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18-carat gold Apple Watch makes fashion statement on cover of Vogue China

An 18-carat gold edition of the yet-to-be released Apple Watch is set to appear on the cover of the next issue of Vogue China.

Worn by supermodel Liu Wen, the wearable device reflects Apple's position as a fashion brand as much as a technology one and highlights its attempts to better target the Chinese market.

Read more: Apple Watch and other wearables: Are they leaving women out in the cold?

The cover follows the company's collaboration with Colette during last month's Paris Fashion Week, where the Apple Watch again took centre stage. The Cupertino-based firm has also made several high-profile hires from the fashion industry including former Burberry CEO Angela Ahrendts and ex-Yves Saint Laurent president Paul Deneve.

Vogue China's editor-in-chief Angelica Cheung told Business of Fashion that the wearable technology concept has impressed her ever since talking to Apple CEO Tim Cook and design chief Jony Ive.

"I saw the watches and thought they looked rather good; some are sporty and others are very classic and elegant. At the same time, they all have so many functions that would be useful in our daily life," she said. "I just thought that they combined technology, style and functionality and were very modern and, therefore, perfect accessories for the modern-day woman which is what the Vogue China woman is about."

Apple has made a concerted effort to boost sales in China, where local businesses traditionally perform better than their western counterparts. Last year, the firm introduced a gold version of the iPhone 5S in what was largely seen as a direct appeal to the Chinese market.

Cheung believes that the Apple Watch will find a receptive audience amongst Chinese consumers, particularly the young.

"We love to embrace everything that is new, modern and positive," she said. "All these convince us that the intersection of fashion and technology is a natural progression, not something alien."

Read more: Gold iPad is imminent as Apple looks to inject life back into tablet sales

While the Apple Watch itself is not expected to be released until early next year, wearable tech fans can catch a glimpse of the device on the cover of Vogue China's November issue, out 13 October.