There are a handful of words that surely must rate as among the most over-used of our time: craft, artisanal, authentic, mindful — I’m sure you know where I’m going with this.
We have all, at some stage in recent years, embraced the discerning world’s headlong dive into the quest for all things handmade, heritage-inspired, real, and without preservatives. It was only a matter of time before we all began to seek the luxury of the human touch after the machine-made world started mass-producing beautiful things.
The problems arose when the marketing people became involved and suddenly everything under the sun had an artisanal angle. Branding, labels, fonts, and stories all started referring to heritage and provenance — and not always truthfully.
Well, I’m over it, and heartily hope the rest of the design fraternity is too. It’s time to leave true craftsmanship to the craftsmen and to find a new marketing lexicon and aesthetic that is modern and sustainable.
That’s why we’ve dedicated this issue of Wanted to those men and women who are truly authentic. From our line-up of craft stars who are honestly preserving techniques and equipment for future generations to the hedge-fund manager who collects handmade shoes; from our modern-day female farmer who’s reinvented the cattle business to the cognac craze that is sweeping the hip-hop world, these tales are all the real deal, and are inspiring stories of true craftsmanship.