The Real clients of Haute Couture (I)
Haute Couture is more alive than ever. These aren´t only words from my point of view. After watching the fashion shows and the atmosphere in the days when Haute Couture collections were launched in Paris for autumn-winter 2015-2016 (f / w 15/16).
I´m convinced, Haute Couture have everything a multigenerational company would desire: new values capable of managing the Houses with creative talent at the same entrepreneurial mindset, the number of people who demand the product is expanding not only with healthy economies more than enough to deal with bills that are happy to pay and who value the product not only by what at first glance. But even they consider it an investment, plus authentic objects of art and collectibles.
The only thing that worries me about couture is the disappearance of some craftsmen without any possibility to transmit his savoir faire, his technique, his product, specifically I’m thinking about the craftwoman who makes the trimmings for Chanel. I recognize it is because of my ignorance this sadness I feel, because I guess it must have been provided a solution. And in a country like France, including training courses for beeing the ineffable «hands». About «hands», I consoled myself more because I have seen in different photographs, videos, documentaries, live even quite young people in the workshops with their white coats.
If you want to know more about what I speak I recommend you get see a great documentary called Signé Chanel.You´ll see, again and again, you won´t get tired. You see, again and again, do not get tired, you´ll excite, meet some curious and amusing customs, anecdotes and see how great is Lagerfeld! Look how he treats to the «hands», how he behaves in the party! You´ll see how he designs the wedding dress! Perfection and perfectionism, the quality is not improvised.
At the end of the film you can see how once just the fashion show finish, starts again work in the workshops of couture houses because the designs will be tailored to each customer who buy them even with the changes they ask, as for example longer sleeves or skirt. When Valentino retired, Giancarlo Giammetti, told that when sewing machines appeared La Maison Valentino bought two, one of them was tested once and the other one was left unused.
But, who are the customers? I can tell you how it has changed the profile of the client couture from the 30s until today through the years 50-70 and later 80-90 until today, but surely you like most if we do it through profile of some of the clients who have no problem in that they are seen in fashion shows, their devotion is known and even some boast very proud of his collection and even lend to museums.
The real high fashion clients often stay in the shade, outside the fame, but some names transcend, more in full communication society. In fact, designers tend to schedule private catwalk so they can attend without having to be exposed by the media. Let me make something very clear, never I´ll give a name of someone who will not appear under any circumstances in a media. People named here are popular for their social, business and / or professional work as well as publicly acknowledge that they are buyers and collectors couture with all honor.
ARAB WOMEN. Sheikha of Qatar is no an exception only she has a very important, in and out of her country’s public role. Mozah bint Nasser al-Missned is the image of modern women of the UAE, as no one combines the values and traditions with active participation in the intellectual and social life of their country and internationally. If you want to know more about her, she has a very interesting web http://www.mozabintnasser.qa/en/Pages/default.aspx.
The main buyers of haute couture today, are concentrated around the Persian Gulf: Saudi, Kuwaitéis, Qatari and the rest of the UAE, do not hesitate to spend more than 50,000 euros per model at least, to attend an event. The wedding season is the most important in terms of wear couture gowns refers to the Arab countries. Considers that the parties are held for 7-12 days. Only for one of the weddings, they come to buy between 10 and 15 dresses for each guest. The arab women buy an average of 30 dresses per season and person.
THE EUROPEAN. Most European women who currently buy couture are often accustomed, some of them from the cradle. Others have achieved their dream or have had access for their own status achieved with their work, inheritance or marriage.
We can´t talk about couture buyers without mentioning the greatest collector in the world of haute couture designs: Daphne Guinness. It isn´t only an heiress raised in an eminently cultural, elitist, artistic and exquisite but also is considered the greatest collector of haute couture in the world. Dafne has done many collaborations with newspapers, videos, interviews, TV documentaries, etc. To me, she is totally fascinating and I think all this documents and very interesting. But besides being a real artist, works and designs many pieces a year to enormous prestige brands, is a great philanthropist and doesn´t hesitate to show his human side to support their friends. People of fashion world say that Karl Lagerfeld and Manolo Blahnik adore her. Perhaps their aesthetic sensitivities and their huge cultural background make them perfectly congenial.
In Spain we have Eloisa Bercero, heir to the elgorriaga chocolates, the crisis has taken her toll and he has sold some of the models in her collection, which was probably the largest in Spain. Karl Lagerfeld said she was the most chic woman in the world and include the Ritz in Paris, during one of Eloisa´s stays to attend Haute Couture fashion shows, Mohamed Al Fayed went to the restaurant to see Eloisa. It remains to know more about American clients, the Far East and the new generations, but this will be in the following article.