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.
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.
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.
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.
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.