|Publication type:||Conference other|
|Type of review:||Peer review (abstract)|
|Title:||Artisan influencers & the role of craftsmanship in the future of luxury : the case of young bespoke tailors in Italy|
|Conference details:||IPOL 2022 Conference, online, 26-27 May 2022|
|Subjects:||Luxury; Craftsmanship; Bespoke tailoring; Artisan entrepreneurship; Social media; Artisan influencer|
|Subject (DDC):||658.8: Marketing management|
|Abstract:||Craftsmanship, driven by the “enduring, basic human impulse, the desire to do a job well for its own sake” (Sennett, 2008), is the origin of most things we call luxury. Declared obsolete in the wake of industrialized production (Frater & Hawley, 2018; Mignosa & Kotipalli, 2019), handmade goods are back in consumers’ favor (Hsu & Nguyen Ngnoc, 2016). Perhaps in reaction to an ever more screen–based entertainment culture (Craft Council, 2012) or the “sea of sameness” (Silverman, cit. in Glassenberg, 2018) we find ourselves in, there is a hunger for the authentic and the handcrafted (Craft Council, 2012). In the luxury industry, craft techniques are revered as markers of quality and authenticity. Artisans and their work are the focus of luxury houses' advertising campaigns and young talent programs. Some even introduce their makers to the public at special festivals (e.g., Journées particulières by LVMH; Homo Faber by the Michelangelo Foundation) as the contact with the people behind the product is known to foster loyalty among customers and increase the perception of value (Waytz, 2019; Pricken, 2014). Skilled craftspeople and young talents are in such high demand that French luxury association Comité Colbert, in a rare and unconventional move, has even considered asking for help in an open letter to President Emanuel Macron (Wendlandt, 2022). Roughly at the same time, workers at Louis Vuitton’s manufacturing sites in France staged a walkout to demand higher pay and better working conditions (Lieber & Williams, 2022). The revival of craft might indeed have bolstered makers’ confidence. Digital channels provide them with cost-effective access to global markets and create opportunities to make a living as independent artisan entrepreneurs (Pret, 2019) outside the corporate structures of the modern luxury industry. Through social media artisans can tell the “back story” that matters to buyers (McAuley & Fillis, 2004), evoking positive values that consumers associate with craft, such as authenticity, skill, quality, and intimacy (Crafts Council, 2010). Thirty years after Vivienne Westwood brought tailoring and the craft traditions back into fashion (Almond, 2011) and at a time when designers re-discover the “forever wardrobe” (Cartner-Morley, 2022), the present study, based on interviews and publicly available information, explores the topic of crafting luxury from the perspective of five young bespoke tailors. The tailors, or artisan influencers as they may also be called, have been selected from different regions across Italy and are active on social media where the engage with their followers through the textual and visual narration of their professional lives and personal lifestyles (Abidin, 2015). The study reveals that despite the reemergence of bespoke tailoring as a luxury niche in hyper-personalized luxury fashion, artisanal mastery is not sufficient to guarantee entrepreneurial freedom and commercial success. The findings support previous studies suggesting that artisans need to adapt to new customer preferences and behaviors, develop capacities to effectively use social media and digital means of communication to interact with their clientele and actively build an ecosystem of partners beyond their traditional trade and local network, including actors in technology, tourism, and other sectors.|
|Fulltext version:||Published version|
|License (according to publishing contract):||Licence according to publishing contract|
|Departement:||School of Management and Law|
|Organisational Unit:||International Management Institute (IMI)|
|Appears in collections:||Publikationen School of Management and Law|
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Duma, F. (2022). Artisan influencers & the role of craftsmanship in the future of luxury : the case of young bespoke tailors in Italy. IPOL 2022 Conference, Online, 26-27 May 2022.
Duma, F. (2022) ‘Artisan influencers & the role of craftsmanship in the future of luxury : the case of young bespoke tailors in Italy’, in IPOL 2022 Conference, online, 26-27 May 2022.
F. Duma, “Artisan influencers & the role of craftsmanship in the future of luxury : the case of young bespoke tailors in Italy,” in IPOL 2022 Conference, online, 26-27 May 2022, 2022.
Duma, Fabio. “Artisan Influencers & the Role of Craftsmanship in the Future of Luxury : The Case of Young Bespoke Tailors in Italy.” IPOL 2022 Conference, Online, 26-27 May 2022, 2022.
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