The glamorous life of Jony Ive, the legendary Apple designer who's now leaving to strike out on his own

Jony Ive Met Gala 2016

  • Apple design chief Jony Ive is leaving the company, the iPhone maker announced Thursday.
  • Ive has worked at Apple for 27 years, and has had a lasting impression on the company’s trademark minimalist design ethos.
  • Here’s all you need to know about Jony Ive, from where he was born, to his massive car collection.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

After the late Steve Jobs, no one has had more influence on Apple than Jonathan Ive, the company’s longtime design chief.

That’s what made it all the more surprising when Apple announced Thursday that Ive was leaving the company. Ive will be launching his own independent design company, LoveFrom, and Apple will be one of its primary clients.

Ive has worked at Apple for 27 years. In that time, he received countless awards and accolades for his ingenuity and commitment to Apple’s minimalist design aesthetic.

He has also become quite famous. The knighted London native is frequently spotted at clubs and lives in San Francisco, not terribly far from Apple’s Cupertino headquarters. Ive’s success at Apple has made him a household name and catapulted him into conversations about pop culture.

Here’s what you need to know about Jony Ive, the famed Apple designer:

This is an update to a story by Sam Colt originally published in 2014. 

Jonathan Paul Ive was born on Feb. 27, 1967, in Chingford, England, a suburb of London. His father was a silversmith, and his mother was a psychotherapist.

Source: Cult of Mac

While attending secondary school, Ive was diagnosed with dyslexia.

Source: Business Insider

Ive studied industrial design at Newcastle Polytechnic, now called Northumbria University.

Source: Cult of Mac

Some of Ive’s collegiate drawings have been exhibited at the London Design Museum.

Source: The Design Museum

Here’s an early Ive sketch of an electronic pen that could write in different widths and patterns.

Soucre: Business Insider

His first design for Apple was the second-generation Newton MessagePad. Ive’s favorite part was the flip cover, which foreshadowed the popularity of flip cellphones.

Source: Business Insider

Here’s a shot of Ive when he was a little younger. He joined Apple in 1992 and became Senior VP of Design after Steve Jobs became CEO in 1997.

Source: Wired

Jobs’ first major assignment for Ive was the classic, candy-colored iMac, pictured below.

Source: 9To5Mac

Ive has led the design on Apple’s biggest products ever since, including the iPod, the iPhone, and the iPad.

To this day, Ive has creative oversight over the design of Apple’s products, and has worked with CEO Tim Cook to launch new products like the Apple Watch.

These days, Ive lives in San Francisco.

Source: Business Insider

In 2012 he bought this 4-bedroom house in Pacific Heights for $17 million. That part of the neighborhood is called “Billionaire’s Row,” and for good reason.

It was designed by Willis Polk, a renowned San Francisco architect who designed the city’s Palace of Fine Arts.

Source: Business Insider

Ive has a beach house on the island of Kauai in Hawaii, too.

Source: The New Yorker

Ive also has quite the car collection. He once helped his dad restore an Austin-Healey Sprite.

Source: Cult of Mac

Ive used to own an Aston Martin DB9, but he crashed it near San Bruno, California.

Source: Cult of Mac

Ive bought another DB9, but caught fire. So he complained to Aston Martin and they gave him a deal on their Vanquish supercar.

Source: Cult of Mac

Next Ive bought a white Bentley Brooklands. Here’s a shot of the interior.

Source: Cult of Mac

Ive liked the Brooklands so much he bought a second one in black.

Source: Cult of Mac

He also owns a Land Rover LR3.

Source: Cult of Mac

After Steve Jobs died, Ive asked CEO Tim Cook for his own Gulfstream jet. Apple’s board rejected the request, so Ive bought Jobs’ former plane instead.

Source: Business Insider

In May 2012, Ive was knighted in Buckingham Palace by Princess Anne, Queen Elizabeth II’s only daughter. Ive said the experience was “absolutely thrilling.”

Source: BBC News

Ive met the Duchess of Cambridge in 2012 at Royal Academy of Arts creative industries reception.

Source: Zimbio

He’s friends with U2’s Bono and prominent designer Marc Newson, too.

Source: Southeby’s 

Ive is also close with Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer. The two sat together at this dinner in 2013.

Source: The Verge

In 2014, he was spotted at the Chiltern Firehouse, a posh nightclub in London’s West End.

Source: The Daily Dot

He also gets invited to mingle with the rich and powerful — here he is at the White House State Dinner for UK Prime Minister David Cameron in 2012.

Source: Zimbio

In 2014, Ive was spotted at Apple headquarters with LA Lakers star Kobe Bryant. “I went up to Apple to spend the day there, talking with Jony (Ive) and picking his brain,” Bryant said.

Source: Medium

His design fame has led him to charity work. Ive designed this Leica, which set the record for a camera sold at auction.

Source: Wired

He also designed this Jaeger-LeCoultre watch for an AIDS charity auction.

Source: Business Insider

Ive was spotted at an Oscars party hosted by Madonna in 2015. He was reportedly “basically inseparable” from Tesla CEO Elon Musk.

Source: Apple Insider

In May 2015, Ive was promoted to the role of chief design officer at Apple.

Source: The Design Museum

From 2015 to 2017, Ive focused on Apple’s new headquarters, the Apple Park “spaceship,” for which he designed most of the little details.

Source: Business Insider

Ive regained direct control of Apple’s design team in 2017.

Design team leads Evans Hankey, vice president of industrial design, and Alan Dye, vice president of human interface design, began reporting to Ive again. 

Source: Bloomberg, Business Insider.

In June 2019, Apple announced that Ive was leaving the company after 27 years. He will be launched his own independent design company, LoveFrom, and Apple will serve as one of its clients.

Source: Business Insider