After 80 years of making understated handbags, leather-goods brand Valextra— known for eschewing logos and branding—has launched #NoLogoMyLogo, a bespoke program that invites customers to design their very own handbag. After clients choose the shape, size, and color, and then submit their initials, a team of graphic designers creates a one-of-a-kind pattern based on those specifications.
“Typically logos are about the brand,” said Sara Ferrero, CEO of Valextra. “But that’s not what we’re about. This is a celebration of the customer and their own unique personal taste, rather than a celebration of us as a company.”
High-end fashion has long been about having the right designer bag or the It shoe, but these days true luxury is about making something yours and displaying your individual aesthetic. Louis Vuitton recently launched a line of menswear that allows clients to put their mark (monograms, patches) on everything from sneakers to jean jackets. Meanwhile, Brunello Cucinelli debuted a made-to-measure suiting program this past fall, and Gucci has recently expanded its unisex DIY program to include cardigans with varsity-style letters. At Tiffany & Co., customers can have everything from monograms to handwritten doodles engraved on a wide array of products as part of its Make It My Tiffany personalization program.
“You could say it’s evidence of our increasingly individualistic society,” said Fflur Roberts, head of global luxury goods at research firm Euromonitor. “Customers want to make their own statement.”
Take insider-favorite women’s suiting label Blazé Milano. While the company now sells ready-made blazers, its made-to-order program, which allows clients to pick from 14 different button types, six linings, and countless colors and fabrics, remains the cornerstone of its business. Allowing individuals to partake in the crafting of something doesn’t just result in a beautiful item—it can also provide an opportunity for self-reflection. “I think being part of that process can be quite a profound experience for people,” said Beth Bugdaycay, co-founder of Foundrae, a cult jewelry label known for its medallion-shaped charms and cigar-band rings. With a new customization program, her clients can select from various symbols and gemstones to create a talisman that commemorates a meaningful moment in their lives. That it happens to come with bragging rights about one’s creative genius is merely a bonus.