Apple design chief Jony Ive shared a little about himself, his influences, and more in a newly published interview with activist, model, and actress Naomi Campbell.
Speaking to Campbell in the latest issue of Vogue, Ive discussed his childhood, where he quickly discovered a love of “drawing and making things.” He told Campbell that he “wasn’t very good at anything else” and decided to focus on his love of creating as a way forward in life. It also fit well, he said, with his natural shyness, which makes him feel most comfortable when he’s alone.
Moving to his career, Campbell asked Ive about late Apple cofounder Steve Jobs and what she described as an “ultimate creative partnership.” And as he has in the past, Ive gushed over Jobs and the influence his former boss had on his life.
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“As time goes on, I appreciate him more, and miss him more; how truly extraordinary he was becomes clearer,” he told Campbell. “Steve understood the creative process in a way that’s extremely rare, but he also understood how you make a company with lots of people.”
Ive went on to say that Jobs was “very supportive” of his work and “had an extraordinary optimism and enthusiasm.”
Of course, secrecy is a hallmark of Apple’s design process. But Ive told Campbell that he doesn’t believe Apple is “secretive,” per se, but perhaps less willing to share something that isn’t yet ready for primetime.
“Part of protecting the idea is to be careful about who you show it to; premature criticism can shut something down that perhaps deserves more of a chance,” he said.
At the end of the conversation, Campbell asked Ive what he looks for when hiring a new employee. He didn’t dig too deep into his requirements, but did say that how a person can “see the world” is what could make or break the job offer.