A piece in the New York Observer explores what is essentially the high end, ‘luxury’ version of the slow fashion movement. Some rich people are no longer thrilled by overly accessible/exposed brands like Versace and Louis Vuitton and are instead looking for goods that are special, handmade, artisanal–or, you know, stuff you might find in Brooklyn.
The Observer‘s Richard Morgan calls it the “do-it-yourself aesthetic” or “rough luxe.” Examples include the Waldorf sourcing its honey from an on-site beehive and Barneys selling $500 handmade pillows.
The story is not exactly breaking news, but it is full of great quotes from “proto-Brooklyn hipsters,” soap makers and the department store execs looking to take advantage of them. Some highlights:
“Upper East Side women love to have almost a safari in Brooklyn, to walk through my studio and the piles of fabric and little threads or feathers clinging to their Chanel.”–Aviva Stanoff, maker of handmade pillows sold at Barneys
“None of my clients want Christian Louboutin shoes anymore, because the Kardashians are clomping around in them at breakfast.”–Jesse Garza, co-founder of luxury lifestyle consultancy Visual Therapy
Garza also says his clients are looking for “realness, and not the kind of realness that applies to Real Housewives.”
“Tiffany’s or Harry Winston or Cartier, they’re selling rings they’ve already had designed. You can mix and match this carat or this cut or this setting, but it’s not that much variety. I mean, isn’t that how they do things at Chipotle?”–Sam Abbay, proprietor of a make-your-own-wedding-ring workshop
“The other day, an older man, the kind who wouldn’t be caught dead with Chanel because that’s too nouveau-riche for him—old-school, real true Upper East Side—was name-dropping a restaurant on Smith Street. I was amazed that Brooklyn was even part of his universe.”–Jonathan Butler, founder of Brownstoner.com and the Brooklyn Flea Market
“It sounds like a Portlandia skit.”–restaurateur Taavo Somer, “considered by many to be the proto-Brooklyn hipster.”
Seriously though, Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein need to get in touch with these people.