By Michael Steeber

Spotlight: Black Unity



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Michael Steeber
Michael Steeber
Apple Stores across the world are celebrating racial equity and justice with the Apple Watch Black Unity Braided Solo Loop and matching Unity Lights watch face. Let’s take a look at some of the Afrofuturism-inspired merchandising highlighting the collection.
Apple Bayshore
Apple Bayshore
Apple Watch display tables have been transformed with dimensional lettering set atop a table-length black backdrop dotted by flecks of color from the Pan‑African flag. Eight watches are paired with the Black Unity Braided Solo Loop.
App Clip Codes under the glass lead visitors to the Unity Lights watch face, and iPads offer more information on Apple’s Racial Equity and Justice Initiative. You can find this display at your local Apple Store today.
Unique Avenue Bays
Special 15-foot Apple Watch band bays at Apple The Grove, Apple Fifth Avenue, and Apple Marina Bay Sands feature dynamic backlit displays dedicated to Black Unity:
Apple Fifth Avenue
Apple Fifth Avenue
Apple Park Visitor Center features a one-of-a-kind 5-foot bay. This is the second year the Visitor Center has highlighted the Black Unity collection but the first that most visitors will get to see the display. Last year, the store was operating as an Express Storefront.
Apple Park Visitor Center
Apple Park Visitor Center
Each special bay uses programmed backlighting inspired by the 2D ray tracing technology in the Unity Lights watch face. Light and shadow draw across the display before gently fading.
In addition to an App Clip Code, visitors can touch and hold the watch display with an iPhone to find the Unity Lights watch face.
Apple Yas Mall
Abu Dhabi’s Apple Yas Mall moved to a larger space on February 3 and became the first new store opening of 2022. The previous location was one of the last classic design stores to open and one of the newest to be replaced. Check out this great clip from the closing clapout on February 1.
Visually, the new store maintains an aesthetic connection to the old while occupying a panoramic corner space. Thanks to an abundance of glass and two skylights over the Forum, the interior is much brighter than before.
In what is perhaps a nod to its original work at Yas Mall, Apple called attention to the store’s special Bianco Cristal flooring. The original Apple Yas Mall featured a unique gray matrix terrazzo floor long before terrazzo was standard fare in retail projects.
The photos above from @shaheer._ offer a great look at the bright Forum and freestanding video wall, both firsts for Apple Yas Mall. One of the first Today at Apple sessions held in store will be Skills: Your Kids and Their Devices, a new session about Family Sharing, Screen Time, App Limits, and more. Sessions begin in many countries on February 7 and 8, but you’ll have to wait a bit longer for Today at Apple to resume in most US markets.
Tidbits: The Apple Watch display table at Yas Mall is placed to the far left of the entry nearest the Avenues (out of frame in the photo above.) Most stores anchor this table near the front center of the store. This is a curious and notable break from tradition.
At the back right of the store behind the Forum is an alcove strikingly similar in design to the Apple Pickup zone at Apple Valley Fair, though it isn’t labeled as such or called out in Apple’s press release. Apple Pickup is not an available service listed on the UAE Delivery site.
I think it’s safe to conclude that this space signals Apple will — or at least aspires to — launch Apple Pickup in the UAE relatively soon. In the meantime, it’ll function as a great window for express purchasing.
Featured image
Apple Tower Theatre commemorated Martin Luther King Jr. Day with a marquee quote.
Photo via @fly_grapher on Instagram.
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Michael Steeber
Michael Steeber @michaelsteeber

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