[Many] thanks to a fashion friend of mine, I have been turned back on to the endless great fashion industry nuggets and tid-bits in WWD, the daily newspaper, not the monthly glossy. I can't get the information into my head fast enough. I had subscribed a few times over the years to WWD; and now the timing could not be better for me to start reading in-depth again.
When I subscribed in the past, I did not have a blog. And I did not write for Zoozoom. Or free-lance for marketing and research firms, translating industry trends and writing market research reports for international companies. But now I do (yes I have been busy lately expanding my focus from making designs to writing about design and larger trends); and so the time is right to dip back in to the pages of WWD and devour all of the great information. And why not share some of the interesting tid-bits that catch my eye with you, kind readers of this blog, on a more regular basis?
If you have your copy of WWD handy, please direct your eye to page 15 for Monday, August 13, 2007, to the article entitled, "Panel Examines Future of Accessories" by Caroline Tell. If you don't have your WWD, no matter. I will tell you a bit about Tell's article. A panel discussion was held Tuedsay at the Time & Life Building entitled "Accessorizing the Future," featuring the curator of the Department of Architecture and Design at MOMA, Paola Antonelli (that an architecture expert from a museum was involved with accessories naturally appealed to me), founder and designer of the branding firm Fuseproject, Yves Behar (and now I must investigate what Fuseproject does, because that sounds very interesting to me), Samosonite's global director of marketing and communications, Richard Brett, and Luxottica vice president of product development, Paula Donnelly.
The panel was about "the new dynamics of the accessories market, ranging from sustainability and technology to new methods of individuality." Anya Hindmarch's I'm NOT A Plastic bag was discussed by Samsonite's Richard Brett as "a consumer need rather than a simple gimmick" and "a real zeitgiest of the moment" that succeeded because it was "tied to a bigger movement."
To me, the sustainabilty/eco movement is a most interesting one, in terms of how it is being marketed and sold to the public, and how the public is turning the issue around in their own minds. To be sure, the sustainability/eco movement is shaping how we currently think, even if we are not aware of how it is seeping into our consciousness. That which interests me is how the eco message is being spread: not as much through the expected political activist channels, but through corporate purveyors of luxury who are using product placement, including 'green' luxury goods (from bamboo fibers in high-priced clothing on up to 'socially responsible diamonds'), 'sustainable' architecture (luxury condos, high profile office buildings a la Bryant Park's new Bank of America building and waterfront developments a la Battery Park), and upscale parties and benefits where you can be seen talking the fashionable eco-talk with the upper echelons of purchasing society.
Don't get me wrong. I am just observing what is happening in our world right now, not complaining. I am very interested in all of it. I must further investigate Fuseproject.
The discussion at the "Accessorizing the Future" panel also touched on "the 'individualist' movement in accessories where consumers have opportunities to custom-make everything from their eyeglasses to their bags." As Tell reported, panelists agreed that "today's customer feels the need to make a statement with accessories, and that being able to make one often defines true luxury." Brett added that it was "about having an emotional relationship with a product that reflects one's individuality. And it's very in tune with how luxury is evolving."