After doing some research, I decided to focus this paper on an accessory. The accessory I chose, is a walking stick from The Metropolitan Museum of Art. The walking stick that I found, was specifically made in 1780 for Maximilian Franz, who was the youngest son of Empress Maria Theresa. It’s funny because you would assume that a walking stick’s use is presumably for the assistance for walking, but that wasn’t the main use during those times. Walking sticks originated as a need tool that most men carried.
They used it for tasks such as keeping robbers away and taming animals. Eventually, walking sticks became symbolic for power, authority, and strength. According to Fashionablecanes.com, “From the very earliest of times, people across multiple civilizations used walking canes not only for walking, but as an ornamental piece to accent their wardrobe and show their status in society.”
Back earlier, when one had achieved high status, they were usually dressed very elegantly, with clothing and accessories that had many beautiful detailing, finishing’s, gems, diamonds, anything you could think of.
Looking at Franz’ walking stick, you can definitely tell that he was a wealthy man due to the detailing of the accessory. Also, because he was the son of an Empress, he had also been known for having authority, which stated earlier, is a symbolic for a walking stick. This walking stick consisted of light, noble wood, with silver sheet at the lower end. The handle is said to be made of the finest porcelain.
If you focus on the handle’s detailing, there’s a painting of a hunting scene. You can see hunters on horses, a deer being hunted, dogs scrambling all over the place, and an honorable lady.
On the edges of the walking stick, there’s lots of detailing that seems to be some sort of gold paint. At the end of the handle, you can see Maximilian Franz’ initials, with a crown hovering above. Walking sticks has definitely stuck around into the new era. They’re still used today, but rarely for its fashion sense, more for people who have trouble walking. There was a point in time in the 90’s though when walking sticks became popular for its fashion sense. Most individuals who were seen with the accessory were pimps. They would dress up in these fancy suits, and would have a matching cane (walking stick) right by their side. This reverts back to power and authority that comes along with these sticks.
If I were to bring back walking sticks, I would do it a little differently. Canes are often known for the older male generation, but my target customer would be for a much younger audience, aged 18-30, who crave a passion for unique styling. Instead of having the average walking stick, I’d want mine to come in a cross body carrier. My walking stick will come in various styles that consist of materials such as beech wood, mahogany, brass, silver, diamonds, pearls, rubies, emeralds, and much more! The walking stick will have plenty of detailing, but it will be much simpler than the cross body carrier. The carrier will be completely covered in different colored jewels and diamonds.
I’d want my item to be sold exclusively online. My products will range anywhere from $600-$1,500. This isn’t an average accessory, and I know it wouldn’t be in a lot of people’s price range, so there would be no need to open up a store. There will be a handful of them already made, and for the most part, they will be custom made. This is the type of accessory that I want to see celebrities wearing at the Met Gala, and wearing at important events. I think I can incorporate the origin of the walking stick with my new ideas. Customers will feel powerful when they wear such a bold statement, such as my custom walking stick. I think with the right amount of precision, and dedication, it can become a top seller that all the celebrities will love.