What does Heritage mean to us? LV sees Shanghai, Kenzo to Kabuki, Armani goes Nomadic

The ‘H’ word is back it seems – with new meanings. In the globalised climate, the issue of heritage is in the height of discussion (think the ‘Made in Italy’ crisis and Burberry’s shift away from plait and being quintessentially British). The term itself has shifted away from simply indicating geographical origin, to suggesting genuine ethos, promises, and differentiated positioning of the label itself. Heritage implies quality and service – factors that effects the brand’s value as perceived by us. Prada’s take on this is by crediting the heritage of craftsmanship in its Spring 2011 capsule line, recognizing their global outsourced manufacturers for what they are renowned for [Read more here].

Aesthetically, heritage takes on another meaning, playing a big part in the 2010/2011 Fashion Shows passed. Ungaro dives back to its 80s and revives his golden era by reintroducing fierce prints and bold femininity (digged by original Ungaro advocate, Anna Della Russo herself). Chanel, perhaps the most consistent example never fails to engage with their older clienteles as well as appealing to the youth through modern replays of their classic tweed, golden chains, to introducing new media from short films to Karl’s own blog.

In our current global village, consumers’ biggest pet peeve is standardization and the blending of all cultural differences to one. During New York, Milan and Paris Fashion Weeks we see a reaction to that, a return to the subcultural niche by recognizing ethnic and regional counterparts that speaks familiarity as well as curiosity to the new global and urban consumer. It seems that next season, Louis Vuitton is going to Shanghai, while Kenzo returns to geisha and kabuki through their fantastic head gears. Even Nars Cosmetics is launching a limited edition “Bento Box“, a set of two kabuki cups playing homage to the Japanese theatre and their richly pigmented makeup. Intense colors, rich silks, accessories are at play this season. Armani, Moschino and Missoni, on the other hand – goes nomadic and African inspired with tuareg head-wraps and tribal jewelry. It’s sure to say head wraps are (literally) becoming bigger than ever:

Heritage is taking on new meanings through cultural exchanges and ideas. I see contemporary fashion as a transgressed silk route that’s moved beyond the BCE and 1400s – inspiration is taken from individual narratives on the streets, within different cityscapes – added to the designer’s own story and aesthetics, then delivered back to us.

What are your thoughts?


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