As noted by Reuters, Apple has greatly expanded the number of people it has invited to its event on Tuesday, when compared to past Apple announcements. This is probably one motivation for Apple’s change to use Flint Center as a venue, with over double the seating capacity of Yerba Buena, Apple’s usual venue of choice. Reuters say that Apple is making “closer ties to the fashion world” to try and appease fashion critics about its wearable devices.
Several fashion media editors told Reuters they received invitations for the first time to an annual September product-launch, which they took as confirmation of a wristwatch in the wings.
“I assume it’s because they are unveiling a wearable,” said Lea Goldman, features and special projects director for Marie Claire magazine, a first-time invitee. “This suggests Apple is serious about tapping into the fashion world, which often sits on the sidelines.”
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Apparently, Apple also hosted a brand new event for fashion executives last month demonstrating lifestyle apps, so the focus on fashion goes beyond this event alone. And, whilst the Reuters report concentrates on fashion invitees, it is worth noting that Apple has also increased the breadth of technology figures it invites for the September event. This includes Apple commentator John Siracusa and Stratechery’s Ben Thompson, who have received invites for the first time.
Apple’s changing attitudes towards fashion have also been reflected in its hires, such as Burberry’s Angela Ahrendts and Yve Saint Laurent’s Paul Deneve. Jony Ive, Apple’s head of design, was recently quoted saying that ‘Switzerland is in trouble’ in reference to its upcoming wearable product, effectively acknowledging Apple is ready to fight the fashion of Swiss watches head on.