Apple continues to reach into the fashion and luxury brand industry with their two most recent hires. Last year Apple fanned the flames of its iWatch rumors with the hire of Burberry CEO Angela Ahrendts, leading speculators to see Apple moving towards lifestyle branding, making fashion an inevitable asset. And now with hires from luxury watch maker Tag Heuer and high-end fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent, Apple appears to be jumping head first into that speculated curve.
The first of the two recent hires is Tag Heuer’s VP of Sales Patrick Pruniaux. The choice in hiring from Tag Heuer over other luxury watch brands seems to lie in the distinction that Tag Heuer has made for itself as more of a luxury brand, than simply a watch brand. The company even tried its own hand at producing luxury smartphones, recognizing the rise in smartphones over watches as the quintessential personal product. However, the true skill that Tag Heuer has demonstrated has been its aggressive marketing and advertising, making the hire of Pruniaux an excellent acquisition if Apple is to release a luxury watch.
The second hire comes at more of a surprise than the first, with Apple hiring Yves Saint Laurent CEO Paul Deneve for “special projects” under CEO Tim Cook. Yves Saint Laurent is known for its industry leading design, with high end prices to match its exclusive and unique fashion. Apple and Yves Saint Laurent match well in this regard, with the two companies being more concerned with design rather than affordability. The projects that Deneve will be working on are yet to be revealed, but early speculation leads to the conclusion of the “iWatch”, or other potential wearables that Apple could be releasing in the future.