From the moment my mum had to painstakingly sew woven name tags into every item of school uniform and P.E. kit, I was hooked on the satisfying feeling of wearing (and misplacing… and finding again… ) something that was mine and mine only for a period of time.  Woe upon my sister who sometimes had to wear the hand me downs, with my nametag unstitched.  It only occurred to me how stupidly giddy I get when I see my name in embroidered form when I received an Opening Ceremony varsity jacket as a gift for contributing to their blog during LC:M and temporarily being a part of the OC crew.  The jacket led me on a personalised fashion trail that won’t be news to most but got me thinking about the value of personalisation, inspired by this Marketing Magazine (I know, I live a wild wild life…) article about the trend of creating personalised product to entice customers in an age of individualism.

I wondered if I liked the fact that the jacket had my name on it, and was therefore a somewhat unique (despite the many Susie’s in the world) item.  Or that I liked to broadcast my name to the world in the way that you would wear a name tag when you’re on a newbie in a big group or in fact, working in services where your name is given as a courtesy to the customer.  Laura Craik of the Times saliently observed in her article about personalised fashion that wearing her own initials felt “a bit smug, a bit ‘Get me!’”  Brands like Smythson and Anya Hindmarch have long been in the game of personalising diaries, wallets and phone cases, not just with initials and names but with meaningful messages and phrases, but they’re normally items that are for your eyes only most of the time.  Your name or initials amplified by a garment or a highly visible bag though is a different kettle of fish.  Does it take a certain type of person to gravitate towards personalisation or is it universally liked because it flatters one’s vanity to remind yourself (and your friends or colleagues) of who you are through a few stitches and letters.  The Marketing Week talks of the feeling of having a perceived “big” brand recognise who you  are, which is an individual being in a sea of millions.  Another ad-talk theory suggests that personalisation appears to feel more special and involved with people and personalities because some element of customisation has managed to take place in a period of time when third party outsourcing is rife and  trends and bestsellers are constantly refreshed and repeated.  Thus far personalisation has mainly been concentrated in the high end luxury accessories sector or in the case of the Opening Ceremony jacket and the Kenzo Kalifornia bag, reserved for a lucky few (guilty as charged), but fortunately Whistles has stepped into initial-based personalisation with their hit varsity jacket and clutches, something they’re going to be carrying on this year with new styles, with a view to carry it over into menswear.  Special commendation needs to also go to NikeID, probably one of the most democratic and pioneering customising mechanisms in fashion (it started in 1999 – say what?).

An even more exciting prospect is on the horizon though as much of the personalisation movement has been based around text, font styles and colour.   Consumer-determined design working alongside the rise of 3-D printing technology could well be a new and natural step for those that have dabbled with initials and lettering.

ocj0ocj2

ocj1

ocj4Personalised varsity jacket from Opening Ceremony

nikeid Nike ID Liberty print Air Maxes which say Sus Bub at the back.

m&ms Christmas gift of personalised M&M’s from Farfetch.com

kenzok1

kenzok

kenzok2Personalised Kenzo Kalifornia bag.

valentinomocValentino My Own Code initialled clutch.

valentino2

valentino1Valentino will be launching options to choose metal cast lettering to add to shoe and bag straps of their Rock Stud collection.

smythsoncaseSmythson initialled Blackberry cover.

pradac3

pradac2

pradac1Pyjama designer Prada‘s personalisation options include varsity letter bags, initials on eyewear and customisable platform brogues.

ovh2

ovh1Pyjama designer Olivia Von Halle offers a variety of monogrammed pyjamas done in collaboration with London embroidery house Hand & Lock.

monmono1

mon-monogram-louis-vuitton-5Louis Vuitton Mon Monogram, a customisation service launched in 2008

CokePersonalised Coca-Cola bottles as part of their #ShareACoke campaign last year.

whistlesc1

whistlesc2Whistles personalised clutches rolled out in a pop-up monogramming last year.

whistlesc3Whistles personalised clutch carried by Caroline Issa.

whistlesv

whistlesv2Whistles hit varsity jacket worn by Laura Craik for The Times

whistlesj3Whistles Harlow varsity jacket currently available to monogram in selected London stores.

Comments (22)

  1. Kiri says:

    This is a really great article.
    I remember when my sewed name tags on all my stuff too.
    I like you love when I get something personalised. It’s happened only once for me so far unlike you who seem to have a few instances of it! :-) I really liked it and I hope to receive more personalised gifts in future!

    I like how you have included packaging in this post too.

    I have written a bit on 3D printing for my blog and find the prospect really interesting. I have been dabbling with the idea of buying my own 3D printer for home to try it! :-)

    Kiri
    http://www.fashionblender.com.au
    http://www.facebook.com/FashionBlender

  2. WOWS says:

    Awesome varsities!

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  3. Kb says:

    Thanks for the links, I’m planning a similar post (I have a fair few Tatty Devine name necklaces) so it’s great to have a bit of background info. Having such an uncommon name, one you could never find on pens or keyrings, I’ve now overcompensated for the fact by getting every single thing going.

  4. Sweet Perdition says:

    que post tan chulo! siempre tienes unas fotos geniales!!!

    http://sweet-perdition.blogspot.com.es/
    http://www.bloglovin.com/en/blog/4026949

  5. Anna says:

    I love it! I was so excited when I found my coke bottle!

    Aforvogue.blogspot.co.uk

  6. Love it. And this is a brilliant new take on fashion. Your name would just be out there. Nice.

    http://thinkworkandgo.blogspot.com/

  7. sasa says:

    Oh my, love these varsity jacket and the Kenzo bag. Definitely love everything with the initials on it<3

    http://www.shallwesasa.com

  8. NO! NO! NO! I realy do not like items of school uniform and P.E. kit but you are just like “product placement” but better :*

  9. Faye says:

    I love anything with my name on! Your story about labels in clothes as a kid reminded me of something my mum used to do when me and my sister were little. To save money, she just added each of our names either side of our surname so that she didn’t have to have the labels printed twice! Unluckily for me I ended up with my surname first cos I’m the youngest so I looked like a weirdo. Thanks mum.

    Faye x

  10. I am in love with jacket…gorgeous!! I am following you now. Lets stay in touch xx

  11. chan says:

    love the jackets!

    fashionandleatherblog.co.uk

  12. echeveau says:

    Wow very lovely jacket!!

  13. DinoB says:

    HAHAHA. I feel like you’re some kind of my fashion sister from another mister – I just had one blazer custom made for me, and I had the taylor put my name on the inside of the jacket! It’s not that other people can see it – it’s just for my own need (or I think a general human need) of marking territory. It’s like saying – this is mine, don’t touch it!

    xx d.

  14. Peach Blossom 22 says:

    Simply wonderful!!!!!
    I will show you my mini bag
    Come to see my blog
    http://peachblossom22.wordpress.com/

  15. Roni Faida says:

    My mom is a fabulous seamstress and makes all of my dresses and evening wear. She always puts a label in it that says “made for my daughter” of “made with love by mom” or something like that. She has been doing that since I was a kid.

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  17. Charmystique says:

    I’m in love with the personalized varsity jackets!! So tempting to get one for myself. For me, the additional option of personalizing stuff makes an item all the more special!

    Please do check out my blog – http://charmystique.blogspot.com/ or follow me on Bloglovin’ – http://www.bloglovin.com/charmainelee

  18. Love that jacket it looks so good on you! Interesting article too! xo

    http://www.lexilikes.com/

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  21. […] (after half an hour) Just found Susie’s Kalifornia bag! http://www.stylebubble.co.uk/style_bubble/2014/01/say-my-name-say-my-name.html I think it will be super smart to buy it! The bag is greater value, compared to the clothes, and […]

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