Last Thursday I was making my leisurely way down Regent Street to the National Portrait Gallery and I walked past the new Apple shop, unwrapped from its scaffolding and hoardings only that week. Despite the fantastically bright red and blue Christmas lights spanning Regent Street, it was the light (the light …), the clean, white light that attracted me. As I flattened my body against the window in curiosity, I had to admit that Apple had spent their money well. Calculating the price the company paid for a two storey shop front, three times the width of most of the other shops makes my head hurt.
But it is what they have done with that decadent amount of space that really makes the shop extraordinary. There are a few vast, clean blonde wood tables nearly lost in the gleaming whiteness and the sexy machines sit in splendid isolation so you can caress them and still have more than enough room to bring your other hand up to wipe the drool away in comfort and without disturbing your neighbour’s concentration.
The shop was packed when I finally entered tonight, yet within three steps a geek with a lust factor of about 19 asked me if I was ok. His name tag was a cute little iPod around his neck and he was in a smart black t-shirt and tailored pants ensemble finished off with an iPod headphone slung around his neck. I have never considered myself a Apple groupie but even this sterling example of hunky geekdom could not interrupt my reverential advance on the iPod table.
Gliding with my best imitation of a be-furred and bejewelled (all vintage and fake mind, I am not be-fortuned) lady of style through the crowd, I felt like I was at a frat party for computer geeks hosted in someone’s minimalist bachelor pad. The faithful were present and you could tell them by the iPod headphones peeking from their crisp designer t-shirts (not ALL were in ears) and the look of unadulterated lust in their eyes as they surveyed more technology than a human could possibly consume visually.
Up on the mezzanine floor I sat in the very comfortable theatre seating to watch the Apple commercials starring U2 (I think I would sell my soul for the black, red and silver U2 iPod), Elijah Wood, Tony Hawke and Sheryl Crowe and all the beautiful new features of the iWorld. Caressing plastic curves I got smiles from men with glazed eyes and I had to give it to Apple – they sold the lifestyle, the ethos and the soul of their products almost too well for an impressionable girl. Do you think that gleaming black plastic goes with furs and pearls?