French Designer’s ‘Revolutionary’ Project With Apple Is Probably Just An Apple Store [Updated]

French Designer’s ‘Revolutionary’ Project With Apple Is Probably Just An Apple Store [Updated]

Carrousel De Louvre Apple Store in Paris, France (image credit: http://bit.ly/HDJx9r)

The Apple rumor mill got thrown into a tizzy this morning when an obscure interview with renowned French designer Philippe Starck surfaced. According to translations of a radio interview with France Info, Starck said he was working on a “revolutionary” new project with Apple to be unveiled in the next 8 months.

iTV? New iPhone? A yacht for the late Steve Jobs? A new Iron Man suit? Everyone immediately started speculating about what the mythical project could be. As it turns out, Starck was probably just referring to his design work for a new Apple Store.

Frenchman Sebastien Page of iDownloadBlog:

According to a trustworthy source in France, Philippe Starck is actually working on a design for a future Apple Store. I wasn’t able to get more details out of my contact, but I do trust her. And from what I hear, this is hardly a secret in the small French world of design and architecture.

A rough translation of Starck’s interview reveals that, “For seven years I came to see him [Steve Jobs] once a month in Palo Alto.” Apparently the two men were friends. Now that Jobs has passed, Starck admits that he’s stayed in contact with Jobs’s wife, Laurene Powell. Starck declined to give any details, citing Apple’s “religious cult of secrecy.”

Starck has designed nearly every type of product under the sun, including LaCie hardrives, windmills, toothbrushes, cutlery and motorcycles. The closest he’s ever come to Apple is when he designed some iPhone speakers for Parrot in 2008. He’s also into architecture, and is said to be working on a luxurious restaurant in Paris’s Saint Ouen flea market area.

There are currently 10 Apple Stores in France, and more stores are rumored to be in the works. Since Starck actually said he was working on a “project” not a “product,” it makes more sense for him to be spearheading an architectural feat for a future retail store. Apple is rumored to be working on a new mega store in the Champs-Élysées shopping district of Paris, and Tim Cook was recently spotted there for unknown reasons.

Update: Apple has responded to the rumor, and it looks like Starck was actually helping the late Steve Jobs design a yacht.

  • Daniel Hertlein

    I agree that the “collaboration”, if there is one, is the Apple Store, but I don’t see how that can be the “revolutionary” product he’s talking about. Is it possible that there are two products he’s talking about and the translation just got twisted?

  • aardman

    Starck has pulled off the rare accomplishment of taking the themes of minimalist design and using them to make things that are vulgar and garish. As a fan of minimalism and form-follows-function, I never thought such a thing could be done until he came along.

    Thank god his work with Apple, if there really is such a collaboration, is limited to a store and does not involve Apple’s devices.

    Personally, I suspect Starck’s work makes Jony Ive puke.

About the author

Alex HeathAlex Heath is a staff writer at Cult of Mac and co-host of the CultCast. He has been quoted by the likes of the BBC, KRON 4 News, and books like "ICONIC: A Photographic Tribute to Apple Innovation." If you want to pitch a story, share a tip, or just get in touch, additional contact information is available on his personal site. Twitter always works too.

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