Sunday, January 16, 2011

Whose side are they on?

I met with a prospective intern Friday. They came to me on their own to see if we could do a credit internship. Their school is one of the big Fashion schools here in NYC, the so called "Fashion Capital of the World". The school did not direct them to me, since they requested an internship opportunity that would provide them with "hands on" experience. Apparently- the school basically told them - you're on your own since "nobody does that" anymore.

When you have an "industry" school completely discounting an entire class of independent & entrepreneurial and skill-based businesses in this city and beyond we are in a very, very sad state. Fashion is not all Illustrator croquis that you can punch up, mix and match and send to China with a spec sheet. I feel this is very misguided, and shows a real lack of support for these businesses and local industry as a whole.

Nobody does that anymore? Perhaps they mean Carlos FalchiKoos Van Den Akker, and many others?

Have they seen Etsy? All the smaller makers, creating unique and limited edition items at all price ranges. All the buzz on Brooklyn Designers? Not to mention all small makers from everywhere else in the world. Because of Etsy there is a new and nascent class of local, hand-made and specialty production businesses. EVERYWHERE. Turning out an amazing range of beautiful jewelry, (more on that later) clothing, corsetry, leather work, furniture, you name it. This is a whole new world, and it is not just people working at their kitchen tables.

The WSJ notes here that the biggest growth in the Luxury market is coming not from "the rich", but from "the Aspirationals" & "Newcomers".

I think a lot of this is also because people, across the board are sick of disappointing purchases. They want things they can enjoy for more than a single seasonal (or laundry) cycle. If it means spending more, -fine- in the end it lasts longer and is a much more satisfying -and personal- purchase.

It is up to us to support local, independent & entrepreneurial and skill-based businesses. Here in NYC, in Brooklyn or wherever you are.
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