Style aesthetes are investing more in the art of individuality .
Words by Barbara Cortelazzi, Creative Director of Alberto Sartori
Bespoke, for the longest time, was reserved for the “royalty” of society, but in recent years, the service has become more accessible to style enthusiasts, as many notable fashion houses have taken to this form of creation. From the clothes we wear to our accessories, we have become savvy aesthetes who look for customization and tailor-made pieces, in a bid to be unique and achieve individuality.
The term, usually synonymous with superior craftsmanship and perfection, does not only have its roots in clothing - from the gorgeous atelier’s in Italy to London’s famed Savile Row - but extends unto handbags, shoes, luggage sets and even stationery. The fashion enthusiasts are switching their interests to designs made to fit and slowly drifting away from the pre-defined runway looks and those shared during the month-long, multi-city fashion weeks. This “new luxury” is especially coveted by many who do not conform to the fashion industry’s ideals in terms of height, body shape etc. and have become disillusioned to shopping “off the rack”.
The fast fashion industry, which produces clothes and accessories at rapid speeds, making them accessible to the public very quickly, adds another element to why custom-made fashion is viewed as the ultimate personal style upgrade, especially due to its “slow fashion” practices. According to a recent study carried out by the Global web index, sustainability and the impulse to “go green” are continuing to gain traction. Many digital consumers say that environmental concerns impact their purchasing decisions.
Over 60% of millennials in the UK and US (aged 22-35) said they are more likely to pay extra for eco-friendly products and although bespoke doesn’t directly equate to “environmentally sensitive”, it does sometimes ensure that sustainable production practices - less energy and stock waste - are being put into use. It also tends to curb the “throwaway culture” which is an effect of fast fashion.
Luxury e-commerce businesses such as Alberto Sartori have also helped fuel this recent market boom, by making this resource readily available to whomever may desire it. Up to date with the latest technology, clients no longer have to undertake the tedious tasks of personally meeting with selected traditional outfitters with their limited offers, when these outlets now offer people a vast number of style combinations at the tip of their fingers, making the order process as effortless as buying any other thing online.
While the concept of bespoke on this scale would have been nearly impossible about 20 years ago, the forces behind retail evolution are equipping fashion houses with the right tools to better offer this service. However, studies show the real bespoke adventure will start in the next couple of years when retailers are able to expertly combine consumer data, artificial intelligence and customization as part of the unique experience.
Even as this service has successfully targeted the areas of exclusivity, creativity, quality and timelessness, businesses will need to continue to push the boundaries and up the ante on what is possible, while making sure to keep its clients at the centre of all strategies in regards to bespoke fashion, especially as the demand grows.