How often have you seen an item of clothing you like and thought, I wish that was in red, or it had a different neckline or the pattern was slightly different? Or better still what if you could actually see it being made? Well now there are many opportunities available to be involved in design decisions just like those and see them realised.
Way back in 1999 Nike had a customisation platform that allowed customers to configure their trainers with a wide range of materials and colours. Personalisation was made luxurious by Anya Hindmarch, a prestigious handbag designer, who sells funky bag stickers to enable her customers to make their purchases more unique. Jimmy Choo similarly sells a collection of additions including buttons, crystal clip-ons and bracelets as well as offering full customisation of entire shoes. Heel height, shape, colour and material are now no longer just under their designer’s control but anyone – with enough money to afford these expensive creations . Many other big name brands have followed suit with their own versions and different levels of mass customisation including Converse at a lower end of the market, and high end designer labels such as Gucci, Fendi, Ralph Lauren & Burberry.
A current manifestation of this trend and the one I particularly like is by Unmade who produce custom designed knitwear. Customers choose a design they like on their website which they can then alter and manipulate. There are different options in colours, scale of knit design, position of knit design and… this is the cool bit, you can even warp or remove some of the design altogether. The bit that appeals to me most is that you can go and see the garments being made in their Selfridge’s pop-up store. In a similar vein, Storemade, is a project whereby limited runs of t-shirt & totes are printed each week reflecting current events and popular culture in their in-store studios housed in some Weekday stores in Sweden.
Being able to be involved in such a way with the clothing you buy and to see what is being made for you makes it a really special purchase which gives this concept so much room for growth and development. Some of the garment manufacturers in the UK now have open days when consumers can come along and see their clothes being made. I would love to incorporate this idea into the Boy Wonder brand in some way as not only would it be exciting but it also helps establish transparency too.
Check out my Pinterest board on how to customise your own clothes to make them truly unique.
#MassCustomisation #DesignItYourself #Unmade