Apple is at Paris Fashion Week, hosting a special event for the Apple Watch at Collette, a high-end boutique shop in France. This is the first time Apple has revealed its device in person to the public, after a press preview held in September for the wearable. Apple still isn’t letting anyone get their hands on fully functional prototypes, but the display of the anticipated gadget is drawing lots of crowds nonetheless.
Apple CEO Tim Cook tweeted about the special event this morning, showing a picture taken from above of throngs of people around a glass-topped case containing the Apple Watch models within. Separate reports claim that all models of the Apple Watch are on display, including the Sport collection, the basic Watch collection, and the high-end Watch Edition collection, which features 18k gold cases.
Some fashion journalists also attended the event, and were reportedly able to try on the watch, though versions that were locked in demo mode just like the ones made available to reporters at the original even in September. Apple is still only saying early 2015 in terms of a launch window for the Apple Watch, though some reports say it had originally hoped to launch the device ahead of the end of 2014.
Apple is making no secret about its attempts to position the Apple Watch as a fashion accessory – holding an event like this at a fashion-focused venue, with special guest invitees including Anna Wintour means it’s going direct to the influencers it wants on board when this thing launches next year.
Making wearables into fashion accessories has been a strategy of device makers trying to grow the category for a while now, but none of those companies had the operating budget, Hollywood influence or Marc Newson that Apple has in its corner. Getting the fashion vote would mean providing another reason for consumer to plunk down cash for an Apple Watch, even if they aren’t used to wearing a regular watch and haven’t really been that intrigued by smartwatch offerings thus far.