Arts and crafts : Expertise in the service of luxury
Embroidery, finishing, weaving, goldsmithing, setting... so many techniques and trades often in the shadows and yet are the beating heart of luxury. For many years, we only talked about the "little hands" without really being able to name them. Today, luxury pays tribute to its craftsmanship and the art trades are the object of all eyes.
Excellence as a vector
If the luxury houses continue to seduce a demanding and globalized clientele, it is mainly because they have been able to put forward exceptional know-how. Because, if behind every luxury product, there are craftsmen who keep alive traditions that guarantee excellence, luxury must proclaim it loud and clear and above all preserve this wealth. Indeed, more than a simple guarantee of quality, arts and crafts represent essential values based on durability and creation in its purest form, inseparable from the image of excellence that luxury conveys. A powerful and authentic storytelling that brands praise through communication strategies that are sometimes almost more effective than the choice of a muse. Video reports from the heart of the workshops, campaigns based on know-how, tribute shows, open houses... The idea of transmitting a heritage that is unique to the luxury sector is more present than ever: like Cartier and its Maison des Métiers d'Art, located in La Chaux-de-Fonds right next to the Manufacture. A dynamic that looks as much to the past - when it comes to rediscovering a technique, a gesture, a rendering - as to the future, to create new trades or adapt tools and practices to new requirements. Marquetry, engraving, gold paste enamel, filigree enamel or enamel granulation? So many traditional techniques that the Maison des Métiers d'Art has developed or revived.
In the fall of 2020, it was Chanel that opened a place dedicated to its Métiers d'art. Designed by architect Rudy Ricciotti, the 25,000 m2 building welcomes design and production workshops, as well as vast gardens and custom spaces. In the future, it is the LVMH group and its Arts-Talents-Patrimoine institution, which will be created after the renovation of the former Musée des Arts et Traditions Populaires, in the heart of the Bois de Boulogne. Through these dedicated universes, luxury highlights all its manufacturing power, intrinsic to its DNA and the high standards that go with it.
Know-how as experience
Another proof of a certain know-how: the luxury houses compete with technicality to sublimate their boutiques and their points of sale throughout the world by adorning them (sometimes temporarily) with spectacular moldings or textured and grandiose engravings. The immersion is global and continues inside with an architecture and decoration between a museum and a showroom. As Thibaut de La Rivière, Director of Sup de Luxe, points out: "Dior, Elie Saab or Cartier, through this valorization of craftsmen-artists, the luxury houses also tend to promote their stores as true experiences and places of culture. Indeed, by reinterpreting the codes of the galleries, they give another dimension to their collections and establish a unique relationship with their customers." - It is also a way for luxury to bet on a certain "return to the roots", to refocus its values on know-how imbued with meaning and history - a dynamic that seems to be proving its worth in the face of an ever more connected society.