The Apple Collection humanizes a corporate giant
Because power and genius make us feel inadequate, it helps to find instances when our greats were less than bright, where they faltered like the rest of us.
We find these mistakes so we can humanize people or companies with talents or mental capacities or money we could never comprehend. LeBron James is one of the greatest physical specimens and basketball players the world will ever see, but he has no rings, so he’s mortal, he can fail. The really pretty girl in sixth grade, the one who wouldn’t talk to you, the one who was born to be captain of a cheerleading squad (the same one who we would later learn peaked at seventeen), couldn’t add, and that made us feel better. We bring companies down when they are on top, too. So when pictures of Apple’s clothing line appeared online we had a humanizing moment for a company that has been impressive of late.
The Apple Collection is versatile. Sweat suits. Polos with upright collars. Sunglasses. T-shirts (Most with a fun design seemingly stolen from a South of the Border souvenir shelf—the over-grown rest stop’s festive clothing tends to lean on confetti as a design pillar. Everything they sell makes a rattle or zip noise. That kind of stuff.) Hats. And woven belts. (Ahh, the woven belt. Akin to the Native American-patterned, too-long belt you were wearing when the hot girl at the front of the class was stuttering through pre-algebra.) Finding the Apple Collection online is a reminder that even a company like Apple trips.
(Note: The author knows it was not always smooth sailing for Apple and that Jobs was not at the helm in 1986. The author has Wikipedia. But during the author’s adult life, Apple has made other computers look like heavy Etch-a-Sketches, especially when used in the advertising/design business. Apple has revolutionized computing, music and cellular phones so they are a giant and past hiccups are forgotten. Remember when Jordan would never get past the Pistons? Like that.)
The Apple Collection provides a few lasting lessons. Successful companies stick to what they are good at. They find a niche and dominate and ignore flashy distractions. The Apple Collection also teaches us that as a society, we have taken a few giant leaps in our collective style. (The author is currently investigating whether The Apple Collection was purchased and later, after a large American-colored emblem was ironed on each piece, sold as TOMMY GEAR in the early- to mid-nineties.) The Apple collection teaches us that, while we are miles away stylistically from decades ago, we all still make similar mistakes—like wearing visors. The Apple Collection is a wonderful find, a humanizing find. It shows us that the giants of our corporate world once stood at a crossroads, a fork if you will, and were forced to decide if they should take the road toward culture-defining technology or teal sweat suits, and maybe it was the road less traveled, but it appears they took the correct path. Had Apple gone the other direction, we would all be anticipating a promised page refresh on a very large gray box while searching through tracks on our CD players and trying to keep our collars up in the position Apple intended. Also, and even more frightening, countless men would no longer be able to sit in the quiet comfort of a bathroom and watch LeBron James try not to fail on their phone.