Apple Watch Makes Its Fashion Magazine Debut -- In China
The Apple Watch will makes its media debut in November, gracing the cover of Vogue China. Liu Wen, a 26-year old supermodel, will sport the Apple Watch Edition, one of three models for the device Apple unveiled in September.
"Vogue China is following in the Vogue tradition of moving with the times, giving our readers the first glimpse of a pioneering piece of technology that also doubles as a highly covetable fashion accessory," Angelica Cheung, the magazine's editorial director, said in a statement.
A spokeswoman for Vogue China said putting Apple Watch on its cover was the magazine's idea. "The styling of the Apple Watch on the cover of Vogue China's November issue is an editorial decision, coming about in the same way the editor and team select and style pieces on all their covers," the spokeswoman said in an email.
Still, cooperating with the request -- the watch won't be available to the public until sometime next year -- signals the Cupertino, Calif. company is looking to cement its brand both in fashion and in the wider world.
For its event introducing the watch, Apple invited press from multiple fashion publications, a first for the company. After the event, Apple hired a top marketer from Gap, adding to its roster of recently acquired executives from fashion and retail. Apple's global retail chief, Angela Ahrendts, who left her position as CEO of Burberry in 2013, is focusing intently on expansion in international markets.
China, in particular, has been an increasing priority for Apple. The nation's slice of the company's revenue expanded from 2%, in 2009, to 16% last quarter.
Pre-orders for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus -- larger smartphones, which have sold more successfully across Asia -- began on Friday morning in China. Within six hours, one million orders were taken by the three largest carriers, according to Fortune.
Apple did not return requests for comment.
The Vogue China cover was styled by Karl Templer and photographed by David Sims, both veteran Vogue contributors. Apple Watch Edition, the product worn on the cover, sports an 18-carat gold casing. The company also released a basic version of the device and an activity-oriented version, Apple Watch Sport. Apple has not commented on the pricing of the products, which will begin shipping in 2015 at an unspecified time.
Contributing: Michael Sebastian