You’ll have to wait until sometime next year to actually get your hands on the new Apple Watch, but you can admire one from afar starting on Monday, when the smartwatch will grace to cover of Vogue China’s November issue.
Most smartwatches seem to be designed for function rather than fashion and aimed at tech geeks rather than fans of haute couture, but all that could be changing with the release of the Apple Watch. Instead of making its editorial debut in a publication devoted to computers and mobile devices, the new timepiece will be seen on the cover of Vogue China. The wearable device adorns the wrist of a lovely model wearing a stylish designer gown, a very different image than we’ve come to expect from the more utilitarian smartwatches on the market today.
It’s no secret that Apple has been actively courting the fashion community. Right in the middle of last month’s New York Fashion Week, the company invited a select group of editors and bloggers to take part in the September 9 press event for the Apple Watch and staged a similar showcase for Paris Fashion Week. The latter event attracted some of the most prominent mover and shakers in the world of style, all gathered to check out Apple’s first wearable device.
One fashionista impressed by Apple’s presentation was Vogue China editor-in-chief Angelica Cheung, who gave this statement to The Business of Fashion: “When Jonathan Ive and Tim Cook talked me through how they developed the concept of the Apple Watch from the beginning, I was impressed by their thoughts and passion for the project.
“Then I saw the watches and thought they looked rather good; some are sporty and others are very classic and elegant. At the same time, they all have so many functions that would be useful in our daily life. I just thought that they combined technology, style and functionality and were very modern and, therefore, perfect accessories for the modern-day woman which is what the Vogue China woman is about.”
All that promotion is starting to reap results, as seen by the Vogue China cover featuring Chinese supermodel Liu Wen. As we get closer to the date when the Apple Watch finally appears in stores, we can expect to see more coverage from the fashion publications, but will this really be a good thing in the long run?
China has become a hot market for both mobile devices and luxury goods, making it a prime market for the Apple Watch. Presenting the smartwatch as a fashion accessory could boost sales with stylish and wealthy women but turn off the tech-minded male fans that have made other Apple products top sellers. Having the Apple Watch seen as a “chick item” just might drive those geek guys right into the arms (or stores) of rivals like Samsung or LG.
Will the Apple fanboys remain loyal or defect to a competing brand? Stay tuned!