Jony Ive offers advice to designers and executives

Apple’s former chief design officer Jony Ive sat down with Hermès Artistic Director Pierre-Alexis Dumas to offer advice to designers and executives in a kickoff to the French luxury house’s year of “Innovation in the Making.”

Lauren Sherman for Business of Fashion:

Large corporations often stage internal conferences for their employees, inviting bold-faced names to dispense business lessons and sometimes even life advice… But most of these conversations are held in private, sometimes with the stipulation that employees not record, film or photograph what they hear and see. On Thursday, French luxury firm Hermès cracked open the window just a bit, inviting about 180 people — mostly journalists, but also family members and “friends of the house” — from around the world to attend its own gathering, held at the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s Arts Center on Governors Island and hosted by Artistic Director (and family heir) Pierre-Alexis Dumas…

When it came in the headlining act, Dumas chose pure a crowd-pleaser: Former Apple Chief Design Officer Jony Ive, who collaborated with Hermès on its edition of the Apple Watch.

Ive left Apple at the end of 2019 to launch his design company, “LoveFrom,” in collaboration with the designer Marc Newson (who helped design the Apple Watch)… Ive also discussed the value of failure. “I am much more interested in trying stuff and failing than being right,” he said. “I really don’t care when it goes the wrong way. In fact, I find a perverse sort of delight in it.”

MacDailyNews Take: These two beauties were obviously sources of utter delight to Jony:

Jony Ive offers advice - pictured: Apple's "butterfly" keyboard
Apple’s “butterfly” keyboard
Original Apple TV Siri Remote
Apple TV Siri Remote


  1. Like so many politicians, retired athletes, and former Hollywood stars, Jony may not know when its best to be quiet and allow the world to remember him from his past glory. Maybe Jony should embody his own mantra, “Sometimes less is more.”

    1. For a supposedly top-flight designer at the world’s greatest computer company to fail at creating a functional keyboard, 140+ years after the things were invented, is a massively unacceptable blunder. Without Jobs to keep him in check it has been a steady downhill slide, thankfully he didn’t do more damage in the half decade that he overstayed his welcome.

  2. Yes, when Steve was there to collaborate with and lead him. As the helm, he went astray.

    Fare ye well, Mr. Ive…I don’t need your be skinny regimen and for the pedestal only paradigm.
    (Ports aren’t evil, nor are buttons in the ergo-right place)

  3. The take away now is “Thin isn’t always “in” or best.” Not at the expense of other things more important (battery life seems to come up most). Just because you can doesn’t mean you should.

    Best of luck to Ives in his future endeavors and thanks to him for his more successful designs and glories of the past.

  4. So in short, Jony thinks this is a great leap forward, and he can’t explain it:


    A few observations:

    1) For a guy who supposedly loves minimalism, a double wrap strap is neither an improvement of function nor comfort, and it’s a waste of materials.

    2) If the engineers that Ive consulted with this design couldn’t understand it, then he should have hired real engineers.

    3) To a significant extent, fashion is the unfortunate short-term triumph of marketing over logic in order to get people to spend top dollar on stuff that isn’t actually any better than simple reliable properly designed stuff. I would hope that Apple users realize that Apple’s watch bands are overpriced and actually not that well designed. Apple keeps trying to find ways to push up purchase price, but real world durability is actually not a current Apple strong point. Whereas a Rolex is a lifetime investment and built accordingly, Apple now prefers you to repurchase disposable/unrepariable items every 2-3 years. It’s sad to see Apple greenwash all the overpriced disposable planned-obsolete products they offer now. For the prices Apple charges, stuff should last longer and, for example, have batteries designed for easy replacement.

    4) Apple’s design choices with Ive and post-Ive are very frequently not in keeping with the sustainability platitudes that Cook trots out on his SJW globetrotting, and the personal behaviour of the rock star executives is almost as bad as any other fat cat from any other large company.

    5) The amount of time and effort Ive spent/wasted on extracurrucular activities and crap like watchbands and display tables would have gotten any mortal designer fired. If he was the genius Apple fans claim he is, he would have a much better grasp of “intangible” needs of real-world Apple customers. Stuff like reliable debris-tolerant keyboards. That kind of stuff is elementary, and not only did he blow it, Apple spent years on half-assed fixes, proving they didn’t have anyone willing to fix the fundamental design flaws. It might help if Apple users descended from their ivory towers to join the rest of us in the messy real world once in a while.

    Bottom line: Jony is detached from the real world, and should have been replaced long ago. As should Cue, Schiller, Cook, and several others. Their contributions were appreciated, now it’s time to bring in new blood with much better focus on the customer.

    1. Alert! Do not buy that fussy watchband; Wrap some carpenter’s plumb bob string around your wrist. It comes in Blazing Orange, Sky Blue, Pine Yellow, and Snow White colors to march the watch.

  5. Though I would never purchase, it is a design where the function doesn’t necessarily handicap the function. It may take another wrap to secure the watch, but once in place, its function is pretty pure to intent…per my take.

    The fashion element is another story and completely a matter of taste. It’s apparently something neither of us would like, but I can fully appreciate those who might. I can acknowledge “another wrap” to secure, for fashion’s sake. It’s hardly at an absurd level.

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