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Insight of the Day: The future of craft in fashion

Luxury brands are recognizing the importance of artisanal traditions in the fashion industry and are taking steps to preserve and advance these skills for the next generation of makers. Craftsmanship has been a central theme in recent collections, with designers showcasing handcrafted details and artisanal techniques in their designs.

However, the traditional craft is at a crossroads due to technological innovation, economic challenges, and changes in the industry. Many luxury brands are facing a shortage of skilled artisans, as older craftsmen retire and opportunities for young craftspeople to gain experience become scarce.

To address this issue, luxury conglomerates like Kering and LVMH, as well as brands such as Bottega Veneta, Chanel, Prada, and Valentino, are establishing programs and initiatives to empower a new generation of makers. These programs include training schools, master classes, and collaborations with independent artisans to preserve and pass on traditional craft techniques.

For example, Bottega Veneta has opened the Accademia Labor et Ingenium to train students in traditional craft-making, while Dior has a longstanding relationship with the Chanakya School of Craft in Mumbai for embroidery work. Loewe supports independent artisans through funding and competitions, and Valentino offers a course where participants learn techniques in-house under a former premiere.

Overall, luxury brands are working to sustain and advance traditional craftsmanship in the fashion industry, ensuring that these artisanal traditions continue to thrive and evolve in the future.

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