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It must be our prairie instincts but when times are hard, we head for the hearth and whip out those knitting needles. DIY takes on a deluxe appeal. Post economic crisis, there’s a move away from the mass market towards handiwork – goods that are handcrafted by artisans. This growing movement champions the creative arts and makes heroes out of painters, illustrators, calligraphers, sculptors, tradespeople whose skills and craft are being threatened by technology. Hand@work also calls for putting the real creators in the forefront of the product’s identity.


This originality or authenticity is evidenced in the latest way perfumes are marketed – highlighting the creator or “nose,” rather than the brand or celebrity. Or, check out how luxury brands are now revealing how garments are handmade in their ateliers by streaming video feeds into their stores worldwide.


The allure of products made by hand is the rallying cry of brands like Hermes, in its fight to keep LVMH at bay. It’s converting Hong Kong urbanites into beekeepers harvesting homemade honey, and businessmen into organic farmers. Cottage industries are now in vogue.


Handcrafted goods today are the ultimate new luxury. They’re authentic, imperfect, truly one-of-a-kind.

Catherine Feliciano-Chon

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