Apple hires Paul Deneve of French fashion house YSL [u]

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
French luxury label Saint Laurent has named a new chief executive to replace Paul Deneve, who is leaving for a new career at Apple, where he will be involved in an unknown role.

Update: This report was originally published as a rumor based on a tip provided to AppleInsider, but the hiring of Deneve has since been confirmed. According to Adam Satariano of Bloomberg, Deneve will work on "special projects" and report directly to Apple CEO Tim Cook.

Paul Deneve
Source: Wikipedia


Saint Laurent, previously known as YSL, just announced today that Deneve would be replaced at the beginning of September by Francesca Bellettini of Bottega Veneta, and that its creative director Hedi Slimane would take on new responsibility concerning "all strategic projects for the brand."

Deneve was only said to be "leaving to pursue a career in the technology industry," a curious shift for the business leader. Since 1997 Deneve has managed a series of companies in the luxury fashion industry, including Courreges, Nina Ricci, Lanvin and finally YSL, where he was named president and CEO in April 2011.

However, prior to that Deneve worked for Apple for seven years beginning in 1990, holding a series of sales and marketing positions. Deneve has also more recently acted as an advisor to Silicon Valley startups.

New Apple Retail head?

An anonymous tipster has indicated to AppleInsider that Apple has plans to hire Deneve, without specifying his intended role. Neither Apple nor YSL offered to comment on the matter.

Apple may want to draw upon Deneve's expertise in the luxury goods sector to help launch new products, including the rumored iWatch. The mere mention of Apple trademarking "iWatch" has driven up the company's stock by 6 percent across the last two days.

Apple is known to be searching globally for a retail head to replace John Browett, who was dismissed last October. Retail operations have since been directly managed by Apple's chief executive Tim Cook.

Cook appointed vice president of finance Jim Bean to help support the company's retail operations, but it appears Apple has continued its search for a retail head outside the company.

Recruiting an established member of the fashion and luxury goods sector could be a move to propel Apple's brand internationally, building upon the success and cachet of the iPhone, which dramatically opened up new demand for the company's products outside the United States.

Increasingly, Apple has also presented its new Macs as high end, luxurious devices that can sell in volume at premium price points other PC makers have not been able to replicate.

Memory


In 2012, Apple released the MacBook Pro with Retina Display as "the finest computer it had ever made," and this year the company dramatically unveiled its new Mac Pro with the thundering splash of a virtual catwalk at its Worldwide Developer Conference.
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Comments

  • Reply 2 of 70
    jonoromjonorom Posts: 293member
    An even more interesting speculation is that he is going to head up a "wearable computing" effort that would extend well beyond watches into clothing.
  • Reply 3 of 70
    notscottnotscott Posts: 247member
    The thundering whah? of a virtual huh?
  • Reply 4 of 70
    Dan_DilgerDan_Dilger Posts: 1,583member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by NotScott View Post



    The thundering whah? of a virtual huh?


     


    I guess you had to be there

  • Reply 5 of 70
    irelandireland Posts: 17,780member
    Don't know him, don't know he's job title at Apple. ’Cup of tea' time.
  • Reply 6 of 70
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    jonorom wrote: »
    An even more interesting speculation is that he is going to head up a "wearable computing" effort that would extend well beyond watches into clothing.
    At Apple? Who would he report to?
  • Reply 7 of 70
    philboogiephilboogie Posts: 7,671member
    That's fantastic news, if true. Apple could use this Belgian guy, hopefully getting some French expertise to boot. Might tick off a harsh and radical person here, but he, it's a free country.
  • Reply 8 of 70
    malaxmalax Posts: 1,598member


    What's the "over-under" on how many days until the following story appears here: "YSL CEO not bound for Apple afterall."


     


    I can't see why a CEO would go work for Apple as head of retail or any other role.  Obviously anything is possible, but I'd bet money on this conjecture being wrong.

  • Reply 9 of 70
    flaneurflaneur Posts: 4,526member
    philboogie wrote: »
    That's fantastic news, if true. Apple could use this Belgian guy, hopefully getting some French expertise to boot. Might tick off a harsh and radical person here, but he, it's a free country.

    I hope it ticks him off to no end.

    This indeed would auger well for Apple, if true. "Designed in California" should be understood in a global context. Designers and engineers from around the world find the Bay Area and the Peninsula attractive enough to come to and preside over making the next revolution in technology. It wouldn't happen anywhere else in the U.S. Might not happen anywhere else in the world, for that matter, because of the unique mix of counterculture and technology. And climate and scenery.

    An accident of history and geography, nothing to do with pride or chauvinism. But it would be great to pull in some French and European sensibility.
  • Reply 10 of 70
    They should hire Karl Lagerfeld to do apple's next event...
  • Reply 11 of 70
    macbook promacbook pro Posts: 1,605member
    flaneur wrote: »
    I hope it ticks him off to no end.

    This indeed would auger well for Apple, if true. "Designed in California" should be understood in a global context. Designers and engineers from around the world find the Bay Area and the Peninsula attractive enough to come to and preside over making the next revolution in technology. It wouldn't happen anywhere else in the U.S. Might not happen anywhere else in the world, for that matter, because of the unique mix of counterculture and technology. And climate and scenery.

    An accident of history and geography, nothing to do with pride or chauvinism. But it would be great to pull in some French and European sensibility.

    That is an excellent point.

    I have lived all over the globe and can say with considerable experience that the San Francisco Bay Area is home to one of the most diverse populations of people from all over the globe.
  • Reply 12 of 70
    sockrolidsockrolid Posts: 2,789member


    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post



    Increasingly, Apple has also presented its new Macs as high end, luxurious devices that can sell in volume at premium price points other PC makers have not been able to replicate.


     


    Agree completely.  This is exactly what Apple had to do with the Mac Pro in order to increase its consumer appeal.  Market it as a high-end luxury item for affluent consumers.  From that perspective, of the high-end consumer looking to buy a high-end Mac, the old box-full-of-components Mac Pro had a luxury price but absolutely not a luxury image.


     


    Maybe Mr. Deneve can be to Apple's retail and marketing what Jony Ive is to Apple's hardware and software design.  Deneve could help evolve Apple's stores and ads beyond the familiar clean-and-simple.  After all, high-end brands like YSL appeal to their consumers' emotions.  Apple has designed their hardware and software to appeal to their consumers' emotions as well.  This is why pages and view bounce when they hit their limits, why all Apple products feel so great in the hand, why Siri has "personality," and why iOS 7 will have depth + translucency + lightness.  


     


    Who knows?  Maybe Deneve could add artistic flourishes to Apple stores and ads to bring them to the next level.  We're already seeing Apple ads with emotional appeal (the teary FaceTime ads, the "Designed in California" ads, but not the "blue Apple shirt guy on the plane" ad.)

  • Reply 13 of 70
    malaxmalax Posts: 1,598member


    Sock, you left off the /s, right?

  • Reply 14 of 70
    ingelaingela Posts: 217member
    There is only one place for Apple's iWatch to succeed, and that is as a luxury product. Watches are fashion. Period. No one needs one. People have to WANT one. Desire and LUST after one. If you do not have that kind of passion for such a thing, then there is always some cheap Chinese, no margin thing you can strap to your wrist to go with your knock-off Members Only jacket you still have.
  • Reply 15 of 70


    If this is true, I can't wait to see the difference between what Apple presents for wearable technology compared to what the iToo companies vomit up. 


     


    The Samsung shill that shows up at Apple stores during a new product release will have a dozen knockoffs sewn inside his trench coat so he can flash his whole half-priced over-sized selection at the Apple fans waiting in line.


     


    I can't wait to see Uncle Fester sweating over Microsoft's watch running real Windows 8 with live tiles in Fisher Price colors and including a virtual keyboard that you can project on your crouch area to play games with yourself anywhere.

  • Reply 16 of 70
    quadra 610quadra 610 Posts: 6,756member
    ingela wrote: »
    People have to WANT one. Desire and LUST after one.

    Sounds like the bulk of Apple's market.
  • Reply 17 of 70
    larryalarrya Posts: 586member
    It will be entertaining to see all those super thin models trying to carry super thin iMacs around a catwalk.
  • Reply 18 of 70
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,238member
    Deneve is an interesting guy, and he does have an understanding of the tech industry, and more importantly, Apple. I don't know if this is true, but if it is, he could be placed where his input would be useful. YSL has been pretty successful as a brand, and the other companies where he worked are also good experiences. He certainly would be better than Browett was. You don't hire a discounter to run a high end operation. There wouldn't be that problem with Deneve.
  • Reply 19 of 70
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 9,233member


    Contrary to what a few clueless posts here might be alluding to, I don't have any problems with Apple hiring this person, if he is indeed the right person for the job. I don't know if it is, never heard of him before, so time will tell.

  • Reply 20 of 70
    aaronjaaronj Posts: 1,595member


    This is a brilliant move.  Hiring someone with an absolute knowledge of design and aesthetics -- that's what Apple should be doing.


     


    And just think about how intersting his spot at Apple will be, for him to leave as CEO of YSL (yeah, yeah, I know about the renaming; but I'm old, and it will ALWAYS be YSL to me :) ).

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