T’s Women’s Fashion Issue: From Many, One – New York Times

By on February 16, 2019

Like other big-money creative industries (film, theater, art), fashion has always loved a personality, an idiosyncratic, colorful, irrepressible artistic director whose genius is matched by his or her personal magnetism. But these days, it might love those people a little less. It’s hard to make a dominant personality subsume themselves to the brand they’ve been hired to serve. Which is another reason Hermès’s ethos — a group of different experts, each of whom runs a different atelier, but none of whose personal profiles are allowed to eclipse the company’s — feels at once old-fashioned and modern. It is this, as much as the brand’s focus on foregrounding artisanship, and artisans, that recalls the now almost-extinct European guild system. As Nancy Hass writes in her story about Hermès, “With no ‘Monsieur’ or ‘Madame,’ the modern company hews instead to the contours of the guilds: There are separate ateliers (and corresponding heads) for women’s ready-to-wear, perfume, shoes and jewelry, men’s wear, silk and home furnishings. In France, where the couture tradition has helped keep handwork vital (perhaps only Japan has guarded it as doggedly), this was once called the corps de métier, a web of semiautonomous, highly specialized studios where artisans, trained from apprenticeship, produced a single category of item.”

But while I can easily admit I’m fascinated by the company’s defiance of the supposed rules of modern luxury, it also offers hope to the rest of us. It’s no secret to anyone who’s in our business or follows it even casually that print publishing is an infinitely more difficult, less predictable venture than it was a decade ago. And yet I do it — we do it — because the satisfaction of making something, of pairing photos with text, of arguing over which weight of font will read better on the printed page, of holding the actual thing in your hands, feeling its floppy, satisfying weight, still fulfills some elemental need that humans have to assemble something with our hands and eyes. Call it old-fashioned. But we made it — and it’s ours.

Source Article from https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/15/t-magazine/womens-fashion-issue.html
T’s Women’s Fashion Issue: From Many, One – New York Times
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