Be Different: the «Personalization»
A growing number of Spanish accessories brands give customers chance to create bespoke items to suit their own needs.
«The customer is always right». The maxim attributed to the founder of London’s Selfridges department store has governed retail relations for more than a hundred years. Now, in the era of what has been called the ‘crossumer’, in a saturated and standardised market, some businesses are even taking things one step further. Offering a personalised experience is, according to marketing gurus, a key move to gain and retain customer loyalty. ‘Made in… Me’ is catching on as the latest designation of origin.
Spanish street footwear brand Munich pioneered a move that has turned customers into designers. In 2010, it launched its Munichmyway.com tool, offering chance to customise its iconic Gresca sneaker using more than three billion possible combinations.
Irene Gil, at Just-ENE, was also in no doubt that customisation should be the focus of her brand strategy: “Customisation gives customers just what they’re looking for, aside from trends and sourcing policies. We want their shoes and experience to be as unique and special as they are”. Just-ENE’s platform includes eleven basic designs that can go with four heel heights, three ankle straps, a hundred and sixty different materials, four sole colours…
Orders are flooding in from Russia, Switzerland, Netherlands and the UK. “From the pattern design to the last seam, every shoe is made by master crafters in line with your own specifications”, is the bespoke guarantee at Miss García, which delivers all over the world.
You’ll have to call in at one of Pretty Ballerinas’s almost a hundred shops at least a month in advance if you want to make use of the brand’s popular ‘Bespoke Bridal Collection’. Meanwhile, Glent’s shop in Madrid’s chic ‘Golden Mile’ neighbourhood blends craftsmanship with brand-designed technology to digitalise and take 3D foot measurements. Their application rolls out fifty different leathers, six soles, seventeen seam colours, ten shades of laces and several lining options. Your name, initials or any other message can be inscribed inside the shoe.
You can also find appealing bespoke options for bags. Box San Sebastián has had an à la carte service since the 1970s, which now benefits from the latest technologies. “We send a sequence of about ten to twelve messages by e-mail, with photos of the bag-making process and workshop explanations of the procedure, giving our customers all the added value of a unique and exclusive service”, says Gerardo González. Although they have no online tool, customers in Mexico, USA, UK, France and Japan place their trust in the brand’s long-standing expertise, despite the distance.
Inés Figaredo even provides a ‘birth certificate’ for customers involved in the personalisation of her ‘Who’ family. The online atelier service allows for choice of straps, leather, trim and even the eye colour of their ‘new arrival’. “More than 1,500 bags in one” is Paula Franco’s approach, with interchangeable items in different colours, finishes and prints. In three easy steps, customers can also create unique bags at the Lacambra e-shop, delivered anywhere in 21 days. La Portegna takes bespoke orders at its shops in Madrid and London. “We can add initials to most of our designs, and you can choose from different colours, font sizes, letters, numbers…”, explains brand designer Leticia de la Cuesta.