Technology

Marc Newson hired by Apple before rumoured 'iWatch' event

Marc Newson design Image copyright Frederik Lieberath
Image caption Marc Newson has experience of designing watches, which Apple is rumoured to be preparing to launch

Marc Newson has become the latest world-renowned designer to join Apple, it has been announced.

Mr Newson, who has designed watches in the past, has worked on designs with Apple recently, prompting further speculation the company is planning to move into new product areas.

He is close friends with Apple's chief designer, Jonathan Ive, who called him "extraordinarily talented".

Mr Newson said he was "enormously proud" to be joining Apple.

Image copyright Marc Newson
Image caption Designed by Marc Newson for Pod in 1986

He is known for designing a wide range of products, including furniture, clothing and wristwatches. And a source suggested that there would be more to say following Apple's product launch event on Tuesday.

Image copyright Olivier Pasqual
Image caption Marc Newson came up with this watch design in 2008

Mr Newson and Apple's senior vice-president of design, Mr Ive, have been working together over the past year. The news was originally reported by Vanity Fair on Friday.

Image copyright Frederik Lieberath
Image caption Marc Newson designed this timepiece in 2006

"[Newson's] most relevant product would be the watches. That was before Ive was doing iPhones that made smartphones into jewellery," said Deyan Sudjic, director of the Design Museum.

He said: "The thing about Marc Newson's work is that he has a slightly more hedonistic strand, it is more playful. Where Jonathan Ive is the roundhead, Marc Newson is the cavalier.

"Marc Newson got on to the map when he did a series of furniture pieces called the Lockheed Lounge. He took design to a different area. It was more high profile and sculptural."

Image copyright Marc Newson
Image caption Marc Newson made his name with the Lockheed Lounge in 1986

Mr Ive said: "Marc is without question one of the most influential designers of this generation. He is extraordinarily talented. We are particularly excited to formalise our collaboration as we enjoy working together so much and have found our partnership so effective."

Mr Newson would be employed by Apple to work on special projects but would continue to undertake a number of independent projects outside of Apple through his design studio in the UK, his office said.

Mr Sudjic said the level of freedom he had been afforded represented a departure from Apple's standard procedure.

Image copyright Marc Newson
Image caption Marc Newson's 2014 design for Freestream Aircraft Limited

Mr Newson said: "I'm full of admiration and respect for the extraordinary design work that has been produced by Jonny and the team at Apple.

"My close friendship with Jonny has not only given me a unique insight into that process, but the opportunity to work together with him and the people that have been responsible. I am enormously proud to join them."

Mr Newson is the latest big name in the design world to join Apple. He follows:

  • Burberry chief executive Angela Ahrendts
  • Yves Saint Laurent's Paul Deneve
  • Nike's Ben Shaffer
Image copyright Philippe Joner
Image caption Designed by Marc Newson for Jaeger Le-Coultre in 2010

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