Mass customisation is on the rise. But it’s nothing new. For a couple of hundred years bespoke tailors and shoe makers have been plying their wares in the so called “Carriage Trade”.
Today’s fashion consumers are looking for greater degrees of personalisation than merely the ability to add a monogram of their initials. Nike, Adidas and RayBan are proving in the mass market that the ability to mix your own combination of colours and options is highly appealing to a broad swathe of their customers.
In the luxury market there are still only a handful of brands beginning to innovate. Late last year Salvatore Ferragamo the legendary Italian shoe maker introduced a MTO (made to order) programme for their classic men’s Driver loafers. The initiative has been highly successful and Ferragamo are considering extending the concept to other parts of their product line up.
In the small leather goods and accessories field Bianca Mosca which specialises in bespoke alligator wallets, card holders, Apple Watch bands and iPhone cases offers a full custom service on its website. Customers can choose leather colours, stitching types as well as having their initials embossed on their product. The finished product is made in their workshop in France and delivered around the world inside 28 days.
“The key thing is service and listening closely to your customers to ensure that you’re delivering what they want-not what you think they want,” said Tim de Rosen from Bianca Mosca.
Well I know what I want and given the choice I’d love to have a stab at designing my own shoes or wallet.