Fashion brands are tooling up to create custom clothing in minutes

Shoppers at Tommy Hilfiger can customise their items at its Regent Street store. This Wired design took 20 minutes to create on a Brother PR655 machine

Shoppers at Tommy Hilfiger can customise their items at its Regent Street store. This Wired design took 20 minutes to create on a Brother PR655 machine

The Polo Custom shop dominates the lower ground floor of the new Polo Ralph Lauren store on Regent Street in London. If you want to embroider personalised patches or monogrammed blazers, a few taps on a tablet is all that’s required. Similarly, at the Tommy Hilfiger store down the street, shoppers can pick any item in stock and have it customised in store while they wait. At Burberry, meanwhile, you can monogram a scarf; at Gucci it’s possible to appliqué designs on jackets; and Louis Vuitton lets its customers initial luggage under its Mon Monogram programme.

According to Deloitte research, one in three consumers surveyed were interested in personalised products, with 71% of those prepared to pay a premium for such embellishments. Moreover, focusing on the fashion sector, 15% of those asked are prepared to pay a substantial markup – more than 40 per cent over the asking price – for such items.

“Luxury consumers are increasingly expecting products that feel special and distinctive to them, such as monogrammed iPhone cases from Chaos Fashion,” says Tammy Smulders, global managing director of Havas LuxHub, the media group’s division dedicated to fashion, luxury and lifestyle business. “Equally, brands are using technology and data to segment their customers and provide the right kinds of products, services and brand communication.”

Technology will continue to drive this trend, according to José Neves, founder and CEO of online retailer Farfetch. “Customisation will be the next revolution in luxury,” he says. “We wanted to find a way of offering luxury and bespoke products to an audience that’s increasingly knowledgeable about style and quality.”

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