Over the past few years, we've seen a return to craftsmanship. Local craftsmen and women have established a strong presence in the market for their artisanship with products ranging from leather goods, to scarves, fragrances and even grooming goods. With companies like Everlane encouraging transparency about the production process and the factories luxury goods are made at, it was exciting to see artisans from the Hermès atelier in France, create the house’s goods right before my eyes at the Festival des Métiers. Hosted by the Design Exchange, the travelling demonstration offered a close up look at the time-honoured techniques by craftspeople who create their luxury wares. With disciplines passed down generation to generation, each craftsman and woman demonstrated their area of expertise ranging from the making of handbags, to silk scarves and saddles. Of all the fashion exhibits I have seen in different cities, this offered such a unique perspective of the longstanding traditions and values of a true fashion house like Hermès.
It happens to me every year. Midway through summer, after weeks of wearing maxi dresses and vintage Levis shorts, I start dreaming about cardigans, cashmere and Chelsea boots. While most are sifting through the last bits of amazing summer sales, I find myself longing for September. Retail stores start serving up fall’s first deliveries, and I start thinking how I can layer autumn essentials into my current wardrobe. See ya later sundress, it’s been real. When you start putting your fall wish list together, I suggest you skip that trip to the mall. With all the great local fashion shops and designers, you’ll be sure to find stylish pieces that will transition from summer to fall easily. Stay tuned this upcoming week for some of my favourites.
My order from Everlane arrived today. Sooner than expected too! I've been following Everlane since they launched their crowd funding campaign to come to Canada back in March. With the overwhelming market of designer labels and fast fashion retailers, it's not easy to find a retailer that offers well crafted, quality items at a fair price point. After years of labour and love, I lost a bit of affection for the fashion industry. With the number of collections, secondary lines and designer collaborations that get churned out I simply can't keep up with what is on trend or in season anymore. I've found myself buying less and investing more in timeless, quality pieces that I truly love. And I'm willing to save up and spend more on items when I know the designer has put their heart into creating something really beautiful.
Founded by Michael Preysman with one simple t-shirt design, Everlane has a unique business model. With a less-is-more philosophy, the company produces all the goods themselves and sells only online. By eliminating the middlemen and the expenses of a brick-and-mortar store, the savings are passed on to the customer. You'll find a carefully edited selection of staple pieces -- a cashmere sweater, a silk blouse, a weekender bag -- but at a fraction of the cost set by a traditional retailer. And the best part is they are completely transparent about the factories they use, the production processes and associated costs. This lightweight Supima cotton tee cost Everlane $6.70 to produce. It retails for only $15.00 + $3.00 taxes.
When I received an email with a sneak peek at their summer sandals, I began counting down the days until they were released. I am the most fussy person when it comes to footwear. Especially sandals. I love beautiful leather and understated details. But season after season I've found myself settling for second best. When I saw these Everlane sandals, I knew they were going to be mine. The question was -- for how much? I guessed and hoped for somewhere around $79.00. So I was initially surprised when they retailed for $105.00. As if they read my mind, Everlane released a blog post explaining the price point and after reading I felt satisfied with the rationale. And when they arrived today and I slipped them on, the difference was obvious. The design is exactly what I have been looking for. The leather is gorgeous. The sandal is sturdy, well-crafted, comfortable. They are made to last.