Apple X Hermès: The Collaboration of Technology and Luxury

Apple and Hermès are two completely different companies that share a portion of their demographics. The two brands collaborated to make a new version of the Apple Watch. The watch has the normal watch face and device as a regular apple watch but the band is made by Hermès. 

Details About the Apple Watch Hermès 

In the collaboration of Apple and Hermès there were 12 new apple watch bands released as a part of the Apple Watch Hermès Series 8. Almost all of the bands were made with leather and some included chains. The bands varied in colors,width, and length. The available colors include red, brown, orange, blue, black, dark green, cream, and silver. All of the different band styles have very luxurious and sleek looks to them. They are very high quality and fashionable, same as the rest of Hermès products. Some of the watches are longer in length so they go around the wrist twice, some are thicker, some have the same color stitching as the band and others have white or black stitching, and some have both leather and a chain on them. Finally, they all have silver metal parts that attach to the watch except for one that has black metal parts. Some of the watches and bands also have the halo effect that is famous with Hermès watches. 

The watch is sold in select Apple Stores and Hermes boutiques and starts at $1250. The watch comes in the classic orange Hermès box, which is the first time in history that the iconic box has been shared with another company. 

The Advantages Behind The Collaboration

Apple and Hermès are both very different companies in very different industries, but the thing they share in common is their success and popularity. They also have very different demographics, but a large portion of Hermès’ demographic overlaps with Apple’s. Apple is extremely popular with people of all ages, backgrounds, genders, and everything else. A lot of the world has apple products, especially iPhones. Hermès is a very high end brand with classic fashionable products. Since Apple started to venture into making Watches, it was crucial for them to come up with a way to make the watches appealing to their customers who preferred high luxury looks when shopping for accessories. 

Apple released their first watch in the Apple Watch series in 2014. As soon as the watch was released it gained popularity quickly. People everywhere were interested in the new product and all the functions it came with. Apple Watches could be spotted everywhere with all different kinds of people wearing them. However, what Apple was struggling to achieve was the popularity with those who usually preferred luxury watches. Many people did not want to stray from their nice metal watches for a more athletic looking one, but they were intrigued by the different functions that the Apple Watch offered. This is when Apple decided to launch new band options such as leather and metal ones. Partnering with Hermès was the next step in conquering the business from those looking for a classier look with the Apple Watch, rather than a sporty one. This also shows that Apple considers themselves a luxury brand that focuses on not only innovating technology, but also design. 

Hermès has traditionally been an old fashioned company who stick to their traditions and heritage. This collaboration with Apple is a good strategy to make the brand more modern. Hermès has the appeal to it that their products seem to be very limited, however they sell them by the millions. Many people may see their products as bland and old-fashioned, but the collaboration with Apple makes them more innovative. The collaboration places them ahead of other luxury brands who have not kept up with technology and new innovations. While the collaboration places them ahead with new technology, it keeps them close to their roots by utilizing their high quality leather to create the bands. 

What makes this collaboration especially exciting is how neither brand needs eachother. Apple and Hermès are both extremely successful companies without the collaboration, so the collaboration was made to create something new and exciting rather than just to benefit the companies. 

Both companies are leaders in their industries, so their collaboration makes something new that is innovative in two regards. The Hermès Apple Watch is at the top of technology and at the top of high-fashion. 

This collaboration started in 2015 with the original Apple Watch, but it has continued to today. Each year, the Hermès bands are released to fit the new version of the watch. There is no end in sight for this collaboration, which is extremely smart for both brands since the collaboration has been so successful. 

Some Background on Apple

Apple is a technology company headquartered in California in the United States. It is a multinational company with over 500 stores worldwide, with over half of them being within the US. Apple has stores in 25 countries with the most in the US, China, UK, Canada, and Australia. 

Apple’s Products

Apple innovates and manufactures different technological products including: 

  • Macs
  • iPads
  • iPhones
  • Watches
  • Airpods
  • TV & Home Devices

All of these products contain many different series and new versions that keep the products state of the art. Each year Apple holds an event that presents all the new versions and updates to their products. These launches usually occur in the autumn months of each year, perfectly in time for the holidays. 

Apple History

Apple was founded by Steve Jobs, Ronald Wayne, and Steve Wozniak in 1976. Apple was the first personal computer creator and seller that was successful. Wozniak was the one who designed Apple’s first personal computer. Inspired by the Altair 8800, the first successful microcomputer, he made a design of his own. At the time he was an engineering intern at a company, but the company had no interest in his design. After sharing his design with a former highschool peer, Steve Jobs, they decided to start producing Wozniak’s design in their home garages. This was the beginning of the company we know today as Apple. Their first model was a working circuit board in a stand alone machine in a plastic case that offered color display along with other appealing features. This caught the eye of the average person, and from here Apple’s success began. 

Wozniak soon invented the disk controller that opened a whole new set of uses for the computer. The disk controller allowed disk drives to be used to store and retrieve information quickly and effectively. This opened computers to be used for data purposes, which skyrocketed the sales of Apple’s first computer model. After leadership change and increased competition in the industry, Apple began to struggle immensely as a company. People had begun to prefer other company’s products over Apple ones. In 1997, Steve Jobs got recruited to return to Apple and this is when the climb back began. The iMac was the first new release and it immediately caught the eyes of consumers. The iMac, iPod, iPhone, Apple TV, iPad, Apple Watch, and AirPods continued to make Apple more and more successful year after year. The products were launched in that order, with innovation never stopping. 

With the long and consistent domination Apple has had in its industry, it is very intriguing to see how the company will continue to innovate and what its next steps will be. 

Some Background on Hermès

Hermès is a luxury design company from France, with their headquarters in Paris, France. The company has over 300 stores worldwide, in 45 different countries. As of 2019, Hermès is the third largest luxury brand when considering revenue. 

Hermès’ Products

Hermès has always been a leather goods company, so while it has stuck to its roots it has also expanded to specialize in more products. The company specializes in leather goods, lifestyle accessories, home furnishings, perfumery, jewelry, watches, and ready-to-wear clothing. 

Hermès clothing products include: 

  • Ties, Scarves, Shawls, and Stoles
  • Shoes
  • Bags and Small Leather Goods
  • Belts
  • Hats and Gloves
  • Fashion Jewelry 
  • Accessories
  • Coats and Jackets
  • Sportswear
  • Shirts, T-shirts, and Polos
  • Pants and Shorts
  • Knitwear and Sweatshirts
  • Dresses and Skirts
  • Beachwear
  • Undergarments

All of their products are made with very high quality materials and are in the high end price range. 

Social Commerce in Fashion
Social Commerce in Fashion

Hermès History

Hermès was founded in 1837 by Thierry Hermès. The brand has always focused on both the work of craftsmen in their workshop and the lifestyles of their consumers. The company values the need for innovation and change in order to cater to the evolving needs and wants of society. Thierry Hermès opened its first workshop in rue Basse-du-Rempart. From the initial beginnings of the brand the customers were always at the base. Hermès understood and expected the customers’ desires and interest in simplicity and lightness. Along with the focus on the look of their products it was crucial to make their products sturdy and tough enough to last. 

The company was passed down through the Hermès family as the years went on and Émile Hermès broke new ground by offering products that were necessary to people during the Interwar period. These important products included saddlery, harnesses, and other leather goods. Hermès obtained exclusive rights to the system we know today as the zipper. Zippers began to be used on almost all of the bags made by Hermès. The family discovered this system when they took a trip to Canada and saw it used on the hood of a military car. 

The brand began to introduce new products throughout the years, the following are some of the most relevant product expansions:

  • In 1927, jewelry was introduced
  • In 1928, watches and sandals were launched
  • In 1937, the famous silk scarf was created by Émile’s son in law, Robert Dumas
  • In 1949, ties were introduced into Hermès product collection
  • In 1967, the first women’s ready-to-wear collection was released

Their products are extremely good quality and have a sleek and beautiful look to them. Hermès has been on the successful side of the industry for a very long time. They have continually innovated their business model and products in order to maintain their status as an industry leader. 

Final Thoughts: An Appealing Products Created By Two Industry Leaders

Apple is a leader in the technology industry and Hermès is a leader in the apparel industry, together they have created a product that has blended the two and excelled in both. This collaboration has started to carve the path for technology and luxury fashion collaborations in the future. These two industries have begun to merge in many different ways, people want their technology products to be luxurious and their luxury fashion products to include innovative technology. 

The company’s collaboration brought new demographics to each of the brands and showed consumers that they do not need to sacrifice fashion to get technology, nor sacrifice technology to get fashion. The watch meets in the middle when considering the exclusive nature of each company. Hermès has a very exclusive nature and it seems that it is difficult to get limited products of the brand. On the other hand, Apple’s products are not very exclusive. It seems that everyone has them, and by going to any Apple store you can easily purchase almost any item you want. The Hermès Apple Watch met in the middle, the watch is only available in select Apple and Hermès stores, which makes it much more exclusive than normal Apple Watches.

Additionally, the price is higher than what Apple would be, but lower than a traditional Hermès watch. 

Overall, this collaboration was a perfect mix of both brands and will most likely encourage other fashion brands to collaborate with technological companies.

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