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Date published: March 03 2016

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It’s the ultimate luxury to own something handcrafted by true artisans says Mark Moussa

believe the resurgence of a particular design or cultural movement is most interesting when it’s being reinterpreted in a new and relevant way. It’s easy to rehash trends, but the most thought-provoking pieces, whether in fashion or design, are created when the essence of the product has actually been reimagined to reflect today’s world with an eye to the future. Two places I am seeing this is a renaissance of 1970s design and a reinvention of the Artisan movement.

Once dismissed as a decade defined by excess, I’ve seen the 1970s have a major resurgence in contemporary fashion and design in the past few years. As with most things, fashion insiders were the first group to bring back the look and feel of the ‘70s. Iconic design houses like Saint Laurent and Prada sent ‘70s-inspired looks down the runway, signaling a revival. Former 70s staples like fringe, wide-leg trousers and denim were reimagined, creating a domino effect of interest, demand and acceptance.

The mid-century references we have seen dominate modern design for the last several years are now giving way to 1970s influences. Suddenly, we’re seeing graphic patterns on floors, curved furniture and a shift from gold to brass. It’s no secret that the design community and the public has had an obsession with neutrals. While I appreciate a clean slate, I’m loving the infusion of texture and colour we’re experiencing as well. There’s always a pendulum, and the realignment with 1970s design marks a distinct shift. The ‘70s was a time of boldness and that’s what I’m most excited about - bold interiors, products and architecture, inspired by the ‘70s, but made new and fresh.

Another major trend I am seeing is the affinity for handcrafted, artisanal designs. It’s no longer about cost and convenience. People are willing to pay more for goods and services that are truly one-of-a-kind. From culinary delicacies to handmade accessories, consumers crave authentically sourced products and experiences.

The artisan movement is an influence that I fully embrace and feel very connected to. I have always felt that a luxury brand, no matter the sector, has a role and responsibility in linking their designs back to the craftsmen whose skills they employ and rely on. When I look at our collection, it takes me back to my travels and the people I’ve met along the way. I remember the time and care that each piece has been given - sourcing the precise materials and delicately moulding each piece to secure the desired effect. To own something that’s been handcrafted by true artisans - that’s the ultimate luxury. As a designer who works closely with the craftsmen, I value how these items speak to personal and cultural narratives.

India, my favorite country to travel to, is one of the most ‘hand-skilled’ countries in the world, employing millions of artisans across the nation. Despite its entrepreneurial spirit, this region is predominantly rural and remains largely un-corporatized, maintaining the essence of what true artisan culture is all about–focusing on handcrafted skills and ingenuity and the wider narratives of the cultures that inspire them. I encourage all of you to seek out products that celebrate craft traditions. It will give your rooms and life a layer of art and humanity.

Author: Mark Moussa

Company: Arteriors

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