Before I move on to researching a designer/maker/artist whose work I’m drawn to, I wanted to touch briefly on a few things mentioned in the course book under the titles; ‘craftsmanship and quality, desire for narrative’.
I think a really good recent examples which shows how both those elements are something people are hungry for (possibly mostly at the luxury or high end of the consumer scale), is the birth of the London Craft Week. London held it’s first week dedicated to craft in 2015, and recently, held its second week in May 2016. Much like the London Design Week and London Fashion Week’s the events took place across London, with artists opening their own studios as well as large high end fashion brands offering an insight into the artistry or craft that goes into their products.
The video below is the promotional video for the 2016 week. I wanted to include it as it’s insightful about the current mood or desire for craftsmanship today.
Guy Salter – Executive Chairman, London Craft Week says;
“Consumers they have the money to spend, but they’ve got a little bit tired of the same old brands, the same old streets. People are asking many more question about the substance of how is something made, who made it, where was it made? We are giving those consumers the alternative where one minute you could be going behind the seasons of a household brand. But the next you’re going around the corner down an alley and coming across an independent maker who you’ve never heard of before but whose work is of the same or higher quality.”
“What we aim to do is create something which I think is unique. Which is actually an opportunity for that consumer to shop, collect, buy, learn, discover beautiful things from around the world. meet exceptional makers face to face, and actually understand why what they do is so special.”
To me Salter’s word really express that desire for something hand crafted, as something unique, just as each individual person is unique. It’s also about the experience for the shopper, people are being welcomed into the story as it were, to become part of the craftsman world by seeing their working environment, the skill of their craft and by buying their goods.
I think it’s also interesting the appeal is made to those interested in more luxury goods, the brands that were included (Chanel, Mulberry among others) are not high street brands. I wonder how or if this desire will filter down into the consciousness of lower or middle income consumers. Or if this will remain the new centre of luxury tastes and desires (for a season of course)?