Had dinner with my wife and my mother last night. My wife is a very talented and successful photographer who has worked quite a bit with high fashion and my mother has been a huge fan of luxury and fashion for her whole life. My wife is putting together clothes for a new photo series and was showing them to us. They were all vintage, high fashion designers. It got us to discussing the conditions when these clothes were originally made. Back then, wealthy women would fly from all over the world to Paris or some other fashion hub to buy their clothes for each season. The designers were, for the most part incredibly niche. The designers were known for their vision and their craftsmanship, not just their brand name.
It's a very stark contrast to what we find now. Nearly everything is available everywhere. The luxury houses are huge conglomerates recognized mostly for their brand. The mainstream consumer is now often a luxury consumer.
Looking at these beautiful vintage clothes, I could not help but feel a bit sad. It is sad that when traveling to most countries, the only reason to buy something is if the exchange rate is favorable - otherwise it's all the same stuff. It's sad that people have totally lost the foundation of why these things are desirable to begin with. A valuable part of culture has been lost.
I think this is the deepest feeling behind Independent watchmaking. It is one of the few areas left where you have individuals creating and being creative, displaying craftsmanship and passion, and producing objects that are not the same things found at every local mall.