When I was eight my mum ironed ‘A.n.n.i.e’ in red velvet initials onto a white T-shirt for me, as part of a 'Little Orphan Annie' fancy dress outfit . I was MADE for this role, boasting a hairdo that was more Annie than actual Annie, and the name to match. (I know- spooky) Needless to say I wore that t-shirt until the iron on patches curled up and died. There was something exhilarating about wearing something across my chest that was totally personal to me, that told the world who I was. I'm sure it also appealed as I was so shy that it saved me having to introduce myself. Win win.
Thirty eight years later and not much has changed . Yes I have marginally better social skills, but the rush that comes with wearing something that tells the world who I am- that feels like it’s been made just for me hasn’t faded. However indulging in professionally personalised and customised items has previously come with a hefty price tag. It comes as no surprise that a Gucci trainer comes with the option of personalisation for example, or that we can choose custom travel tags to adorn our Louis Vuitton suitcase. If we are paying a premium extras are expected. But hooray! Now the mid market has hit the ground running with the fact that consumers want personalised shopping experiences that we can manage ourselves online. And the rise of independents, and slow fashion and access to crafts people through social media means it’s possible to access personally tweaked pieces almost instantly. And for a lot less than a customised Vuitton case.
Here’s my pick of what i'm currently loving. Guaranteed to give us all a special little self important buzz, which can never be a bad thing. And while OF COURSE it’s way to early to be talking about- shall we say - 'seasonal gifting', these sort of personalised pieces obvs make excellent presents too, should they be required. Just saying.
FUND JUMPERS. Sustainable ethical knitwear brand, dedicated to social change. Customise each lambswool jumper online with colour, embroidery and motif. (Jumper £235)
LAURA GRAVESTOCK Independent jewellery designer who counts Gwynneth Paltrow and Taylor Swift as customers for her personalised pieces. ( Initial necklace from £65)
SEZANE: Personalised French girl chic that won't break the bank, with complimentary monogramming up to five letters (Bag £205)
4. CRESSIDA JAMIESON Whimsical fully bespoke embroideries for clothing and lifestyle (Double ribbon love heart tee from £90)
5. NIKE BY YOU Design your own Nikes in snazzy 3D with multiple fabrics and colours, plus embroidery monogramming on the heel. ( From approx £135)
6. BY ELLEVEN Vintage blazers monogrammed with the brand logo, with limited edition personalised embroidery at Christmas. ( Blazer £75)
7. MARKS & SPENCER Luxe looking breton with red personalisation up to 13 letters from super brand M&S ( Tee £15)
8. DESMOND AND DEMPSEY Luxury british pyjama brand offering complimentary monogramming in 6 colour ways and 3 characters.
9. SEZANE The classic pale denim shirt personalised by the brand's complimentary embroidery atelier, up to 10 characters in 8 colour ways. ( Shirt £95)
10. ZARA The 'edited' canvas tote allows a choice of 8 colours of initial monogramming, for £2 additional charge ( Tote £29.99)
11.OOKONN Fully bespoke cases with choice of case, band and letter colour, and custom characters. ( Round case approx £300)
12. RAE FEATHER The original insta fabulous monogrammed basket bag has branched out. These sheepskin slippers are hand painted in house with 7 personalisation choices ( Slippers £150)
13. MARKS & SPENCER Classic grey sweatshirt ( I prefer the mens) with 2 characters of chunky personalised embroidery complimentary (Sweatshirt £39)
14. SMYTHSON The ultimate personalised 'soho' diary in four colour ways and 5 customisation options (Diary £240)
15. MAISON LABICHE Iconic French brand with 6 levels of customisation on its classic wardrobe essentials ( Beanie £57)
16. DENIM FAYGO A British independent producing individually customised and reworked mens Levi's jeans that can be fully bespoke to you. (Jeans £150)
17. VANS CUSTOMS Customise all styles of vans online in 3D with a multitude of fabric colour and print options. ( Hightops from £105)
18. PEACHY + WILD Celeb endorsed fully customisable quirky beaded letter jewellery at stocking filler prices (prices from £10)
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