The desire for bespoke products continues to gain momentum in spite of boom and bust.
In times of surplus, the energy to consume and spend went unabated. In the guise of a latter day Catherine The Great, men and women of means took every opportunity to act out their whimsical fantasies through patronage. As a result, there was an explosion of concierge services and personal shoppers, eager to please as well as to spend. Their product was good but increasingly uniform.
The current economic climate has forced the issue of true value and quality – we need investment pieces that won’t date and a creative impetuousness that is personal and unique. Whether we seek to commission a pair of beaded couture boots from Jimmy Choo or a personalised perfume by Fredrick Malle (commissioning a bespoke scent is one of the fastest-growing trends in the luxury world after all), the demand for the bespoke has never been so great.
Brands with know-how have been consistent endorsers of this trend and are happily sailing through the recession as a result.
Read on for The Luxury Channel’s favourites:
Louis Vuitton has understood that personalisation is key for generations. A Louis Vuitton trunk is a status symbol and a classic. Add to this the brand’s recent emphasis on craftsmanship (their winter adverts are all about a meticulous attention to detail) and it is clear that this brand understands the allure of the bespoke. Personalisation, including hand-painted monograms and hot stamping, has never been so popular.
Anya Hindmarch’s obsession with ‘‘forever products’’ led to the recent opening of the Anya Hindmarch Bespoke Collection on London’s Pont Street. With a determined attempt to take the shopping experience back to how it used to be at the turn of the 20th century, this charming rickety shop is filled with a selection of bespoke bags, travel pieces and leather goods that can be personalised with illustrations, signatures or a favourite quotation.
For a jeweller that infuses his work with empathy and a determined attempt to capture the aspirations of his customer, look no further than the glitzy Donald Edge. His bespoke service starts with an analysis of the buyer’s personality, complexion and style. This is followed by an intricate painted visualization of the final product. However, discretion is always key. Customers can rest assured that their unique creations will maintain their timeless mystic. Donald Edge’s most recent (public) bespoke creation was a one-of-a-kind bottle worth $2 million for Chambord liquor. Hand crafted, this golden orb flanked with pink pearls and over a thousand exquisitely cut diamonds launched during London Fashion Week. The liqueur bottle was commissioned in association with the celebrated Breakfast At Tiffany’s at the Royal Theatre, Haymarket. Anna Friel plays Holly Golightly with aplomb and has been spotted leaving the theatre sparkling in her own bespoke Donald Edge jewels.
The very cool and talented Jessica McCormack creates bespoke pieces for her clients ranging from future heirlooms to intricate love tokens. The most beautifully cut diamonds, antique finishes and a modern sensibility are all utilised to create unique miniature art works. Jessica’s perception of beauty is delicate, natural, evocative and highly desirable. The Jessica McCormack Salon in Clerkenwell in London is filled with a glorious collection of curiosities, jewellery in antiquated display cabinets and a brilliant collection of modern art.
For the ultimate in haute bespoke perfumeries, Fredrick Malle is the leader of the pack. His latest offering for the home not only smells amazing but also has a powerful design aesthetic to boot. The electric fragrance diffuser releases ‘‘scented portraits’’ of individual flowers such as lily, rose and gardenia.
The scientifically-driven Molecule 01 perfume by Escentric Molecule, is a lovely addition to the bespoke perfume market. It’s all about effect, not fragrance. A hint of woody, velvet notes moulds with the wearer’s natural pheromones to make it totally individual, very sexy and truly bespoke!