MASS CUSTOMIZATION IN MAINSTREAM FASHION
For decades, the fashion set has been guided by a beacon-- the “it” bag of the season that dictates style and persuades many a modish woman to happily fork over two months rent to the fashion powerhouse a la mode. As we approach the 2017 fashion season, making “it” your own is what it is all about. Vogue.com’s Style Editor, Edward Barsamian, tells us to “take cues from the tassel-toting, keychain flying, and sticker-splashed bag carriers on the streets of Milan Fashion Week.” It’s all about taking the “it” bag from a “rarefied item” to a useable piece “with touches of individuality.”
In an industry known for its influencers as much as its trend-abiding followers, it is easy to lose sight of the fact that individuality is and has always been at the heart of the fashion business. While this remains, the landscape is ever changing. Technological advances in recent decades have made the fashion world smaller and more accessible—making it harder to stand out and showcase individuality.
Enter Fendi in 2013, with not only the most covetable bag of the season but also the charm that would shut down all other charms— the magnificent poof. In the most whimsical of ways, the torch of self-expression was handed back to the consumer and the masses were delighted. A 2015 Deloitte study highlights 1 in 3 people want personalized goods and services in their everyday shopping experience so, it’s no wonder that designers and retailers alike are developing products and experiences to hit the same notes.
Saks Fifth Avenue-- home to some of the most recognizable brands in premium retail-- kept customization and user experience top of mind when we developed their Spring 2016 Beauty Gift-With-Purchase program. Apropos to the Saks signature look of luxury, we designed an oversized tote of a gold-brushed white python which became an energetic and experiential piece by offering patrons a choice of three poof bag charms to dangle off its handles.
It’s a theme we see only gaining momentum, as the marketplace continues to diversify its retail channels, the focus on user experience and self-expression will continue to sharpen. Today, as retailers invest in monogramming services and fashion labels develop new flare concepts for your “it” bag (leather stickers anyone?), it’s hard to imagine what will manifest next. It’s a challenge that will incite the most creative minds to conjure up new and exciting ways of engaging consumers, thus bringing fashion back to a most thrilling sphere of self-expression.