Apple Watch: Get ready for Gucci, Prada, and other designer brands

The Apple Watch will fuel a luxury ecosystem with the gold version and the interchangeable wrist band that may make Apple a fashion giant.
Written by James Kendrick, Contributor

Apple intends to make a move into the luxury watch space with the gold version of the Apple Watch. The 18ct version of the watch will surely command a healthy price, and bridge the gap between the tech world and the luxury goods space. The interchangable wrist band will appeal to companies making luxury goods to tap into the Apple mystique.

Designer Apple Watch

Don’t be surprised to see top luxury brands, Prada, Hermes, and Louis Vuitton to name a few, to produce Apple Watch bands. These companies already produce personal accessories under their expensive brands, and the wrist band for the Apple Watch is a natural fit for this market.

Making accessories for Apple products is nothing new. Stroll through designer shops online and you'll find iPhone cases priced as you'd expect for luxury goods.

Sales reps in the designer outlets will be all over their iPhone toting customers to sell them a branded Apple Watch.

Offering Apple Watch bands will allow trendy shoppers to take the geeky smartwatch and make a fashion statement. Don't be surprised to see top branded bands that cost hundreds of dollars.

This market could be big and very profitable. Go into any of these luxury stores and look at the prices on branded accessories and you’ll understand. Customers are willing to pay big bucks for these brands, and they’ll do so for the Apple Watch.

This could turn into a big accessory ecosystem for Apple and the third-party companies. Those wanting to make a statement with these brands aren’t restricted to just one band, they can buy as many of them as they want and change them at will.

I fully expect this to happen, and for Apple to make deals with the top designer brands to sell them in Apple Stores. Don’t be surprised after the Apple Watch is available to go into your local Apple Store and see a full section of luxury bands. All of the top designer brands will be there, and the bands may cost more than the Apple Watch. In some cases much, much more.

Carry this further and Apple could make deals with the designer stores to sell the Apple Watch in their retail outlets. Imagine walking into a luxury store and seeing an Apple Watch section. Display units will be proudly showing off the line of designer edition phones.

Customers will happily buy a branded gold Apple Watch that comes with a designer band in the box. These versions will sell for thousands of dollars. Sales reps in the retail outlets will be all over their iPhone toting customers to sell them a branded Apple Watch.

This will be a new segment of the watch business. The Rolexes and other premium watch brands will not be affected, but these designer editions of the Apple Watch will be like nothing we've seen before. A Prada Apple Watch will be a new type of luxury watch for the discriminating customer.

Mark my words this will happen. Apple is a perfect fit with designer brands, and the customers who buy them will love to have the latest from Apple on their wrists.


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