Don't pay for the logo
Don't pay for the logo - Artisan is more than craftmanship
Twenty years ago, as I worked for the Chanel Group, my friend Melanie Cable-Alexander, Features Editor at Country Life magazine, and I, organized a live exhibition of twenty-five artisans just off London’s Bond Street. For four days, the public were given the opportunity, to meet first hand with a selection of Melanie’s National Treasures from all over the United Kingdom. Inspired by the Japanese’s ’Living National Treasure’ award granted to people for their lifetime achievement creating beautiful things according to traditional methods, Melanie had been producing a hugely successful portrait of a different artisan every week.
Back then, Luxury Goods companies, eager to sell their products globally to the mass market started mass-producing and moving their factories to China and other low-cost countries. Both experts in luxury craftsmanship, we thought it was the end of local craftsmanship. The idea behind the live ’National Treasures’ exhibition was to actually show what it takes to be an artisan and to increase awareness around the idea that when they retired or died, his or her skills and craft would die with them.
Tables have turned
Artisans were becoming a rare species and we felt we should do something about it! A little naive perhaps as, of course, we know nothing stopped Luxury brands from turning millions into billions from exploiting our romantic dreams of French and Italian Couture whilst using cheaper quality materials and assembling their goods in China.
In 2015 however, the situation is completely different. The new generation of consumers want to know what things are made of, where they come from and want to be emotionally connected with whom made it.
Don't pay for the logo
The more I read on the subject and visit other quality-loving Instagram and Pinterest accounts from all over the world, the more obvious it is that tables have turned at last! Can we call it a revolution? I’d like to and invite you to join it. What we can get out of it is more than supporting and reconnecting with our European neighbours and local communities, it’s also quality made to last. Parisians have stopped paying for logos. You too deserve better, you deserve the best. And the good news is, the best doesn’t have to be expensive. I promise.