The Apple Watch and iPhone 6 event yesterday in Cupertino may have been Apple’s most fashion-forward event ever. In addition to the usual schlubby tech journalists, there was Vogue editrix Anna Wintour leading a pack of fashionable scribes into the squat Flint Center as if it were a runway show in Paris or Milan.
It was Tommy Krul, however, who stole the show. He took the stage during the glitchy keynote to demo his company’s latest game Vainglory. Standing off to one side of the stage, his role was just to play the game on an iPhone 6 while co-founder Stephan Sherman of Super Evil Megacorp talked it up behind a huge video screen showing the action.
But Krul, the company’s CTO — sporting a chunky purple infinity scarf that brushed against a collar-length pageboy haircut — quickly became all anyone talked about.
The glam gamer became an instant sensation on Twitter, with tons of pithy remarks and fake accounts like @purpleScarfGuy and @KeynoteScarf popping up to poke good-natured fun at a fashion choice that went beyond the snooze-inducing jeans-and-dress shirts all the other presenters sported.
Here’s the skinny on Scarf Guy.
Born in The Hague, Krul comes to indie studio Super Evil Megacorp by way of incredibly successful Riot Games, makers of one of the two go-to multiplayer online battle arena MOBA games on computers, League Of Legends. As the company’s co-founder and chief technical officer, Krul was an obvious choice to help demo its new MOBA game to show off the technical prowess of the iPhone 6 at the Apple event.
“Tommy is a very, very unique guy. Normally you’d associate these guys with a nerdy look. But Tommy is different,” colleague Kristian Segerstrale tells the Telegraph. “His approach to everything technical is to think about how you make something as beautiful and interesting and distinct as possible. We think that his scarf was a very outward expression of that mindset.”
You can see how Krul would be at home on the stage in Cupertino. Krul currently lives and works in San Francisco, though he lived in the Netherlands until graduating cum laude from the University of Amsterdam.
Krul and his scarf came right around the time the video feed started coming back online, making Krul the first thing many news-hungry viewers saw. In contrast to the untucked-shirt look most Apple execs seem to be rocking (besides Phil Schiller, bless him), Krul appeared with his fashion statement fully formed.
While many mock the infinity scarf, we say good on Krul for stepping onstage with his own style and look. It denotes another kind of thinking different that we heartily approve.