The world’s top fashionistas are likely to ask Santa Claus for something a little more unique to appear under the tree this Christmas. That means Santa is going to have to go beyond Rodeo Drive, Omotesando and Via Montenapoleone, dig deep into the artisan heartlands and find something a little more personal than the same ol’ big brands.
The brand fatigue facing vanguard, conglomerate-owned labels has created the perfect opportunity for the artisans we adore here at BACO — to dust off the economic funk lingering from the financial crisis and capture some of the international luxury market share dominated by big names.
Now that top tier houses have exploited emerging markets and expanded to all corners of the earth, fashion’s upper echelon of consumers are in pursuit of something even more exclusive, more personal. Some analysts say big brands are on the brink of trivialization. That’s analyst speak for everyone – simply everyone – can have it.
How can brands coveted by editors of Vogue and crystallized in glossies by urban princesses like Jackie O, face overexposure?
After working as a financial journalist specializing in the retail and luxury sector for over five years, it became clear that the listed companies, whose CEOs are under pressure to improve sales every quarter, really DO want everyone and their mother to own an “exclusive” bag.
After the crisis, luxury shoppers had a moment of self-reflection and as a result, they now make more conscientious purchases. From the Arabian princes to the Park Avenue divas – shoppers want their clothes and accessories to speak to them and to tell a story. They want to see themselves reflected in the craftsmanship. This is why the custom-made slice of the luxury pie is one of the few facets of the industry that has potential growth prospects.
Don’t get us wrong, we don’t have anything against big brands. We are actually looking for the next Mario and Martino Prada, the next Guccio Gucci and maybe even the Valentino Garavani of tomorrow.
Many of the companies we feature are tiny ateliers producing in small quantities, and the artisan who owns the company is likely to greet you at the door, on the phone or by email and tell you personally about the history and passion that goes into making the product.
Our hope is no matter how big the brands we feature become in the future, that they maintain the values that made us fall in love with them in the first place.
In our first issue of BACO, we highlight some of our favorite brands of 2014. Tradition, quality, personalization and at times, even innovation, are at the cornerstone of these businesses. Thank you for joining us and have a very Happy Holiday.