WHAT VICTOIRE THINKS
INVESTING IN CRAFTMANSHIP
As the savvy little hands who provide the skills which form the back bone of luxury fashion begin to retire, multi-national conglomerates and governments should take steps to make sure that heritage and craftsmanship endure.
In the well documented world of fast fashion, designers often struggle to meet tight deadlines and even tighter pricing margins. As the competition becomes more and more ferocious each season it is refreshing to see a growing number of young talents begin to reverse this dizzying cycle with a return to craftsmanship and a focus on small manufacturing.
The decision by up and coming brands to concentrate on quality is not only commercially savvy, giving them a USP that elevates their product and sets them apart from big labels, it is also a message that will resound with consumers who are tired of seeing the it-girls in their Instagram feed.
The pieces championing a return to craftsmanship aren’t necessarily traditional either. Brands like Haider Ackermann have demonstrated that a sporty sweatshirt can be on trend and elevated to couture levels with the right know how.
This idea also seems to be catching on further up the food chain as luxury giants are investing in small ateliers in a move to preserve quality and maintain the images they have taken so long to build such as Chanel who is integrating in house genius ateliers like Maison Michel or Lesage.
Another great example of this is Hermes investment in small industries in Lyon and the South of France to ensure their iconic bags and scarves maintain the high quality craftsmanship that has made them so prestigious. LVMH have also opened a training school symbolising that this is a movement that will only keep on growing.
It would be great to see European governments join in as well and offer incentives to designers looking to partner with these traditional craftsmen. Fashion funds, small investments and partnerships would all help countries such as Italy and France form important partnerships between their fashion houses and the ateliers that once made their countries so esteemed around the world. This would not only help these countries economically but would also encourage fashion brands to pay more attention to detail and the environment which is constituency becoming a more pertinent issue.