Apple's Fashionable Move: Hiring Yves St Laurent's Paul Deneve

Apple has yet another new senior executive in its ranks: Paul Deneve from Yves St Laurent. With some time at Apple during the 1990s and his extensive retail background you'd think he'd be in charge of the company's retail stores. Guess what? He isn't.

Paul Deneve leaves Yves St Laurent for ApplePaul Deneve leaves Yves St Laurent for Apple

Apple's chief retail position has been open ever since John Browett was let go several months ago, but Mr. Deneve will be working on unspecified projects. In a statement to Bloomberg an Apple spokesperson said,

We're thrilled to welcome Paul Deneve to Apple. He'll be working on special projects as a vice president reporting directly to Tim Cook.

Since Mr. Deneve won't be taking over as the senior retail executive, and Apple is saying he will be assigned to special projects, we can only speculate as to what his role will be. Luckily, I have no problem speculating.

If we take into account the fact that he worked for Apple through most of the 1990s as the company's senior marketing and sales manager in Europe, it isn't much of a jump to assume he'll have a similar role now. If so, he may be tasked with finding ways to better market Apple's products to high-end shoppers.

His experience in the high end fashion market could come into play, too, if Apple really is looking into the wearable technology market. Mr. Deneve knows what sells, and he could offer some interesting insight into how to get fashion conscious consumers to break out their credit cards.

Apple has been rumored to be working on a smartwatch that links wirelessly to iPhones and displays information like incoming calls and messages, along with weather and traffic data. CEO Tim Cook also recently said that Apple is very interested in the wearable technology market. Assuming that's a path Apple is actively pursuing, Mr. Deneve is an interesting -- and probably smart -- addition to the wearable tech team.

That still leaves Apple's senior retail executive position open, and there isn't any indication that spot will be filled soon. Maybe Apple CEO Tim Cook thinks the retail division is doing fine without anyone in that slot and instead wants to focus on bringing experts on board to target specific markets.