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This week we’ve managed to once again find you the most interesting mass customization news.
$40,000 Customized Dog Manors
Hecate Verona is a British company that says it makes dog manors. A dog manor is a $40,000 to $200,000 completely customized dog house that can include, “heating and air conditioning, indoor/outdoor lighting, cameras, food and water feeding systems along with treat dispensers, sound systems, TVs and the ability to connect with their owners for a a bark-talk chat whenever they feel like it.”
Each dog manor is completely custom made and custom designed to the owner’s wishes. The company has Dog Manors in different styles including Roman Imperial Mansion, Spanish Palacio and Colonial Villa Grand. The company also states that, “Crafting an architecturally designed dog manor is a complex art, requiring perfect strokes at every stage in the process.” So far all of the images on the site appear to be renderings, not actual photographs. We can not therefore determine if this particular custom business “has legs” so to speak. What do you think, is this an example of a niche high end customization business that could see a bright future?
LaContrie Made to Measure Bags
W Magazine profiles LaContrie a Parisian bespoke handbag maker. Founded in 2010 by Edwina de Charette the company lets customers choose the zippers, leather, thread, clasps and monograms to create one of a kind handbags that are made in the company’s own workshop.
Edwina de Charette says that “LaContrie adapts to the style of its customers.” This is a very important point to make in made to measure goods. Previously the brand and the designer of that brand were responsible for creating style and imprinted the customer with their vision. A new crop of custom companies are putting the customer in the driving seat. Style conscious consumers want to showcase their own vision and customized goods are letting them do just that.
L’Atelier du Soulier at Bon Marche
LVMH is the parent company of many high end luxury brands such as Louis Vuitton and Dior. The company also has a department store Bon Marche. L’Atelier du Soulier is a custom shoe addition to the store where customers can customize shoes. The customization itself is being carried out by Notify. Monograms, unique threads, custom embroidery and even custom artwork can be added to the shoes. LVMH launched the L’Atelier du Soulier in April and now has launched 24Sevres.com an ecommerce website for Bon Marche.
“Personalization is a very strong trend,” said shoe buyer Morgane Toullec. “We started with denim and are now capitalizing on its success, as we knew there was room for shoes to be customized as well.” She added that while concepts such as Nike iD are commonplace, “the idea for this new initiative is that you can personalize any kind of shoe — sneakers, ballerinas, espadrilles, derbies and everything in between.”
It seems that by retailing directly and offering more mass customization in store LVMH is betting on a direct to consumer custom future. We’re seeing the emergence of small brands that offer customization as well as significant investments in customization by some of the largest fashion companies worldwide.