“It’s so good, I put my name on it.” Who could forget the words of George Foreman, a man who leveraged the power of branding to move from boxing stardom to chargrilled beef success?
Thankfully, in 2016 you can initial more than just your grilling machine – heavyweight title or not. For years, fashion brands (especially luxury players) have offered personalisation services, but now opportunities to customise your clobber are more affordable than ever.
In an age of mass production and counterfeits, we’re craving originality – and it’s a desire that brands are more than happy to indulge. Here are seven of the best ways to make your clothes your own.
Gucci has done a 180 since Tom Ford’s tenure, but Alessandro Michele’s signature romanticism is now just as recognisable. As sought-after as the designer’s ruffles and fur-lined loafers are though, the brand has also launched a comprehensive jacket customisation service to act as a buffer against any potential Wes Anderson-lined financial malaise.
In addition to all the usual tiger- and cobra-filled splendour, customers can add their own initials and hand-painted motifs to denim jackets and silk bombers. Just don’t expect it to come cheap – prices start at around £2,500.
Via Montenapoleone flagship store, Milan
Every man has faced the quandary of a stripe that is almost perfect, but somehow just falls short. Or a colour that’s just a shade darker than your go-to. Which leaves with you two options: a) leave the shop empty-handed, or b) leave with a piece which, like a tattoo you got while drunk aged 18, you’ll always sort of secretly hate.
But with Unmade, you’ve got the keys: using the brand’s online design tool, you can customise every single piece of the brand’s knitwear, from the print and colour to the gradient of a stripe.
Ray-Ban is an iconic brand. The kind that, when you buy your first pair, gives you an immense sense of pride knowing you’re wearing something which has stayed stylish for decades. Trouble is, everyone else feels the same, so that pride is somewhat marred by the droves of people wearing exactly the same frames as you.
It’s lucky, then, that the legendary eyewear company offers customisable shades. Select from one of the classic silhouettes, choose your lenses and Bob’s your uncle. Better yet, personalised engraving sets your shades apart, minimising any potential risk of blending in during a hazy afternoon pub session.
Hand & Lock
While there’s merit in digital knits and hand-painted motifs, for many men bespoke is a more traditional affair. Which is why Hand & Lock, Tom Ford’s embroiderers of choice, take customisation right back to where it started, offering a range of embroidery options for tailored pieces.
As experts in pocket square monogramming and blazer pocket goldwork, the 1767-founded company provides an affordable way to make a budget suit look money.
If you’re of average weight and height and lucky enough to boast a ‘normal’, well-proportioned build – good for you. But for countless men, the high street’s cookie-cutter sizing does little to flatter their frame.
Enter Spoke. The UK-based start-up selling trousers made-to-fit, with an online interface that allows you to choose between various build options, leg-lengths and body types – all starting from as little as £79.
Unless you’re prepared to settle for NHS jam jars, reading glasses can cost a small fortune. So why not plough the same amount into something bespoke?
Independent eyewear brand Cubitts offers a customisable service from start to finish, beginning with a thorough eye test and consultation, a one-to-one design appointment and then a four-to-six week production process that results in a pair of tailored specs.
Your eyes are pretty complicated machines, so it makes sense to buy glasses that suit both your taste and optic requirements.
Bespoke services are often focused on our clothing. But after realising that men appreciate just as much individuality down south as they do up top, Portuguese footwear company Undandy sought to give our feet some time in the spotlight.
Which translates to a full Savile Row treatment with hundreds of different leather options and colours. Each pair is designed by you online, and each creation can be showcased on the Undandy website so you can share your spoils.