Years ago, when I was still in elementary school and going on the internet was a much more difficult process, I loved going on Hasbro’s website and creating my own Barbie doll. This application gave me complete creative freedom (within the confines of a Barbie doll) to choose what my Barbie would wear, how long her hair would be, how her hair would be styled and colored, her eye color, skin tone, and other characteristics. Though I never purchased one of these custom creations, it did not take away from the fun of creating them.
Now that I have moved on from Barbie dolls, I have shifted to creating products that I actually use in my day-to-day life. Yes shopping is fun, but it is even more exciting to have a creative hand in the design of what you’re purchasing. Retailers are extending a creative olive branch to their customers, allowing them to add their unique touch to their classic products. You can now customize your own Le Pliage tote or Vara flats on Lonchamp and Salvatore Ferragamo’s websites. E-retailers Iomoi and May Books have built their businesses off the interactive role customers must play in creating their own products, be it an iPad case or weekly planner. I had fun creating these custom creations, even if I couldn’t afford to purchase some of them:
In honor of the 35th anniversary of Salvatore Ferragamo’s iconic Vara flat, customers can customize their own pair on the company’s website. For $550, you can choose your shoe’s body color, heel color, bow color, gold or silver hardware, and add your initials to the bottom of the shoe. Ferragamo has also launched L’Icona, a campaign featuring portraits of 21 famous female personalities, such as Olivia Palermo and Lauren Santo Domingo, modeling their own Vara creations that they have styled into their wardrobe.
One of my favorite things about starting a new school year was getting a new planner. I only wish I knew about May Designs when I was still in school. With so many options and possible variations, you will find it very difficult to finalize your planner/notebook/baby diary/meal planner/budget journal. Reasonably priced, you are gauranteed to get compliments on your unique planner that you completely designed. For inspiration, checkout May Designs instagram gallery.
If you have ever been to Paris, or let alone France for that matter, you may have noticed how almost every woman has some variation of Longchamp’s Le Pliage tote. I have a larger sized, lavender one and I absolutely love it. It’s great for travel, work, or as an everyday purse. Now you can customize your own tote on Longchamp’s website, with the current season’s color scheme. The main difference between purchasing a tote from a store and creating one, is that you can take your one shade bag into a two-tone bag, with so many different color combinations. You also have a say in the details, such the length of the handles, zipper metal, and the addition of text, which you can emboss or embroider. Unfortunately, it will cost you a little more too.
The main reason for purchasing an iPad or iPhone case is to protect them from falls and scratches, but with so many options in the market, these cases have become a fashion statement. Even luxury brands such as Burberry and Dolce & Gabbana have iPad cases that cost more than the actual iPad. When I got my iPad, I’ll have to admit, I was just as excited to purchase a case as I was with the actual tablet. I finally decided on customizing a case on Iomoi’s website because of the myriad unique design options I had. I chose the ornamented elephant and monkey design (see above). Not only are the design and monogram options endless on this website, but the product options are as well. Customers can create anything from iPad and iPhone cases to totes, travel bags, and stationary. It’s fun just to browse all the options this clever site has to offer.