In a world where the majority of people and industry have been drained by economic crisis, the luxury sector has impressively managed to keep its footing and sustained its relevance.
However, rather than celebrating and glorifying their brand names in bigger and bolder print there has been a deliberate step back to their artisan roots to celebrate the craftsmanship and to show, by presentation, why the brand is an investment purchase.
According to the Toronto Globe and Mail, brands like Chanel, Gucci and Tods have begun presenting in key store locations around the world to demonstrate on a small-scale, exactly why their goods are luxury pieces and not mass-produced.
Chanel, for instance has around 10 female artisans in their company who add a wax seal to the Chanel no, 5 bottles of perfume. Once trained they can seal around 100 bottles an hour and to watch it being done in the slow, precise, methodical way is exactly why it’s marketed as a luxury product. In short, it’s done by hand, not a machine.
Gucci has demonstrations showing the formation of the strap of one of its newest bags and Tods, famous for its loafers, have craftsmen showing the make and construction of their moccasin shoe in London and Paris, with US and Asia to follow next year.
I like the concept. It’s old school artisan and teaches the customer to look at the smaller details, rather than the big tacky label, a concept, which has far-reaching implications not only for the bigger brands, but also smaller.
Example; take www.Etsy.com a website set up to push creativity and entrepreneurship is also about artisans and crafts. Established in the US, this company has millions of users, all creating and developing from their own home and all because they want to build a crafts or locally sustained business.
Personally, I think it’s the smaller business that challenges the bigger one on the ideas front, so the very fact that the large monsters are stepping back to an age where the label should be on the inside and discrete rather than large and vulgar should be welcomed.