Mock Turtlenecks and Teamwork
On a trip to Japan in the early 1980s,
Jobs asked Sony's chairman, Akio Morita, why everyone in his company's factories wore uniforms.
"He looked very ashamed and told me that after the war, no one had any clothes,
and companies like Sony had to give their workers something to wear each day," Jobs recalled.
Over the years the uniforms developed their own signature style,
especially at companies such as Sony, and it became a way of bonding workers to the company.
"I decided that I wanted that type of bonding for Apple," Jobs recalled.
Sony, with its appreciation for style, had gotten the famous designer Issey Miyake to create one of its uniforms.
It was a jacket made of ripstop nylon with sleeves that could unzip to make it a vest.
"So I called Issey and asked him to design a vest for Apple," Jobs recalled.
"I came back with some samples and told everyone it would be great if we would all wear these vests.
Oh man, did I get booed off the stage. Everybody hated the idea."
In the process, however, he became friends with Miyake and would visit him regularly.
He also came to like the idea of having a uniform for himself,
because of both its daily convenience (the rationale he claimed) and its ability to convey a signature style.
"So I asked Issey to make me some of his black turtlenecks that I liked, and he made me like a hundred of them."
Jobs noticed my surprise when he told this story, so he gestured to them stacked up in the closet.
"That's what I wear," he said. "I have enough to last for the rest of my life."