Legendary iPhone designer Jony Ive has been hanging out with celebs, models, and designers since announcing his departure from Apple

Designer Nicholas Kirkwood, model Richard Biedul and Ive attending the Goodwood Festival of Speed in Chichester, England in July.

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Designer Nicholas Kirkwood, model Richard Biedul and Ive attending the Goodwood Festival of Speed in Chichester, England in July.
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David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images
  • Apple’s legendary former chief design officer Jony Ive appears to have formally left Apple after his profile disappeared from Apple’s leadership page this week.
  • The departure of Ive was first announced by Apple back in June, with the company’s press release saying Ive would leave “later this year.”
  • Ive said he would set up his own design shop, but since the announcement has been spotting enjoying himself with celebrities, models, and fashion designers at glamorous events in his native UK.
  • Ive played a pivotal role in designing Apple devices like the iPhone, iPod and iPad.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Even business icons need a break.

Apple’s legendary former chief design officer Jony Ive looks to have left Apple for good after his profile disappeared from Apple’s leadership page this week.

Since his departure was first announced, it looks like he’s been having fun.

Ive formed one of the most fruitful business and tech partnerships ever seen with the late Steve Jobs, playing an instrumental role in the design of the iPhone, iPod and iPad. His relentless productivity continued well into the Tim Cook era, and he was key to the development of the Apple Watch.

But his departure from Apple was announced in June and was slated to take place “later this year.” Ive said he planned to start his own design firm, LoveFrom, with Apple as one of its clients.

In the months since, Ive has been spotted mingling with numerous creatives and celebrities around his home country of England. Here, Business Insider takes a glance at what he’s been up to.


Jony Ive is the designer behind Apple’s most iconic products of recent times

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The late Steve Jobs holds up the original iPhone, which Ive was instrumental in designing.
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Getty Images/Michael Kovac

Ive, just as much as late Apple cofounder Steve Jobs, was the driving force behind products such iPhone, iPod and iPad

While studying design at Newcastle Polytechnic in the northeast of England, he had an epiphany while designing on an Apple Mac.

“I discovered the Mac and felt I had a connection with the people who were making this product. I suddenly understood what a company was, or was supposed to be.”


And he continued to exert influence after Tim Cook took over the top job, although he reportedly became disaffected with Apple’s direction under Cook

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Ive with current Apple CEO Tim Cook.
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Stephen Lam/Reuters

Though Ive’s day-to-day involvement with Apple reportedly lessened after the Apple Watch launched, Ive still helped shape Apple’s product design well into the post-Steve Jobs era. He was a key figure behind the Watch’s design, but reportedly felt that Tim Cook wasn’t as interested in design as Jobs (a report Cook called “absurd“).


In June, Ive dropped the bombshell that he was leaving Apple

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Getty Images/Michael Kovac

Apple first announced Ive’s departure in June, saying he wanted to form an independent design company with Apple among its primary clients.” Though few specifics are known about the company as yet, it is set will be called LoveFrom, and launch in 2020, according to a June interview Ive gave to the Financial Times.


The announcement led to Apple restructuring its design team, and talk of ‘the end of an era’ at Apple

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Apple COO Jeff Williams.
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Kif Leswing

Ive’s departure left a gaping hole in Apple’s C-suite, not to mention massive shoes to fill. Jeff Williams was chosen as Jony Ive’s successor at Apple, and led the development of the Apple Watch. The multitalented engineer is also leading many of Apple’s healthcare initiatives, and currently serves as the tech giant’s chief operating officer.


Soon after his departure announcement, Ive said he wanted to start his own design firm – the name of which was inspired by Jobs

Ive and Steve Jobs were known to be friends as well as collaborators.

Ive has said the name of his new firm, LoveFrom, was inspired by a conversation he had with Jobs.

According to Ive, Jobs [said] that one of the fundamental motivations was that when you make something with love and with care, even though you probably will never meet . . . the people that you’re making it for, and you’ll never shake their hand, by making something with care, you are expressing your gratitude to humanity, to the species.”


Since announcing his departure, it looks like Ive has been hobnobbing at cool creative events in the UK

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Darren Gerrish/WireImage for National Portrait Gallery

Here he is with fashion designer Paul Smith at the National Portrait Gallery in London.


Here he is in October 2019 at the unveiling of his own portrait at London’s National Portrait Gallery

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Andreas Gursky (L) with Ive.
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Getty/Darren Gerrish/WireImage for National Portrait Gallery

The shot was taken by renowned German photographer Andreas Gursky.

Ive is that rare breed of creative so successful that other creatives make him the focus of their work. In this case, Ive was the subject of a sleek portrait photo by Gurksy, who snapped Ive at Apple’s Cupertino headquarters.

Ive is pictured alongside Gursky at the portrait’s launch in October at the National Portrait Gallery.


Here’s a closer look at the portrait, which shows Ive at Apple Park, the firm’s new Cupertino headquarters

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Darren Gerrish/WireImage for National Portrait Gallery

The campus, also nicknamed “the spaceship”, was designed by Ive in collaboration with the architect Norman Foster.


Celebs and creatives attended to hang out with Ive

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Ive with singer Lily Allen (L) and film director Richard Curtis.
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Getty/Darren Gerrish/WireImage for National Portrait Gallery

As did fellow European creative, Fabien Baron

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Getty/Darren Gerrish/WireImage for MATCHESFASHION

Arguably, Fabien Baron is to art direction what Ive is to hardware design. The Frenchman, – pictured alongside Ive at the MATCHESFASHION x Fabien Baron x Phaidon Book launch in October – has directed ads, created perfumes and even designed magazines. Calvin Klein, Giorgio Armani, Harper’s Bazaar and Italian Vogue are just a smattering of his sartorial clients.


Earlier in the summer, Ive attended the Goodwood Festival of Speed, a show for classic cars in Sussex, UK

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Ive with designer Nicholas Kirkwood (L) and model Richard Biedul at Goodwood.
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David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images

The motor racing festival was held at the iconic Goodwood estate in Chichester, England in July. The sprawling estate is located near the eponymous Goodwood Circuit, a historic British motor racing venue for both cars and motorbikes.

Ive is often known to attend the festival.


Ive was a judge at Goodwood 2019, for Cartier’s ‘Style et Luxe’ competition of rare vintage cars

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Ive with Pierre-Alexis Dumas (L), the creative director of Hermes, Dr. Paul Thompson of the Royal College of Art, and graduate designer Ruiqi Dai.
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Getty/Darren Gerrish/WireImage for The Royal College of Art

Though he once said he doesn’t see his work as art, Ive’s attendance at the Royal College of Art’s Chancellor’s Circle Dinner in London last July was hardly surprising for someone so aesthetics-oriented. According to the New Yorker, Steve Jobs’s widow Laurene Powell Jobs once called Ive “an artist with an artist’s temperament.


Here he is in complementary pastel colors alongside fellow designer Marc Newson

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David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images )

Ive continued the hob-nobbing into December

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Getty/Jeff Spicer/BFC

Ive attended the 2019 UK Fashion Awards in December. Here, he’s posing alongside British supermodel Naomi Campbell.


The creative director of Alexander McQueen, Sarah Burton, also met Ive at the fashion bash

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David M. Benett/Getty

A sartorialist Ive stands alongside Campbell and Sarah Burton (left), the creative director of legendary British fashion label Alexander McQueen.


Ive presented Naomi Campbell with the Fashion Icon award on the night

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Jeff Spicer/BFC

At the ceremony, Ive presented Campbell with the Fashion Icon award after her decades-long career at the apex of the UK modeling industry.


For all he’s sampled British high society the past few months, good old design work is still Ive’s priority

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Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

As well as setting up LoveFrom with Newson (above, left) Ive also told the FT back in June that he hoped to stay “very involved” in Apple’s product development for “many, many years to come.” Whatever Ive’s box of tricks contains next, it’ll surely have the hand of Apple written all over it.