Insights for the future of fashion
Yesterday at the Triennale Teatro Milano, we witnessed a special event: “A conversation with Pierre-Alexis Dumas, Hermès.” For the level of culture transmitted, the interview was worth it an entire fashion week. Yes, because fashion is culture.
Cathy Horyn – “The New York Magazine” and “The Cut” fashion editor – with Marco Sammicheli – director of the Museum of Italian Design, Triennale Milano – conducted the interview.
Pierre-Alexis Dumas, Hermès: A history of culture & craftsmanship
The creative director of Hermès made us know more about the Maison in an attempt to analyse the issues, challenges and transformation the fashion industry faces in this rough time. Dumas narrated the anecdotes, the history of the family and his personal journey, and craftsmanship as fundamental elements of the Maison. No arrogance, only passion. In fact, the word culture has emerged several times.
“Being a creative director is turning off the ego to listen to others’ ideas.”
“We don’t need marketing.” (Like saying we don’t need to trick people).
“My values are sincerity, honestly, quality.”
Most of all, he focused on the creative and artisanal process. Also, he talked about “Petite H” – a workshop where they collect all the scraps and pieces that do not pass quality control so that designers can give them a second life. In other words, they recycle and upcycle.
However, he’s been clear on one point: “Sustainability, that’s where we have a problem in fashion.”
In fact, they are experimenting with vegetable leather and undertaking low-impact practices. He said, maybe, in 15 or 20 years, the industry will reach sustainable standards. But we are afraid we do not have 15 years to make change.
Martin Margiela & modern luxury
The conversation ends with a note about Martin Margiela, wanted in the company by Pierre-Alexis’ father.
“Margiela helped redefine the idea of luxury. He could go straight to the essence.”
At that point, we were moved by everything that no longer exists and by what is now fashion.
The image projected onto the screen was the one we reported here as a quote. It was 1999, and we can find everything there:
- timeless style par excellence, i.e. timeless fashion
- simplicity as added value
- quiet luxury
The words culture, tradition, craftsmanship, design, and creativity stood out throughout the event “A conversation with Pierre-Alexis Dumas, Hermès.” Specifically, the whole story of Hermès brought out what is now missing in fashion: family businesses disappeared, and so have their soul. Corporations took the place of family businesses, but brands and maisons have no souls anymore.
You know, there is always something to learn.
Hello, fashion industry!