As we travel the globe for inspirations, we can't help but to be disappointed at how homogenous the world has become; from London, New York to LA, and Paris, Milan to Tokyo, there is a growing imbalance of retail in general, whereby the haves (chain stores, name brands, department stores), are rapidly eroding the have-nots - the small boutiques that used to be the source of creative energy and genius that spearheaded uniqueness and design.
The reality of what's happening on the marketplace is Darwinian in nature - Big stores have immense buying power, enabling them to buy more things, at higher volume, thus cheaper, which are all factors boutiques are struggling to compete against. So the big gets bigger, and the small gets pushed out.
What is the problem you may ask? Don't we all aspire for more reasonably priced shopping experiences? Isn't this what global economy is all about?
In our view, this results in the slow death of uniqueness and design.
With our reputation as one of the forefront fashion jewelry design studios in the world, a part of what we do, is we are privileged to be entrusted by leading department stores to design and curate their collections for them. The idea behind it is, to harness our creativity to looks that are beyond what we do at Adia Kibur, so the collaboration can fuse new sparks and lead to super exciting products.
Working with big establishments however, has its challenges; when we work on our own collections, there is nothing holding us back, all we do is focus on designs that inspires us, allowing that to be the sole driver of our creativity. With collaborations however, it is not quite as simple. Instead, it becomes a fine balance between what buyers view as fashion forward for their audience, the percentages and numbers to drive sales, and ultimately, cost considerations down to the cent.
As much as everyone involved has the best of intentions, this often result in jewelry lacking uniqueness and design aspirations, since it is no longer looking to those who are fashion forward, but rather, aims right down the middle where the bulk of consumers are.
Inevitably, it is not surprising if you are looking for fashion forward styles on the streets or internet, they are getting harder and harder to come by. Boutiques used to be the champions of designs that take chances, but as they start to face challenges, there is no platform for edgy designs to take hold anymore.
It is not too dissimilar to what's happening to bookstores. In the past, you can wonder into a local bookstore, and discover the most curious of readings because the bookstore owner has his or her own personalities, and the collection is a result of chances taken on writings that may not appeal to the masses. Nowadays, all you have to do is to turn on your Kindle recommended list, and you hardly even go past the top ten list; it is both convenient, and a little startling what we have become in this digital world.
As a design firm, we see it as our responsibility to continue to take chances on uniqueness and design, to push the envelope for those who care about voicing their own independent statements, with the strong belief that, if we build it, they will come.
We are excited to be a part of a great project that looks to preserve this, and we look forward to unveiling it in the coming year to everyone!