It should be a standard but it’s still a rarity today; the better the relation between people, the bigger their motivation and creativity. The brands which understand to use that powerful combination are able to present amazing masterpieces and unique products. One of them was first born in 1984 with its debut store opening in the Piazza, an old fruit and vegetable market in Covent Garden, London. Since then, it acts with responsibility and respect towards artisans. It’s called: ACCESSORIZE.
The idea of a standalone accessory concept was born inspired by Peter Simon’s trip to Les Halles, Paris. While Simon’s was wandering around the area, he discovered a small selection of stores selling fashion jewelry that customers could pick up, touch, and try on while browsing – a relatively unseen concept in London in the early eighties.
From the beginning, Accessorize was an Aladdin’s cave of artfully arranged displays, tables and stands, so customers could interact with products in a new way.
THE ACCESSORIZE TEAM
“Our team has fun accessorizing the world.”
So, Accessorize’s team has a passion for print, color, and those little design details. Thus, the creative heads seek out the latest trends with a playful British twist. Designed in London, Accessorize sources globally and believes in quality, offering products at guilt-free prices.
The Accessorize team believes in the positive, empowering, life-changing power of trade rather than aid. They want to do right by the people who make their beautiful things. As a founder member of the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI), Accessorize has been at the forefront of driving sustainable improvements in working conditions and livelihoods wherever we do business.
But that’s not all. Each year, the Monsoon Accessorize Trust (founded in 1994) supports life-changing projects in income-generation, healthcare and education for over 10,000 women and children throughout Asia.
WITH RESPECT TOWARDS ARTISANS
Handcraft characterizes always the heart of Accessorize activities. With the goal to sustain age-old handcraft techniques and traditions, the beautiful ARTISAN collection showcases truly wonderful work by skilled craftspeople across Asia.
Therefore, ARTISAN is much more than just a collection. Often, one single piece needs up to 20 or more hours of hand-work. Hence, ARTISAN signposts the brand’s commitment to sustaining traditional craft techniques as well as creating livelihoods.
Most of the ARTISAN pieces are hand-crafted by a suppliers’ networks of skilled craftspeople. But, each season, Accessorize also selects some ARTISAN pieces for the cooperation with the charity partner SEWA Embroidery Centre in Delhi. This organisation provides employment and support for disadvantaged local women.
In all cases, ARTISAN helps sustain, nurture and cherish age-old hand-work traditions to ensure the appropriate remuneration for the skilled craftspeoplethe and their wonderful work.
THE A-Z OF ARTISAN
“Well, make that the B, D, E, H and T of Hand-Craft techniques we sustain, nurture, and cherish…”
is for BATIK a distinctive hand-print technique that uses wax to prevent dye from penetrating areas of cloth. It can be repeated over and over again to create complex and colorful patterns.
is for Dip-Dye, an old technique that involves hand-dipping fine fabric in dye to create highly distinctive light-to-dark or contrast color effects.
is for Embroidery & Embellishment.The ARTISAN range showcases a fascinating variety of intricate techniques from traditional kantha, aari and mirror work to shimmering crystal and sequin decorations.
is for Hand-Block Printing. In this complex technique, a pattern is built up by using a succession of hand-carved wooden blocks to apply each individual color.
is for Tie-Dye, a highly skilled process that involves tightly knotting fabric with thread to mask out areas before dyeing.
Accessorize’s ARTISAN range also features hand-knitting, hand-crocheting, hand-weaving, block-printing, and hand-painting. Moreover, all ARTISAN items are uniquely and absolutely Monsoon. Currently, the brand produces over 300,000 ARTISAN items each year. The target is to expand the range.
THE SUMMER CAMPAIGN
High Street accessories brand, Accessorize, unveils its global high summer campaign shot by Victor Demarchelier (Vogue, Harper’s, GQ, Wonderland). He is the youngest son of legendary fashion photographer Patrick Demarchelier.
Effortlessly capturing the balmy essence of summer in exotic Hawaii, the campaign features Austrian model Nadine Leopold, styled by EXIT Magazine Fashion Director, Sam Ranger.
CABANA AND BELIZE
Energetic and creative, the campaign presents the key themes for the brand across beach, holiday, festival, and occasion wear.
Wonderful mbroidered bikinis, pompom trimmed kaftans, stacks, and layers of colored beaded jewelry take centerstage in the summer campaign. Both in picturesque beachscape settings and vibrant tropical scenes with parrots.
DARK SANDY DUNES
A pared back and natural look is the perfect style for the festival season. Across dark sandy dunes, the looks feature crochet dresses and bikinis, statement ethnic stone necklaces, hippie head chains and aviator sunglasses.
In addition to the main imagery, the campaign also features a selection of documentary shots plus two videos.
Read more in VALEUR MAGAZINE no 26
All pieces are available on the international Accessorize Websites