Keeping the tradition…and?

Celina Lee

Date: February 27, 2013

Headline: “Made in Italy: The Intangible Quality”

Source: Womens Wear Daily

Brioni operates a school to ensure the tailoring tradition is passed on to future generations.

Brioni operates a school to ensure the tailoring tradition is passed on to future generations.


The article from WWD talks about the intangible quality that is overlooked by growing demand in cheap, manufactured fashion. As the eocnomic crisis deepens, consumers tend to look for bargains that temporaily satisfy their demands in purchasing “what is in” since they cannot afford the desginer clothes. However, it further emphasizes the importance of keeping a tradition of artisanal craftsmanship that has been handed down for generations, and how luxury brands like Gucci is aware of the economic consquences for the people and the territory if they delocalize family oriented manufactures.  Despite the loss in their revenues, they are not “rushing for profits at a low cost” which “has become synonymous with greed, exploitation and injustice.” They believe that working with the locals to create a high-quality, durable style is a solution to keep the tradition and buy consumer’s appreciation in fine crafstmanship.

However, can one say their effort in saving the intangible quality is justificatory in terms of designing more sustainable lifestyles?  Season after season, they present new concepts and trends that promote “it is time to update your wardrobe.” The stores constantly move their feet to change the window displays with new looks and send emails to their customers in daily basis to update what is in the stores. It seems they are as driven as Zara and Forever 21 to keep up their status.

After all, we are trapped in the vicious cycle of ‘fast fahsion,’ and cannot escape from it. As Timo quoted a statement from the Masison Martin Margiela, it is more important to find our “way of dressing as opposed to a way of dressing as prescribed by anyone else or an over-riding trend.” (136)


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One Response to Keeping the tradition…and?

  1. Barbara says:

    Celina, you raise some important questions. Let’s discuss these in recitation. Timo poses a challenge and asks what we would need to do to shift to a sustainable lifestyle. This is no easy task. We need to think more fully and critically about claims like that made in the name of Gucci in your example.

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