Fine artists of fashion are completely underrated. It is difficult for a customer who knows nothing about how a garment is made without a demonstration of time, effort, and finances. Many are not willing to pay for a $400 belt when they can get a $40 belt that looks similar. The difference: hopefully, the $400 belt was handmade painstakingly with a superior leather and a hand-fashioned buckle. The $40 belt was probably made in China.
One of the more effective ways to convey the artistry of any business is to expose some element of the process. This picture above is inside Pinkham Millinery in Portland. PM was recently featured as one of the top 20 millineries in the world, one of only 4 in America, and the only one not located in NYC.
Inside Dayna Pinkham’s shop, she displays just one of a hundred elements of her trade: hat forms. Shelf after shelf of wooden blocks of all measurements and hat styles line the west wall of her shop. The craft is a fine one, and this way anyone who enters can see the challenge of making a hat so perfect as one of Dayna’s. This effective bit of Visual Merchandising is not only a great conversation starter with clients, but also a truthful display of the work that goes into her art.