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Apple Watch Paris pop-up
Quartz/Dan Frommer
Can’t touch this (yet).

Inside Apple’s one-day Watch pop-up at Paris Fashion Week

PARIS—If the Apple Watch is going to be the company’s next big hit, it can’t just be sold as a tech gadget—it has to stand on its own as a luxury fashion product, too.

So expect to see more efforts like Apple’s special pop-up today at Paris Fashion Week. The company took over a section of Colette—a cool, high-end concept boutique—for a one-day-only Apple Watch exhibition.

The day started early with a try-on event for fashion VIPs—including the likes of Chanel designer Karl Lagerfeld and Vogue editor Anna Wintour—hosted by Jony Ive, Apple’s head of design, and Marc Newson, its newest high-profile design hire.

For the rest of the day, Apple hosted the public in a small section of Colette, offering anyone the chance to see the Watch inside glass display cases. When we arrived in the early afternoon, about a couple dozen people were lined up outside to get in.

Quartz/Dan Frommer

No one at the public event could try on the watch or access any of its software. Most people simply lined up to gawk and take photos.

Quartz/Dan Frommer

Colette is the sort of high-fashion store that many expect to be a key part of Apple’s retail strategy for the Watch, especially the luxury ”Edition” version. In its gadget section, Colette sells an unlocked iPhone 6 for €1,500, and fancy jeweled iPhone 5S devices for as much as €3,100.

Quartz/Dan Frommer

Apple has two beautiful retail stores in Paris, at the Louvre and in the Opera district. So that it chose to use Colette for today’s pop-up suggests that the company is tailoring its strategy—and gets fashion pretty well.

Quartz/Dan Frommer

Still unknown: What exactly the finished Apple Watch will do, or when it will launch. But expect more sightings, especially around fashion and celebrity events.

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