Some thoughts on craftsmanship
Every single thing that is carefully hand-crafted has its own special story to tell. Behind every such item, there are a history of technique preserved over time and the life of the artisans who made it. It exists as a result of a long progress through many pairs of hands.
In Descente, the whole ethos of craftsmanship is sustained by a large number of people. From the beginning, an idea come up from a marketing team would turn to a single concept image by designers. That image becomes the basis of a manufacturing process that starts with a more detailed design and the creation of paper patterns. As it passes through the hands of specialists in each relevant stage, the preparation for the transition from the original flat image to a three dimensional product begins to take shape.
Soon, the production specifications stemming from the original flat image become a multi-page document. At this stage, it evolves into an instruction manual in which all manufacturing processes are exactly and precisely detailed. All of the finest details of all that follows are intricately specified in this. It is this process that is at the very heart of Descente’s ethos of craftsmanship. It is fair to say that it is at this point that the DNA of Descente becomes deeply embedded in the product. The rock upon which Descente’s ability to work through this concept-to-commercialization process stands is – as it has been since the company’s foundation – its solid core of superior technical staff. They are the ones who wrestle with the many problems and challenges that arise on the way to transforming accurately the line drawings and concept images of the designers into the shape. Tirelessly, often through repeated trial and error, they overcome the hurdles – no matter how high they are – and make the end result their own. It is their spirit of challenge and breakthrough that defines the success of Descente’s craftsmanship.
The passion for craftsmanship is passed from one’s own hand into somebody else’s – just like the passing on of a baton from athlete to athlete. At the next stage, the baton is passed on to a group of highly skilled professionals of sewing. At Descente’s production facility, all of the sewing is done by technicians with recognized national skill qualifications. The factory where these highly qualified professionals work also has a particular Descente atmosphere about it. For Descente’s true craftsmen, the comfort and functionality they create for Descente’s customers is uppermost in their minds. It is never high productivity or efficiency of their workers. In every moment, all of the manufacturing processes are inspected by the craftsmen. If there was something to weigh on their mind, it immediately returns to a planning team. At the end of a long process – passing from one craftsman’s hand to the next – a garment reaches the end of the production line. In this complex and demanding process, each and every garment incorporates a great deal of individual thought and care, and it eventually takes its final shape.
The path that leads to a customer taking delivery of superior product is a long one – from meticulous planning, through rigorous verification and testing, and endless trial and error experimentation by absolute professionals. But the efforts of all of these craftsmen are supported and appreciated by athletes and all who truly love sport. In all of this, the true spirit of Descente can be found.