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Apple Technology

Apple Hires CEO of Yves Saint Laurent To Head Special Projects 79

alphadogg writes "Apple has hired Paul Deneve, until Tuesday the CEO of French luxury brand Yves Saint Laurent, to work as its vice president for special projects, igniting fresh speculation about possible new product launches including a TV or wearable computing devices such as a smart watch. He'll be reporting directly to CEO Tim Cook. Unsurprisingly, the company doesn't want to elaborate on what kind of special projects Deneve, who has worked at Apple in the past, will be working on. But the hire has resulted in analysts speculating, and wearable computing is on top of the list."
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Apple Hires CEO of Yves Saint Laurent To Head Special Projects

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  • by dugancent ( 2616577 ) on Wednesday July 03, 2013 @02:59PM (#44180247)

    If you don't have anything to report, then don't report. Enough with worthless speculation.

    • If you don't have anything to report, then don't report.

      Apple did report something .. and now the media is falling over themselves to try to come up with what that means (ie worthless speculation); it's kinda what they do.

      The pundits need to say something, because they get paid to.

      • It must be smellable computing! Yeah, stinky computers.
        After all, YSL peddles a load of overpriced fragrances [].

        • After all, YSL peddles a load of overpriced fragrances.

          To me they're a cheap line of clothing from KMart or something -- though, I'm sure they're more than just that.

        • Apple perfects new scent. "It smells [cough] wonderful!!!" report dying Apple fans. "It smells like Chlorine Gas," report PC fans.

          • Apple perfects new scent. "It smells [cough] wonderful!!!" report dying Apple fans. "It smells like Chlorine Gas," report PC fans.

            In other news, rumor has it that Microsoft is rapidly trying to get their latest cloud offering 'Microsoft Chlorine' to market as soon as possible.

            Analysts expect it to be an exciting new venture in the marketplace and will allow them to compete with Apple in this new and exciting area.

            No news yet on DRM requirements.

        • The iWhiff?

    • What does staring at the navy have to do with rumpr mongering?

    • by tlhIngan ( 30335 )

      If you don't have anything to report, then don't report. Enough with worthless speculation.

      The problem is, Apple is newsworthy. VERY newsworthy. If Tim Cook farts in public, it'll be reported. If he blinks his eyes, they'll report it.

      Why? The public pretty much ensures ANY Apple news gets a ton of eyeballs. And thus, ad views and thus, revenue.

      Look at the crowds of people Apple attracts. Any Apple story. You get Apple fanbois. Apple haters. Android fanbois. Microsoft fanbois. Windows fanbois. Google fanboi

    • by gl4ss ( 559668 )

      well they did just report.

      that apple's research arm is now headed by a guy who used to be a ceo for a company I really don't give a fuck about.

      I mean, I pepsi is more relevant for me than yves saint laurent as a company.

  • Sad. You'd think they never learn.
    • Sad. You'd think they never learn.

      What are you talking about? Apple is following a proven strategy for success.

      They'll bring him into the company, his ideas will fall flat and he'll be asked to leave. 10 years later, he'll come back to apple and restore it to greatness.

      • 10 years later, he'll come back to apple and restore it to greatness.

        Would it really be a strategy to endure 10 years of struggling just to save the day later?

        No wonder the economy is in the shitter, apparently the people who run businesses don't know how.

        Short-term incompetence isn't a strategy. :-P

      • by Quila ( 201335 )

        He already worked at Apple over 10 years ago, so according to this pattern he will now be restoring Apple to greatness.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      That Pepsi guy turned Apple from a $1B company to a $10B company.

  • Hrm (Score:5, Funny)

    by techsoldaten ( 309296 ) on Wednesday July 03, 2013 @03:12PM (#44180447) Journal

    They could be bringing him on in order to introduce a new brand of perfume.


    • by Anonymous Coward

      Judging by the summary, looks like they're hard at work on the iSpeculate as well.

  • by sl4shd0rk ( 755837 ) on Wednesday July 03, 2013 @03:16PM (#44180487)

    French designed black-and-white-and-flattened handbags are coming.

    • ...with rounded corners.
      • by Tablizer ( 95088 )

        Job's boat sure needs rounded corners; it's blockier than the "Money for Nothing" MTV movers. The one thing that is supposed to have rounded corners doesn't.

        I guess part of being "cool" is going against the grain of how everybody else does it: if everybody is making rectangular buttons, you make them rounded; and if everybody is sailing rounded boats, you make them rectangular. If anybody could sell a cubic bowling ball, it would be Jobs.

        Who needs scoring when you are Thinking Different.

  • In related news, Apple applies for a patent on the term iShirt
  • They should have hired Jean-Paul Gaultier, he did all the costumes for The Fifth Element.

    • They should have hired Jean-Paul Gaultier, he did all the costumes for The Fifth Element.

      The Laurent designs for Daft Punk are at least comparably futuristic: []

      Not that this guy they hired to VP is a designer, but he has worked with designers, and he is a member of the executive committee of the French Federation of Fashion and of Ready-to-Wear of Couturiers and Fashion Designers, and a jury member for the ANDAM Fashion Awards.

      Perhaps they are trying to get someone with taste to select from the many designs Jon Ivy comes up with for n

  • He's there to design turtlenecks for Tim and Jony.
  • by MaWeiTao ( 908546 ) on Wednesday July 03, 2013 @04:22PM (#44181303)

    Considering that these luxury brands know nothing about practical usability, I can only assume this guy has been hired for some kind of special edition product. If I had to make a random assumption I'd even suggest it's for a China-specific product. The Chinese have a fetish for over-priced ultra-luxury brands on a level Americans can't fathom. It's bad enough that a few years back Louis Vuitton was concerned about the tarnishing of the brand due to increased prevalence of their bags. So they raised prices to keep them out of the hands of the plebeians. In the West, however, outside certain circles these brands don't carry a whole lot of prevalence. I can't imagine the YSL connection being of particular significance for most Apple devotees.

    The whole thing is a bit odd given that YSL's foundation is in attire, not product design. They certainly have no experience in anything even remotely practical. If the goal here were some apparel based implementation of Apple's technology there are dozens of other companies better suited to the task. Additionally, those companies would have much more experience in cost-effective sourcing of materials and efficient manufacturing. Not like these luxury brands who burn last year's unsold product so that they can maintain exclusivity.

    The practice of hiring renown designers is not unheard of, but companies tend to hire expertise that makes sense for the context. This almost always means that they hire product designers. Several years back, for example, Microsoft was working with Philippe Starck on peripherals. Even in that environment, however, it's often a miss because these designers know far more about aesthetics than about reliability and practicality. They're used to making products that sit untouched and are ogled from afar. Whatever issues arise are usually handled directly by the company and with the level of care you'd expect from a high-priced product. It's a totally different environment than consumer electronics. The optical mouse created under the Microsoft/Starck union looks cool, but was generally considered to be crap.

    That said, Apple doesn't really need outside help to value form over function. Remember the puck mouse? How about the current piece of shit Magic Mouse? We've also all seen the new Mac Pro. What's concerning is the picture this paints for the company. It's not a big deal in the scheme of things if this is really just for a special edition product. However, if this is where they're looking to define future trends for the company I think we're seeing the beginning of the end. That's the sort of crap OEMs engage in when they're tring to build a reputation for themselves by coming up with goofy co-branded products.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    A lot of Apple products are basically luxuries, and without directly admitting it, most of their marketing strategies have been similar to those for luxury products, so this sounds like a perfect match.

    Also, of course Apple is experiementing with wearable computing, they probably have been experimenting with it for a decade or two. Apple doesn't bring products to market until they are ready. The problem with wearable computing is that the interface and display tends to be minute, and glasses can only fix

  • What is surprising here? They are both brands that rely on fashion over substance.

  • Now Apple will make fashion - just like when YSL hired a former Apple manager as CEO, they started making computers.

A list is only as strong as its weakest link. -- Don Knuth