Some designs of yesteryear remain fiercely here and now: the Wassily Chair designed in 1925, the Rolex Oyster designed in 1926, the Vespa designed in 1946. All of these design icons remain largely unchanged. Fashion too has its enduring icons: Levi’s jeans, a trenchcoat by Aquascutum or Burberry, a dress by Chanel.
Icons of fashion have certain things in common: the design is simple, elegant, and fit for the purpose of the garment. The best raw materials are used and great care is taken during the production process.
Designed to Be Repairable
Once produced, garments, shoes or accessories were designed to be repaired if necessary, and the skills were available in the marketplace for this to happen. They were considered worth repairing given the added longevity such repairs would guarantee. Repair was often a necessity and throwing something out was not even considered as an option.
Designed to Last
Clothing and accessories were seen as an investment, something to be looked after carefully, something that could be handed down from one generation to the next. The testimony of this can be seen in today’s healthy obsession with ‘retro’ or ‘vintage’. The classic look of past generations endures and while modern fashion brands often imitate or recreate certain pieces and styles, many seek to own original items. Of course some icons of the past are still being made today with the same loving care as when they were conceived. Classic style never dies and today’s manufacturers are coming back to this concept.