Tim Cook has been looking for someone unique who can boost the appeal and sales factor for both the online store and retail stores. Someone with a vision of innovation and customer satisfaction that would strive to increase output of devices and input of cash flow. Cook turned to the iconic Burberry fashion company and seized unto the magic behind the long-standing trend. Angela Ahrendts is a powerful and leading design talent behind the formerly plaid-heavy brand. She gave credence behind a brand that once turned people away due to their outdated and saturated trend. In a bold move of moving across industries, Cook shows his ability to think outside of the box. Ahrendts is named the new Senior Vice-President of Retail and Online Stores. Fashion brilliance meets technology as Ahrendts looks to step into the role and provide her expertise.
Who is Angela Ahrendts?
Born in New Palestine, Indiana, Ahrendts grew up in a large family with five other siblings. Born with a key ability for design, Ahrendts attended Indiana’s Ball State University. There she discovered another path of design passion; an untouched part of the business side of which encompassed marketing- leading her to acquire a degree in marketing and merchandising. Shortly after her graduation she moved to New York where she worked for Donna Karan, Henri Bendel and Liz Claiborne. It was Ahrendts who worked with executives and designers to place Liz Claiborne on a greater scale of recognition, especially developing the popular Juicy Couture brand.
Where fashion meets technology is symbolic of the path Ahrendts has paved- becoming SVP for a large firm like Apple is no surprise once her history surfaces. In 2005 Rose Marie Bravo (current vice chair of Burberry) called Ahrendts who continued to make waves in the industry with her innovative developments. Bravo was insistent as she implored Ahrendts to meet with Christopher Bailey, the creative mind behind Burberry. Ahrendts and Bailey both expressed their quick connection of business souls in many interviews.
The two hammered out ideas on their first luncheon and Burberry extended the CEO job to Ahrendts to conquer an industry of discovery and fashion. Ahrendts pulled no punches; upon her arrival to Burberry she quickly met with senior designers in Hong Kong. She was angered by their lack of passion and commitment and fired the whole team, she looked to merge and consolidate costs. Within her first year at the reigns, Ahrendts placed manufacturing in one location- Castleford, West Yorkshire.
Ahrendts and Bailey were looking to restart a brand that had fallen down a fashion hole of blah-inducing plaids. The first mission was taking back any licensure extended to third parties to develop Burberry’s signature items. Ahrendts had previously expressed her frustration at doing so but embarked on the unpleasant task to revive the brand. Soon, she and Bailey started impressing the industry by innovating bold new designs that lead the creative powerhouse to London Fashion Week.
Ahrendt placed Burberry on the digital map, by developing innovative methods of bringing fashion to mobile technology and live-streaming, with the lead assistance of Bailey. In 2010, Ahrendt sat down with the Wall Street Journal and expressed her drive for innovation and change that marked her the highest paid person in the British business industry. One company she named immediately for innovation and design?
If I look to any company as a model, it’s Apple. They’re a brilliant design company working to create a lifestyle, and that’s the way I see us.
Fashion Meets Technology
Ahrendts has proved her worth in an industry that once was populated by male executives. She shares the vision Cook so desires to have on the Apple team. It will be an interesting meeting of like-minded creators when it comes to heralding a change for Apple. Could Ahrendts be the missing link Apple has been looking for? Cook seems to think so. He expressed his excitement of Ahrendts sharing the values and focus of innovation to mark a brand.
With the smartphone field becoming saturated with products and future design, bringing Ahrendts into the mix could prove very fruitful to the large tech powerhouse. The SVP position is a new position created solely for Ahrendts. Here, it is expected she will shine and rise to the challenge of making a pivotal change for Apple. By enhancing her abilities for creation, innovation and breaking the mold, it is only expected when fashion meets technology, naming Ahrendts as SVP, will only boost the appeal and sales of Apple.