What is the meaning of life? What will I be when I grow up? Where is my milk from?
Humans have an inherent need to know the story behind just about everything, but young consumers seem especially obsessed with the origins of things. Therefore, several new projects and websites are committed to telling the stories behind some of consumers’ most prized possessions. Indeed, don’t be shocked if J. Peterman
teams up with Opening Ceremony.
: It can be exceedingly difficult for young people to project future heirlooms in a disposable world. After all, cell phones are practically antique
after eighteen months, and Apple develops the next generation of a product
as soon as the original is released. Recognizing the detachment between young people and their possessions, designer Andy Mangold
set out to uncover what the “throwaway generation” considers heirlooms. He took photos of 38 people posing with a sentimental possession, and asked them to explain the importance of the item they chose, be it a model tractor or just a plain knit hat. The result is Heirloom
, a self-published book that he plans to pass on as his own heirloom.
Chic and You Shall Find
: Those with an affinity for thrift shopping have likely imagined the previous owner of a particularly fortuitous score. Founded by former Vogue
staffer Brenna Egan
, Chic and You Shall Find is an online vintage clothing marketplace that not only carefully curates its wares, but also crafts “past life” narratives for each piece. While the stories are fictional (though they sound plausible enough to us), the concept is a creative way to bring life to an inanimate object and entice customers to create their own unique relationship with it. We would like to know the real story behind the striped Dior blazer
—namely, who was crazy enough to part with it.
Etsy’s “Saved From the Fire” Series:
Realizing the transient nature of modern consumerism, Etsy recently started a new blog featuring readers’ most prized possessions and the stories behind them. The DIY site prompts its audience by asking them what they’d save if their house was burning to the ground and they had just minutes to escape. Items, and their accompanying narratives, can be submitted to a dedicated series Flickr pool
. So far, entries have ranged from an old feather pillow
to a set of antique sleigh bells
While it’s fascinating to get a glimpse at the items others most value, we can’t help but think what our most prized possession would be, though we suspect that saving our actual house from the fire wouldn’t count.