Conde Nast is preparing to launch the first ever International Luxury Conference, set to take place in Florence this April, and Apple's Jony Ive and Marc Newson are billed as headline appearances at the event. The design duo will appear in conversation with Vogue's Suzy Menkes, who is curating the event. 

Menkes said in today's announcement of the event that she would like to ask Ive and Newson to tell her about the: "21st century definition of luxury and their collaborative work to date." She goes on to expand on why it was important to include Apple's leading designers in the conference and the role that the tech brand plays in the luxury sector: 

"Apple is now a powerful part of the luxury industry," Menkes said today. "The iPhone, iPad, and the forthcoming Apple Watch are in direct competition with handbags, timepieces and high-end accessories. I want Jony Ive to tell the conference delegates where 21st century luxury is headed."

Other delegates at the conference's luxury lineup include: Karl Lagerfeld, Beluti CEO Antoine Arnault, and Hermes CEO Axel Dumas.

This is a significant step for Apple, who are successfully aligning themselves with top luxury fashion retailers and names ahead of the highly anticipated Apple Watch release.