was about transparency. I overheard a discussion about how large retailers are taking steps to remove the walls that stand between them and their customers. By posting videos and photos of buyers and designers working with overseas vendors and manufacturers, they think the likes of you and I will view their products as more handmade. I just don’t know if this will work. In theory, it should. If I watched a video of a Kate Spade designer talking to an employee in an Indian or Chinese workroom, the product being made wouldn’t seem so mass manufactured; because an actual person is making it, that product will acquire a handmade connotation. But when I compare this product to a pair of Ohhh Lulu undies or a Blooming Leopold dress, the handmade guise that the Kate Spade product acquired for a brief moment is stripped away. Companies such as Megan Nielsen, By Hand London, and Blooming Leopold – that’s true handmade. When a customer emails them, Megan, Charlotte, Elisalex, or Lauren responds, not an automated message. As I’ve been getting more into the concept of handmade, this transparency between customer and vendor is important to me and with this, I’ve developed a better appreciation for objects in general, whether they be garments, houseware, shoes, or handbags. Handmade objects have a story and a soul that comes from their maker. No mass manufacturer can duplicate that.
What about you? Do you think a retailer like Can Cole Haan or Gap could ever be considered handmade?