The Rise of “Virtue-Based Buying”
Hermes understands that natural dyes work just as well as synthetic ones, without damaging the environment. However, a lot of industry folk are skeptical about this belief, including Keith Recker when he was first approached about it during his time at Saks Fifth Avenue. But eventually, he saw the benefits… and it set him on a path to an ever-greater understanding of what will become an ever more important topic to the fashion business in the years ahead.
Recker is the founder and editor of HAND/EYE Magazine, an online publication with a global following that profiles forward-looking creators, faraway cultures, ancient craft traditions, and cutting-edge design. HAND/EYE sees humankind’s creative future as handmade, which demands attention the struggle of artisans to earn decent livelihoods through preservation of ancient traditions, innovation of new ones, exploration of new markets, and educating the consuming public about the cultural and economic importance of their work.
Prior to founding HAND/EYE, Recker was vice president of home furnishings at Bloomingdale’s and Gump’s San Francisco, and director at Saks Fifth Avenue. As director of product development at Granet and Associates, Recker helped create relationships between creative brands and manufacturers and marketers serving the retail and design industries. Clients included Clodagh, Suzanne Kasler, Charlotte Moss, Pantone, and many others. Recker is also a trend and color forecaster whose 15-year client list includes global influencers Pantone, WGSN, Stylus, and more.
His new book, True Colors: World Masters of Natural Dyes and Pigments (Thrums Books, 2019) was released in September 2019, with chapters already excerpted in London-based Selvedge Magazine, NY Textile Month Journal, the Santa Fe New Mexican, and Texto Journal. He is co-author of PANTONE: The Twentieth Century in Color (Chronicle, 2012), published in eight languages. Recker’s work on color and culture has been published by the Studio Museum of Harlem, the Museum of Art and Design, Brooklyn Rail, and more.
He has also worked in the non-profit world as a director of consumer marketing at CARE International and executive director at Aid to Artisans, and has served on the boards of Art in General, Chez Bushwick, The Quiet in the Land, and the Global Center for Cultural Entrepreneurship. He is currently pro bono creative director of the Santa Fe International Folk Art Market, where he is serving his third term as a board member, and pitching in as head of the Marketing Committee. He was recently named Editor in Chief of Table Magazine.