Since releasing the first wave of information about Apple Watch last September, the technology company has been keeping close ties to the fashion industry with presentations during Fashion Week, the poaching of fashion executives and partnerships with supermodels. Liu Wen was first photographed with the watch on the cover of Vogue China and during today’s Apple Watch Event, Christy Turlington Burns announced her plans to train for the Virgin Money London Marathon with the help of the device. But can a watch that is, in its basest form, an accessory dependent on the iPhone, capture the hearts of the most stylish trendsetters?
At today’s event, Apple CEO Tim Cook offered up some very cool features the watch offers, including voice text messages, voice commands with Siri, 18-hour battery life, Apple Pay and fitness monitor. All pretty awesome stuff that may not appeal to the traditional horology fan (despite their attempts to market the device as a luxury timepiece), but would be useful for the models, editors, bloggers and industry insiders who are jet-setting around the world and need to stay connected 24/7. Apple is also deviating from their one-size-fits all mentality in an attempt to be more stylish with six metal options, two face sizes, 11 face designs, and numerous band colors and fabrics. Unfortunately a few color options aren’t enough to catch the attention of the fashion crowd.
But why does it matter if fashion gets on board? Despite the noise the watch has been making in the past months, most consumers don’t seem too excited about wearable devices. Don’t misunderstand, they enjoy it in theory. But lackluster sales of previous smartwatches and even Goggle Glass seem to speak greater volumes about the actual demand for wearable technology. But the nod of approval from the fashion industry could boost sales and give the Apple Watch the running start it needs. With the same features and applications as an iPhone, the Apple Watch is fairly redundant and could fail to sell as a technological device. But as a fashion watch, it has the potential to become the next “it” piece—provided the right people choose to support it.