What Faustine Steinmetz is proposing with $1400 couture jeans, is, I believe, quite radical. What she is proposing is in fact quite in opposition to how our visual culture works today. Although fast fashion came to prominence before the social media and photo saturated landscape of today, at this point it sometimes seems like the two go hand-in-hand. Because what’s the point of a new outfit if no one sees it? Conversely, if thousands of people see it, it becomes all the more meaningful. And with that positive reinforcement comes the need to perform new outfits over, and over, and over again.
But if you buy a pair of $1400 Faustine Steinmetz jeans, you might not be able to buy anything else for quite some time. And if you want to be in photographs, you will likely be pictured wearing the same pieces multiple times. She said herself, “I want to work on jeans for three months if I want to – it’s about the jeans, not the look.” Of course, there are already women buying and wearing couture, and they are likely unfazed by a $1400 price tag. But I got the impression that she would like to expand her brand to people who aren’t necessarily used to buying couture.
Personally, I would like to see a transition from quantity of clothes being valued over quality of clothes; although to be honest, I’m not sure I see myself ever paying $1400 for jeans. Faustine did mention that her brand plans to expand to less expensive items that will still be produced with the same underlying values as the 100% handmade items. It will be interesting to see how that plays out.
One other thing I noted from her talk:
– Faustine mentioned (in passing) a union for designers. Heck yeah! The general population probably doesn’t believe that designers need to organize, but when you hear about the pressures to produce and the difficulties negotiating with stores, it makes more sense.