To the great sadness of a great many people, Apple co-founder Steve Jobs died at age 56 on Wednesday. Today, he’s being memorialized just as much for his signature style as he is for his contributions to music, media and technology. And we believe they all go hand in hand.
Jobs’ mock turtleneck and jeans weren’t just a way for him to stay comfortable, or to avoid the unpleasant vagaries of the ever-changing fashion world. Those oft-joked-about garments were a large part of what gave Jobs the consistency and focus he needed to build what Apple is today. We go to our closets every morning and agonize for what seems like an eternity trying to pick out which pair of dark-rinse jeans will look best with which knit cardigan. All Jobs had to do was make sure Sunday’s turtleneck wasn’t dirty.
His choice to wear a uniform nearly every day of his life made his wardrobe just as simple as the smooth product design he preferred — and it wouldn’t be a stretch to suggest that he wanted to imbue all of his creations with a bit of his own personal style. Apple’s clean-lined computers and other devices are the products of a design vision so clear and potent that it’s not just influencing what the company’s competitors’ products look like do; it’s dictating it.
And from the perspective of an industry where a designer can give you crazy candy stripes one spring and 1950s fuel exhaust the next, we’d say Jobs’ commitment to his own style — in his life and his work — is a breath of fresh air that will be greatly missed.
Take a look at Jobs’ lifelong style here.