It’s pure arrogance for Silicon Valley to imagine that it can make wearables cool by hiring a few fashion people, putting the product on a runway, or throwing money at “collaborations” with brands. This is a new game they’re trying to play, one with different rules. The rollout of the Apple Watch would look much different if it were orchestrated by a brand like Chanel. Instead of being released at $350, it would hit stores with a price tag in the thousands. Consumers would clamor to get their hands on one, only to be stymied by limited runs, which would further stoke desire. Only after a few years of artificial scarcity would it enjoy wider release.
Obnoxious? Maybe. But to do cool right, brands have to jettison tech world values like accessibility and utopianism. Cool isn’t fair. You can’t have it both ways.
We’ll see how it goes. The Apple Watch will sell pretty well early on – but I have no idea how well it will do in the long term. Most wearables end up inn drawers, uncharged, forgotten. Time will tell if the Apple Watch will be any different.