Who can say they’ve never felt thrilled by the idea of acquiring a designer item from a big fashion house? (And yes, for those who don’t know, the symptoms are usually stronger when it’s a luxury item!) Before falling for that item, a whole process of intensive flirting takes place. The luxury item is spotted, coveted, desired, and may even turn into an obsession! As soon as the purchase is made, a beautiful story begins for the two of you, an intimate relationship that you must take great care of or risk seeing it fade over time…
In addition to our courses dedicated to sustainable fashion, IFA Paris regularly provides useful tips to all those who wish to extend the lifespan of their clothes or accessories. As part of our commitment to more responsible fashion, we strive to change people’s mindsets by instilling more ecological practices, easily applicable by all. In our “Care” section, you will regularly find advice on the care of finished products made of leather, silk or cashmere. This month, we focus on the new craze of the luxury industry, which has finally decided to join the sustainable development trend by regenerating or refurbishing existing products.
For a long time, luxury has been removed from environmental concerns, even though the notions of quality conveyed by its positioning inferred a value of sustainability. Designer accessories explain, in part, the 180-degree shift that is taking place. Considered as a gateway to the fascinating world of luxury, accessories are increasingly appealing to Millennials, the preferred target of brands… So, to appeal to this conscientious generation, brands are developing services around the renovation and refurbishment of their products, anticipating their aging.
When Hermès or Chanel offer to refurbish leather bags or scarves, some independent leather craftsmen (e.g. Atelier Beaumarchais, Paris) specialize in this segment. But for the past few months, it is the house of Louis Vuitton that has been revolutionizing the market. The Avenue Montaigne boutique is offering a test operation: the refurbishment of monogrammed scarves. Qualified craftsmen are working to repair all the little bumps and bruises on this cozy accessory: removing pilling, untangling fringes, repairing pulled threads… after about two months of waiting, the scarf is then returned to its owner in almost new condition!
Preserving the planet’s resources by trying to buy as few new products as possible is now possible, even in luxury…and the idea seems to appeal. As proof, the growing number of followers of May Berthelot, who provides tips related to second hand luxury or renovation of high-end accessories on her Instagram account. In charge of image and anti-counterfeiting for the websites Videdressing and Leboncoin, Berthelot has 140,000 followers, eager for her expertise and valuable advice.
Virtuous luxury seems to be progressively dethroning the stereotypical image of luxury fashion. The quality of luxury products is implicitly part of a long-term and therefore sustainable approach that encourages us to consume less, but to consume better. This was the visionary reflection of Jean-Louis Dumas, the former Chairman of Hermes, who, almost 30 years ago, said that “Luxury is that which can be repaired”. This statement seems more relevant than ever, and that’s for the best!