“Customers are looking for something special,” London-based designer David Koma tells the Business of Fashion. "There’s a huge market for commercial brands so I feel if [customers] are buying something expensive and buying something special, there should be a lot of handwork and craftsmanship involved to make them feel that their money is well spent.”
A sentiment reinforced by The Luxury Institute, in its 2011 report Luxury Branding and Marketing: A Global Comparison of Wealthy Consumers in Top Markets. The study surveyed wealthy consumers in the United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and China. Topping the list of attributes that define luxury brands were superior quality (73%), craftsmanship (65%) and design (54%).
“ Topping the list of attributes that define luxury brands were superior quality, craftsmanship and design ”
But what the report found potentially distressing for manufacturers was the global perception by wealthy consumers that firms are getting worse at executing on these top criteria. Research identified that twice as many wealthy U.S. shoppers (34% vs. 17%) say that customer service and product quality have deteriorated in recent years. Japanese, German and U.K. consumers bemoan a slip in craftsmanship.
For many reasons, craftsmanship has remained an incredibly important marketing message for luxury brands in recent years. Brands like Louis Vuitton and Gucci have been known to bring their artisans into retail stores, who then hand-stitch leather goods in the presence of customers. YouTube has allowed these demonstrations to become global. Brands can now visually establish the intricacies of hand stitched leather goods, couture embroidery, eyewear assembly, the handling of exotic skins and even how some of their most iconic products are made, start to finish.
Below we present a listing of videos by fashion & accessories focused luxury brands, which use values of craftsmanship and quality to help tell their story.
Burberry: Prorsum S/S12 Craftsmanship
Chanel: Maison Lesage / Maison Desrues
Dior: Savoir Faire
Dolce & Gabbana: Miss Sicily
YouTube: Dolce & Gabbana
Ermenegildo Zegna: Couture
YouTube: Ermenegildo Zegna
Fendi: A Fur Story
YouTube: Fendi Channel
Gucci: The Making of Jackie
Hermès: Hearts and Crafts
Louis Vuitton: Leather Goods
YouTube: Louis Vuitton
Mulberry: The Mulberry UK Factory
Prada: Shoes Worker
Ralph Lauren: The Making Of Fall 2011