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Authenticity, or our need for something real

Kusmi Tea

Examples of authenticity abound. Models bustling about with canvas bags or a fresh baguette under their arm at the Paris Fashion Week; the boom in the new-rustic interior design trend with farmhouse tables and earthenware utensils; green tourism with guides who are also farmers; whole foods (don’t even think about processed products!), and local traditions. These examples and more prove that the need for something real, with real people grounded in reality, is now one of the major aspirations of the post-modern humans we have become! According to an investigation into authentic global brands, eight out of ten French people say they are prepared to be loyal to, work with, and even commit to helping a brand or a person they perceive as authentic.

Authenticity is synonymous with truth, simplicity, a natural character, and sincerity. In a word, authenticity is reassuring. The origin or quality of a product, the credibility of a claim, and the closeness of a relationship are all values seen as essential. In today’s world, traceability can be near impossible, a declaration can turn out to be fake news, and an encounter with someone can sometimes be nothing but pure fantasy!

While authenticity is reassuring, it also moves and inspires people. When we dig a little deeper, a truly authentic person, place, or product often reveals an emotion or a story waiting to be told. And this discovery may just be a human aspect – but an invaluable extra in the current era of artificial intelligence and robotization.

As transparency is one of the specificities of today’s ubiquitous social media, the ability to show authenticity is particularly sought after by millennials. However, it is also a testament to a strong personality. In a word, demonstrating our authenticity has become one of the best tools for convincing those around us.

In a world led by buzz and hype where immediacy is the name of the game, authenticity also has the ability to showcase the value of the past. This manifests in a sort of “return to our roots” whether it be heritage, expertise, or lifestyle, all passed down in the style of a gentle relay race. We are now driven by sustaining these values, but also by developing them for the future. After all, we should not confuse this quest for something real with nostalgia. Authenticity is not found solely in the old stones of a family home or in a region’s gastronomy, but has also grown into a powerful medium for innovation.

Far from being a fad of the times, authenticity is in fact more timeless than ever!