Home The Purple Scarf That Ate Tim Cook’s Apple Watch Launch

The Purple Scarf That Ate Tim Cook’s Apple Watch Launch

Silicon Valley Street Style is an occasional feature that looks at the intersection of fashion and technology culture.

If there was a uniform of choice at Apple’s product launch on Tuesday, rumpled, haphazardly tucked button-downs and dungarees fit for your mom was it. Maybe it was a conscious decision—who are we kidding? Everything about an Apple event is a conscious decision—to establish an unassuming backdrop against which to set off the overtly stylish Apple Watch. 

Alas, it failed.

Instead, the Silicon-Valley-millionaire-on-laundry-day look let all the attention fall on a long-haired fellow who accented the de rigueur iOxford with a supersized scarf.

Not since Steve Jobs’ iconic black turtleneck has Apple made such a powerful fashion statement.The iPhone 6 phablet of neckwear captivated the Internet. Enchanting BuzzFeed scholars and Twitter fashionistas alike, the clematis-colored mega-scarf set against unironed lavender beat out both sizes and all three styles of Apple’s long-awaited smartwatch. 


Silicon Valley is long overdue for a bold new statement to knock the wrinkles out of Apple’s stable of product launchers. Though “Keynote Scarf Guy”—Super Evil Megacorp’s co-founder and CTO Tommy Krul—appeared long before the Apple Watch finale, he modeled the most popular wearable of the day. In New York City, he is the toast of Fashion Week. (Or so we assume.)


Is this the statement storied designer Jony Ive conceived for Apple’s auspicious return to the Flint Center for the Performing Arts? Who knows. There certainly was, by choice or chance, a degree of color coordination in the mix. 

Apple CEO Not Steve Jobs, aka Tim Cook, continues to work the blue chambray button down—choosing to go untucked on Tuesday despite a lithe frame built for tucking. His busted iron-casual is an especially interesting choice given that the Apple Watch marks the first new product under his reign. (You’d think he’d bring his A game.)

The formidable Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide marketing, foreshadowed the iScarf in a orchid button down, worn—for better or worse—tucked. Eddie Cue, senior vice president of Internet Software and Services, talked NFC payments in a hot pink oxford, a color as bold as his choice to let his shirt tails fly.

Overall, the spectrum harkened back to the autumn 2007 fashion season, when the runways ran with purple for every complexion.


Chambry Cook aside, only one major presenter colored outside the purple spectrum lines. Stephan Sherman, CCO of gaming company Super Evil Megacorp, instead chose a bright seafoam blue oxford. An interesting decision, given that he shared the stage with Keynote Scarf Guy.

We’re excited to see whether scarfs become a permanent addition to Apple’s product events. Alas, with the Apple Watch not even hitting the shelves until 2015, we’re presumably got a long wait until iScarf 2.0.

Lead image by Shaun Pendergast

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