What does luxury mean to you?
Perhaps you followed the September 2022 Paris Fashion Week lineup of high fashion brand collections strutting down the catwalks to music coordinated to reflect the styles of a new post-covid reality and noted the beautiful creative outlets for artistic expression and stunning, made-up models showcasing the designer’s most recent creations. Recognising the who’s who of society among the attending, they like you like I, studied the collections for the colors, textures, patterns and the creativity influenced by both futuristic and historic references. From Greek, Roman and Trojan peek-a-boos to dramatic drapes of various combinations of fuchsia and cobalt blue.
Fashion is inherently creating and preserving the present for future generations to study and understand. How we design fashion, is reflective of our time, politically, socially, economically and environmentally. While the word fashion has many origins, from old French meaning “face, appearance; construction, pattern, design, thing done; beauty; manner, characteristic feature” or from Latin, “a making or doing, a preparing,” fashion has it’s roots deep in culture. It is a unifying element in every city, town and village and reflects who we are at our core.
As we quickly become a more globalised society, those of us with access to technology adapt and gain access to more and more exclusive opportunities to express ourselves and the world of luxury becomes more and less accessible at the same time. We have the privilege of virtually attending fashion shows, purchasing luxury items straight from the internet and becoming part of a societal definition of success and happiness.
But what about the rest of them? Those whose lives revolve around the sewing machine at a garment workshop, or the factory creating the ready-to wear works of art we admire on the runways in New York, Paris and Milan. Where is their representation and how is their culture preserved?
While Luxury means limited access, as it sits at the top as Haute Couture; a beacon for any designer, enthusiast and fashion aficionado with enough means to afford its exclusivity, it does not mean it its boot should stomp on the head that feeds it. New Luxury is the old world redefined, with its limited editions and exclusive collections, it takes ambiguity and flips it on its head. Taking opacity and revealing the faces of the hands that made it, the truth of their working conditions, the challenges of their lives and even more importantly, a name. A sense of familiarity and connection is created by simply presenting the reality. It is how we can ensure the fashion industry begins its reformation toward conscientiousness and empathy.
“I know who made my garment, my bag, my shoes, I know their name, their story and where they live. I know they are 32 years old and have a mother, a father and 3 children.“ They are effectively my neighbour, my kin. This world is small and growing ever smaller. Cultures are mingling and lines are becoming blurred.
Fashion is the uniter between us all, and highlighting individual culture, celebrating our differences and traditions allows for a collaborative effort to preserve the uniqueness of each of us. I believe and we have built the Gaia Amore brand DNA to represent all cultures. By working to bring our artisans directly to our patrons, creating luxurious limited edition products that stand the test of time and reflect generational teachings and skills, we are ensuring that future generations can bask in the knowledge of their ancestors and continue to appreciate the richness of the culture that came before them. New Luxury does not mean new styles, it means antiquity reflecting in how we express ourselves today, transparency in our supply chains and creating an industry steeped in what art and culture stands for.. creating impact that sails through time and leaves a legacy to admire.