Here’s a really quick economics lesson: there’s a theory that says an object can be valued by its owner simply because it’s not owned by anyone else. This is called a ‘positional good’, a term coined by the economist Fred Hirsch. But let’s get to the point.
Nowhere is this idea more obvious than in fashion. When it comes to style, personal is priceless. Luxury brands are luxury because they provide custom-made items and bespoke services. Luxury is personalisation, and vice-versa. Unique fashion pieces have always been seen as valuable, but the New-Gen obsession with customisation is now coupled with more advanced technology, which makes it much easier and faster to create made-to-order objects.
We already know about putting our initials on designer bags like Gucci’s Ophedia tote or Dionysus bag, Burberry’s backpacks, and basically everything of Louis Vuitton’s. But now luxury brands are taking personalisation to a whole new level. And not just fashion, but sports and beauty brands too. Whether by using technology, artistry, or a combination of both, these brands are grasping at exclusivity as the most valued luxury of this generation. If you’re after a truly unique gift or a way to stand out from the crowd, these are the brands that will make it happen.
[Hero and feature image credit: Hermès.]
Gucci’s personalisation programme, Gucci DIY, was introduced as part of Alessandro Michele’s new creative direction and his love for punk and non-conformity. Gucci DIY lets customers make their own designs on the brand’s jackets, bombers, or sneakers. You can choose from a variety of denims, silks, leathers, printed linings, and, of course, style of tailoring. Then, you can select from various appliqués of signature Gucci symbols (bees, hearts, daggers, etc.) to interpret the brand’s aesthetics in your very own way. The service is available online as well as in their New York flagship.
Nike iD and HyperAdapt
Personalised sneakers are nothing new. But Nike’s iD lets you take it up a notch with more options for individual tastes when designing your own trainers, accessories, and bags. You can add a personal look and feel to each part of the shoe, including the soles, laces, and swoosh. But here’s the real kicker: the Nike HyperAdapt. The HyperAdapt 1.0 was designed with professional athletes in mind because when you step into the shoe, a sensor at the heel detects the tension and volume of your foot and adjusts the laces accordingly. It makes it ideal for eliminating distractions and lace-related worries, thus improving performance. The shoes can make micro-adjustments on the fly, so they constantly adjust to your body’s needs in real-time. You’re not just wearing the shoes, the shoes also wear you. Nike have now announced the HyperAdapt 2.0, which make these digitally-sensored trainers available at more accessible prices and greater quantities. You can find them online or place an order at select Nike stores. Locations: 138 Siam Square One, Rama I Road, Bangkok, 10330, 10am-10pm. Siam Paragon, Sports Hall Level 2, Rama I Road, Bangkok, 10330, 10am-10pm. Central World, Supersports Level 4, Rama I Road, Bangkok, 10330, 10am-10pm. Central Chidlom, Supersports Level 4, Rama I Road, Bangkok, 10330, 10am-10pm.
Sephora Visual Artist
One of the best things about shopping at Sephora is that they encourage you to try on and experiment with their products. But if you can’t be in the store (or are just too lazy to), they have the Sephora Visual Artist. You take a photo of your face and the app or website will scan it and let you instantly try on products and create looks. The web version also guides you through the science and art of putting various products on your face. Shopping at Sephora just got personal and educational.
Function of Beauty
Take an online quiz to get the hair product that suits your needs perfectly. Oh wait, you’ve heard that one before? Take an online quiz developed by two MIT engineers and years of scientific research to get hair products based on your current hair type and your hair goals. On a really adorable website too. Barely a year old, this baby company is already a real hair-raiser. It’s valued at $110 million based on their technology and the 12 billion combinations of tailored products and treatments you could get. Right now they’re only shipping to the US, Canada, UK, and Australia, but keep your hair on – they’re already working on expanding to Asia. Meanwhile, you can ogle at their amazing Instagram spread or head to their website to find out more.
If you’ve spent a good few hours trying (and failing) to find a foundation that perfectly matches your complexion, then get the skin-ny on Lancôme’s advanced Teint Particulier. In partnership with science-based skincare company SkinCeuticals, the L’Oreal makeup brand has developed a scanner that takes different metrics of your skin, like level of UV damage, oiliness, skin tone, and then makes a bespoke foundation that fits your skin perfectly. The algorithm has around 72,00 different possibilities and counting. No more hanging around at the beauty counters for hours – the scanner takes only 5 minutes to create your perfect foundation. For an extra-personalised touch, each bottle is labeled with the client’s name and specific shade ID for easy reordering. (L’Oreal says that all client data is erased after purchase, and the anonymous data is then used for further product development.) For now this is only available at Nordstrom in US, but with current development on Asian skin, they’ll be expanding to our continent next.
The most iconic brand for personalised luxury, Hermès has gone further than just making custom saddles and handles for equestrians. Now, anything is truly possible at Hermès stores. Hermès Sur-Mesure is a low-key special projects division Customers can place requests for almost anything of their wildest material dreams with this special service, a service that will then sketch, make prototypes, and engineer to turn these dreams into reality. They’ve made furniture, boxing gloves, hot air balloons, speedboats, roller skates, and even a Hermès rickshaw which is now at the Four Seasons Kyoto. Because the programme is so hush-hush, the prices of such services have not been revealed. And why should it be? Personalisation, after all, is priceless.