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RH: Artisan Leather

November 16, 2010

I have a love hate relationship with Restoration Hardware.  The look and production parallel each other on the attractiveness and aesthetics front, but I’m a stickler for authenticity.  Personally I have a tough time buying something that is made to look like something it’s not, at least in the household department (I’ll buy the hell out of LVC or any counterpart).  Lately, the artisan leather collection has caught my eye, and I’ve made several exceptions during a few recent visits.  This collection is functional, looks good, and carries its own authenticity.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Orchid permalink
    February 1, 2011 02:32

    Hi there! I know that it’s been over a year since you posted this article, but …

    Restoration hardware is indeed misrepresenting that product line in my opinion. Oh, most of it is real leather – except for the faux-suede lining on at least one of the items. Faux suede? Wait, FAUX suede? On an artisan’s product? And “handcrafted” means that some kid in China ran a piece through an industrial leather sewing machine, by hand. Plus, the prices! Those are indeed realistic prices for a handcrafted item – but by the nature of the retail marketing, this is a mass produced creation. It’s not like you will get a call when the “artisan” has finished making your product. I’d be surprised if there wasn’t a warehouse in India or China loaded with 5,000 identical journal covers, ready for shipment … meh.

    Overall, those items are very pretty and I do like the look – okay, I love leather – but a real handcrafted product made by a real artisan would cost similar.

    Just looking at one of the items, I am wondering what artisan felt it worth their time to kick out a pencil holder … that type of product screams “mass produced”, as does the magnetic closure on the bag in the bottom photo.

    In fairness, not everyone wants to hunt down a real artisan who makes leather articles like an iPad case. And the product does look good. It’s like my experience with clocks. No one buys a real mechanical clock anymore – well, no one without $2k burning a hole in their pocket! People buy faux items that look real. It’s the curse of the modern world.

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