), mumbling to myself, all I could think was, What a waste. Can you imagine how much worse this will become if we’re not required to take the extra step of reaching into our pockets to tweet, Instagram, e-mail, Facebook, etc.? If the Internet is latched onto our wrists or eyes, will we even speak to each other anymore?

Perhaps I’m a Luddite. And you know what? I’m OK with that. I’d prefer to be stuck in the last century than to look and live like some kind of Star Trekkian android.

Even so, I wish nothing but the best of luck to Google and Luxottica in making high-fashion face computers.

Photo: Indigitalimages.com

Clare Vivier Lands In Nolita

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Clare Vivier's New York Store
Clare Vivier's New York Store

L.A.-based designer Clare Vivier has become the go-to girl for simple, well-crafted leather goods. You can’t walk five blocks in New York City without spotting one of her signature foldover clutches. So it makes sense that, after years of selling her accessories in NYC stores like Bergdorf Goodman and Steven Alan, Vivier (who is currently rebranding her line as Clare V.) is bowing her first Manhattan outpost. Ahead of tomorrow’s unveiling, Vivier gave Style.com an exclusive first look at the store, which, set on Elizabeth Street in Nolita, opens to the public on Friday.

Vivier, who also opened an L.A. flagship this summer, described the new store as “inspired by French apothecary architecture mixed with an L.A. vibe.” Shadow boxes line the walls, and lighting designer Gabriel Abraham built a custom centerpiece fixture to illuminate the space. “We’re also doing a nine-foot collage mural by New York-based artist Simone Shubuck,” Vivier said. “Simone is an old friend of mine, and the art will be a mixture of personal pieces from my life and the brand, some original pieces from Simone, vintage photography that fits our aesthetic, and artwork from my son.”

In addition to the full range of Vivier’s staples (foldover clutches, soft leather duffels, roomy travel bags, candy-colored wallets, etc.), the boutique will stock a selection of third-party brands, like Maya Brenner jewelry, Reinhard Plank hats, and Nasomatto fragrances. Continue Reading “Clare Vivier Lands In Nolita” »

Christopher Bailey Doubles Down

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Christopher BaileyCome mid-2014, Christopher Bailey will be doubling his workload. Today, Burberry announced that Bailey will replace Angela Ahrendts as CEO in addition to maintaining his role as creative director, which he’s held for the past six years. Ahrendts has been tapped by Apple and will step into the newly created position of senior vice president. This isn’t the first time the tech giant had looked to the fashion biz for new talent: Last July, Apple hired former Saint Laurent CEO Paul Deneve to work on special projects. Maybe Karl Lagerfeld was onto something with his informatics-inspired Spring ’14 Fendi collection—in any event, we have a feeling tech is about to get crazy chic.

Photo:Yannis Vlamos/ Indigitalimages.com

Have Style.com, Will Travel

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Last week, New York. Today, London. Tomorrow, Milan. After that, the world. Do you really need a reminder that the Fall 2013 fashion weeks are in full swing? No. But if you’ve seen Apple’s latest iPad ad, you got one anyway: Our very own Style.com app made a cameo. If you’ve got an iPhone or an iPad, the app is the fastest way to get all the shows on the go, with complete runway looks, details, models, and reviews. Get it here. Nearly two million downloads to date can’t be wrong.

Photo: Apple.com