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Hand-Made, Re-Made and Crowd-Funded: The New Global Cool

September 2013

By Claire Brooks, President, ModelPeople

Intriguing new expressions of personal style have emerged from our Global CultureBlog℠ Fall Style Trends edition, reflecting a new zeitgeist among millennial consumers, even in more mature emerging markets. Hand-made, re-made and crowd-funded is the new cool. This new zeitgeist, driven by financial limitations, environmental concerns and a backlash to ubiquitous global brands and digital lifestyles, sees millennials yearning to discover artisanal skills for themselves and have an authentic product experience.

This month Global CultureBlog℠ has tracked four trends in fashion, design and style:

Maker Movement Goes Mainstream
Berlin’s Betahaus has just organized its fourth Makers Weekend, while Kreuzberg’s Markthalle IX is a mecca for local artisans to sell handmade food, soaps, wine and more. Maker focus is on the hand-made and unique, but it is still open to leveraging technology where useful. In London, photography purists are abandoning iPhones and Instagram for higher-touch DSLRs and Lightroom software, perhaps beginning a slow-photo movement.

Vintage Is The New Green
In LA, designer and model Angela Lindvall repurposes denim as a new way to curtain rooms. And in Shanghai, where mass-produced items are often cheaper than buying used, fashionistas now see re-sold items as a way to express a new, personal take on style. In New York, scarce precious gems mined from regions of conflict are acceptably sustainable at New York Vintage. In Moscow, where true home ownership is only two decades old, newly build lofts furnished with Scandinavian vintage from the Archive Store are popular.

Ironic Understatement
In Europe, fashion and beauty are ironically understated, reflecting not only the new zeitgeist but a politically controversial mood of austerity. In London, brows are made carefully unkempt at browhaus and hair deliberately colored to look like it needs retouching at Bleach. The once loathed Stoffbeutel, or tote bag, become a wardrobe must-have for fashionable Berliners. The iconic Italian farmer’s vehicle, Piaggio’s Ape Car, has also seen itself re-invented as Fiorucci’s mobile pop up in Milan.

Local Pride
“Made in China” is now said with pride, as a new wave of local designers and retail outlets, like Brand New China, sell home-grown luxury brands. Chinese fashion is emerging into maturity as millennial consumers increasingly aspire to express individuality through local and vintage brands, rather than established global status brands.


Retail & Dining
Liquor, Beer & Wine
Health & Fitness
Design & Luxury
Entertainment & Gaming
Food & Drink
Fashion & Style
Vintage and local fashion are embraced by the Chinese youth
Handmade supermarket in Berlin
Re-purposed Piaggio Ape Car for Fiuccio pop-up store in Milan

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