What a delight it is to make, imagine, and elaborate fashion products, clothing, images and brands! The true meaning in making something has a new beauty – craftsmanship is exerting its appeal on younger generations, know-hows are gathering strength, there’s a growing interest in all things local, and production processes are whetting our curiosity.
Fashion is a complex and fabulous industry from upstream to downstream, one often attacked for its excesses, and criticized for its careless environmental and health practices. These criticisms and accusations, whether well-founded or not, are driving consumers to make increasingly legitimate demands, forcing the industry to be more and more transparent and informative. Explaining how things are invented, designed and produced is a driving force for the entire textile and leather fashion chain.
Right from the time of the industrial revolution in England, the textile industry has been at the heart of innovation, knowing how to kick off trends and respond, proactively, to the new world being fashioned, as it moved from a predominantly artisanal and agrarian society to an industrial and commercial one.
Avalanche © Zoro Feigl
Today, we are probably living through a similar transition, but the challenges have changed. The priority is on the ecological, human, social, digital and, of course, economic transition. Innovations in terms of materials, connectivity, artificial intelligence, 3D and the like are only just beginning to tip the world towards more substance and new approaches to sensuality.
The fashion industry has a fantastic attribute, an honour: to constantly serve as a force for change, to produce beauty, and to connect business activities and people through the age-old need to cover our bodies. From the search for materials to the finished products, anticipating and supporting all these societal, aesthetic and functional changes is of the utmost importance.
The beauty in an artistic gesture, in know-hows, and the beauty of the industrial process are intimately bound, and in no way opposite or opposed to each other. Manufacturing generates pride in our entire fashion community. It conveys a powerful emotion and reveals, in all of these stages, an indispensable sense of solidarity to create quality products, from the smallest capsule collections to the largest production runs.The industry is courageous. And today, perhaps more than ever, it needs to speak out again, to transmit its magic, and share the riches of the many inseparable and interdependent links in its chain.Convey the beauty of the musical hammering of the looms, the vibrations of spinning lines, the whistling of the steam in the dyeing plants and tanneries, the rumbling of the warping machines and beam rolls, the hum of the lifts, the smells of the heating unit, the jolts of the folding machines,… but also the expert gestures of those who produce the raw materials, of the farmers who cultivate and shear, who patiently wash, of the chemists who invent, of the experts who select, transform and manufacture. The designers who invent, the patternmakers who adjust, the men and women who sew, so attentively, with a care so unsuspected by the general public.
The complementary nature of making things – by craftsmen or industry, luxury or mass production – looks to have now risen to an outstanding level, driven by the search for a better, more equitable and fairer world, where technologies are on the cusp of finding exciting and innovative answers.Producing in a better way, merging the power of our brains and our hands, with a sensitive rigour, creative thinking, with the wisdom of madmen and the skill of geniuses – this is the challenge to be taken up at all levels of production. Perfecting these incredible pathways that give a fabric, a leather, a button, a ribbon, an ornament – and eventually a garment- its own unique value means taking into account all the subtle know-hows involved in all these amazing manufacturing processes.Industry and sensitivity, reason and passion all nourish the essence of our professions – time, beauty and novelty! Industry imparts a concrete meaning to this world of dreams. It provides inventive solutions so we can creatively appropriate the trends, and meet the needs of consumers. The present moment invites us to stop being slaves to urgency, to give up the senseless race of time. It invites us to be more in tune with the priorities of tomorrow’s world, and face the challenges of personalisation, responsible innovation and creation with a sense of pride.