Apple, thanks to its IT products, has been one of the most valuable companies in the world for a long time now. Not many people know that decades ago, this technological giant didn’t only sell computers, but also its own lifestyle line of products, including clothes. At Apple, this strategy was backed by Steve Jobs’ “enemy” John Sculley, who was also behind the expulsion of Jobs from his own company.
The former Pepsi president, John Sculley, was originally brought to Pepsi by Steve Jobs himself. The original plan was for the new Apple CEO to run the company together with Jobs who was acting as chairman at the time. Jobs was supposed to be responsible for the software, while Sculley was intended to use his previous marketing experience from Pepsi to further the company’s growth. Sculley had already managed to make Pepsi a lifestyle brand through successful campaigns such as Pepsi Generation.
Apple was already attempting something similar a year before Sculley’s arrival so in 1982 the company launched the so-called “Apple Gift Catalog”, which offered various pieces of merchandise with the trademark bitten apple.
Tote bag from the first Apple Gift catalog, source: applegazette.com
The climax of this came in 1986, a year after Jobs’ firing, when Apple launched “The Apple Collection”. This collection contained almost everything possible – from clothes, to sunglasses in collaboration with Ray-Ban, a beer jug, chocolate, even a childrens’ line including toys. Several similar collections were created in the following years, but none of them were as successful.
Apple stopped doing these collections in the early 1990’s, and after several other bad decisions, Sculley resigned in 1993. With Jobs’ departure, and Sculley’s new strategy, Apple faced the problem of its original idea missing. As a result, Apple nearly went bankrupt before Jobs returned in 1997. The original catalog for the first Apple collection from 1986 can be found here.