Apple Special Collections
Apple Special Collections
Apple has released a number of special collections through which they support certain organisations that advocate for the community and fight the disease HIV/Aids in third world countries. They started with the Pride Collection and the (PRODUCT) RED collection, then followed by the International collection and Black Unity collection. Below is a further explanation of each collection.
Black Unity Collectie
Apple has been celebrating Black History Month for years with special Today at Apple sessions, fitness+ workouts and by highlighting black artists, musicians, developers and authors. Apple has expanded this since 2021 by releasing "Black-Unity" straps, which Apple says are "designed by black creatives and allies of Apple to celebrate and recognise black history and culture".
In 2021, Apple released its first "Black-Unity" strap, which was inspired by the colours of the Pan-African flag. To show support for organisations like the Tides Foundation, European Network Against Racism, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, and more. The design that came out then was a tricoloured sports strap made of fluoroelastomer. Written on the pin closure were three powerful words for the black community: "Truth. Power. Solidarity". For the Apple Watch, Apple also released special dials that fit well with the Black-Unity collection. The dial that accompanies the first Black-Unity strap is an ever-changing pattern, Apple describes it as, "a tribute to the craft of quilting, the Unity dial shows a pattern of irregular shapes that dynamically changes as the Apple Watch moves, creating a unique dial for everyone."
In 2022, Apple released another Black-Unity strap, the Black Braided Solo Loop. This design is dark grey with speckled colours of the Pan-African flag. With this, Apple also designed a new dial for it, a dynamic analogue clock with lights and shadows.
Since 2016, Apple has expanded its collection with the Pride Collection. Every year, Apple adds new designs to this. Each design was unique and very popular among the LGBTQ+ community. Apple wants to show its support for LGBTQ+ groups with these straps, but you can also show your support and love by wearing these straps. Apple uses revenue from the Pride Collection to support LGBTQ+ advocacy groups such as GLSEN, PFLAG, The Trevor Project, Gender Spectrum, The National Center for Transgender Equality and Encircle in the US. The biggest support goes to the US, but internationally there is also support for a broader initiative, namely ILGA.
Apple launched its first Apple Pride Collection in 2016. These straps are very rare and hard to find because they were only distributed to Apple employees. Apple did this to celebrate its 30-year partnership with Pride and for this, they issued a special Apple Watch strap in rainbow colours.
This year was the first year Apple made the Pride straps available to the public. They were made for both the large and small Apple Watch case. That year, thousands of Apple employees also walked in the Pride parade in San Francisco wearing that strap. This strap is very similar to the design released in 2016.
The second version of the Pride Apple Watch straps for the public, was announced in 2018. This was a white nylon strap with rainbow stripes and a matching dial. The colours on this strap were part of the summer colours of the 2018 collection. Apple has since discontinued this strap.
The 2019 collection was very popular. That year, the Sport Loop came out with rainbow colours. The Sport Loop is a very nice strap to wear as it is a very soft strap and is easily adjustable.
In 2020, Apple first released two versions of its Pride straps: a striped version of its fluoroelastomer sports strap and a Nike+ Pride strap. What was striking here was that Apple's sports strap was the first with multiple colours to be released; only plain colours had been released before. The Sportstrap's stripes do not run completely smooth, this is due to the manual manufacturing process, according to Apple, which makes each strap unique.
The Nike+ sports strap was immediately very popular. This was an all-white design with coloured dots. For this, Apple also made matching watch faces.
With this year's designs, Apple not only wanted to wise up to the work ahead, but pay tribute to the many multiracial activists who have supported this community from day one. With these straps, Apple wanted to give their affirmation of a long-term financial support to organisations representing LGBTQ+ interests and working for positive change.
Tim Cook, Apple CEO: "Even before the events at the Stonewall Inn brought the LGBTQ+ movement back into the picture, black, brown and transgender activists were at the forefront of the fight for equality. The fight for equality is far from over and Apple is supporting it on many fronts. During Pride, we want to give everyone a chance to contribute and show their appreciation."
In 2021, Apple has released a very colourful collection. The Braided Solo strap incorporates the classic colours of the rainbow flag. The colours brown, black, pink, light blue and white have also been added to this to convey even more inclusivity and diversity.
This is Apple's description of this collection: "The Pride Edition Braided Solo Loop artfully interweaves the original rainbow colours with those of various Pride flags to reflect the breadth of diversity among LGBTQ+ experiences and the history of a movement that spans generations. Black and brown symbolise black and Latino communities, alongside those who have died of or are living with HIV/AIDS, while light blue, pink and white represent transgender and non-binary people."
A Nike Pride strap has also been released again this year. The Nike Sport Loop is coloured white with rainbow colours. While exercising, you can be well seen as the strap is reflective. Apple has also designed some matching watch faces for this strap.
In spring 2022, Apple expanded its Pride collection with a Nike Sport Loop in dark and light colours. Apple chose the woven sports strap because it is a comfortable, durable and easily adjustable design. This year's woven Pride Edition sports strap contains a colour range, and the word 'pride' is woven into the strap. Apple has done this by omitting some double-layer nylon loops so that the word 'Pride' is clearly visible. This design was inspired by the greeting 'Hello' from the first Apple Macintosh in 1984.
The colours used by Apple are based on the rainbow colours plus colours from various Pride flags, including light blue, pink and white, to represent transgender and non-binary people, and black and white for the black and Latin American community. Apple also indicates that the colours also represent those who suffer from or have died of HIV/Aids.
Apple supports the organisation RED, they are dedicated to the fight against AIDS. Founded in 2006, it works with big name such as Bono from U2 and companies, including, therefore, Apple. RED products are distinctive for their red colour and is available in the form of an Apple Watch Strap but also an iPhone or other Apple products. Part of the proceeds of this collection will go to the Global Fund. Apple is using World Aids Day as an opportunity to highlight RED products and raise awareness about the fight against AIDS. So you can support those groups hit hardest by making a purchase of one of these products!
In recent years, (RED) has also been working to fight Covid-19 in the areas affected by HIV. In spring 2021, Apple indicated that all donations of Apple's RED products and accessories would temporarily go not to HIV/AIDS, but to Covid-19 programmes. Previously, a small portion of revenue was dedicated to this. They did this to ensure that life-saving HIV/AIDS programmes in Africa can be resumed after this.
In 2016, Apple introduced the limited edition international collection for the Rio Olympics. These were woven Nylon Apple Watch straps featuring the flags/colours of the 14 countries that competed in the 2016 Olympics. At the time, these were only available during the Olympics, and at only one retail location.
For the Tokyo Olympics that took place in 2021, Apple released the new International Collection Apple Watch straps for the Netherlands and Belgium, among others. Apple has expanded its collection to include a total of 22 countries: Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Denmark, France, Germany, Britain, Greece, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Russia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden and the US. Each strap includes a matching Stripe Apple Watch face. These straps are specially made to show your love for the countries during sporting events, national holidays and more!