Apple continues to pluck talent from the ranks of fashion executives—the only Silicon Valley tech giant to do so. 9to5Mac reported that Apple has hired one Chester Chipperfield for its "Special Projects" group. Mr. Chipperfield was previously Vice President of Digital and Interactive Design for Burberry, the same high fashion company that supplied Angela Ahrendts, Apple's Senior Vice President of Retail and Online Stores.
Chester Chipperfield's LinkedIn Profile.
Mr. Chipperfield also offered his goodbyes to native London on Twitter, as noted by 9to5Mac:
Goodbye London. I have been lucky to call you home for 31 years, time to discover another city.. http://t.co/CRxTDxckQB— Chester Chipperfield (@chesterchip) December 28, 2014
Apple also raided Burberry for Musa Tariq, head of Burberry's social media team, but the Cupertino company has also looked to Levi Strauss, Nike, TAG Heuer, Yves St. Laurent (twice), and Louis Vitton for executive talent. That's just the folks we know about.
Mr. Chipperfield's new group at Apple is "Special Projects," the same group responsible for the Apple Watch. As such, reasonable speculation is that he will work on some aspect of selling the Apple Watch, probably online.
That said, prior to Burberry, Mr. Chipperfield was Lead Digital Strategist on HTC, Orange and Blackberry for UK retailer Fig Tree. Before that, he headed information architecture teams in enterprise, and developed digital teams at other retailers.
With experience outside of fashion, and Apple as little as 8-12 weeks away from launching Apple Watch, Mr. Chipperfield could just as easily be working on some other project at Apple. Still, the Apple Watch is a good bet, and his hiring is yet another indication of how far outside of the technology box Apple is willing to think when it comes to this new product category.