Apple Hires Sales Executive From Tag Heuer

Vanessa Friedman, reporting for the NYT:

Just as the couture shows really get underway in Paris, an executive from LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, a.k.a. the biggest French luxury group (and, for that matter, the biggest luxury group in the world), has been lured away from the fashion capital to the technology capital of Silicon Valley. Patrick Pruniaux, until last week sales vice president for Tag Heuer, one of LVMH’s most successful watch brands, is this week joining Apple in an unspecified role. […]

Certainly Mr. Pruniaux’s appointment solidifies the theory that Apple is looking to the luxury market for strategic and aesthetic know-how. He becomes the third luxury executive to jump sectors since last year, after Paul Deneve of YSL and Angela Ahrendts of Burberry (now Apple’s head of retail and online stores).

I’d include Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre in that group — not because I think Beats is a “luxury” brand, but because I don’t think luxury is the right word to explain these hires. It’s about taste, style, and branding. In one word: fashion.

The iPhone is nothing like Vertu, and whatever new products Apple is coming out with won’t be either. (Beats isn’t like Vertu either — I see people wearing Beats on the street every day. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone using a Vertu phone.)

Tuesday, 8 July 2014