Why is customisation the future?
It is the 21st century, the new age where fresh, innovative ideas are surfacing and so are some refreshed old ones – well what can you say – Old is Gold!We all have that strong urge of standing out from the crowd and project who we are as an individual, what do we represent. Additionally, with the creative hullabaloo all around us, we are called to leave our mark wherever we go, in one way or another. This is where, the service of customisation steps in to solve our problems.
Customisation helps us to subtly present us the way we are and bring out our true selves. People have now slowly started figuring what do they really want, moving on from the plethora of standardised products off the shelf (read Junk). People are no longer afraid to stand out, and rather embrace what makes them different.
Apart from that, it also brings out a sense of speciality — often seen as something for someone in particular. Personalised products are one of a kind. No two products will look the same when customised unless specifically asked for. Each product is distinct and special in its own way. What wouldn’t we give to have our favourite dress or shoes just tweaked that teeny bit to mark our favourite colour or pattern? Well, we all have thought about it at some point.
The request starts with a basic purpose of personalising the product so that the customers get what fits them best – since all of us are made in unique sizes and shapes. Well a genuine request absolutely. How many times have we struggled with finding the right size for our shoe – a certain design in a certain brand just doesn’t seem to fit us in any standard size. This request slowly graduates into other aspects of the product – the colour, design, pattern, embellishments etc.!
The colour of the product, actually, is the first element that happens to catch our eye as we go shopping, even before we try on the size. How many times have we rejected a fabulous piece just because it was not in the colour of our liking – well we want to wear it with our favourite denims or tees or shoes, after all. It wouldn’t hurt to have your favourite design made in the colour of your choice. Every year has a major colour trend (check out the colour for 2022 here). And we would like to show off our interpretation of the colour in the products we sport.
Design and embellishment happen to be the more subtle customizations we call for in the products. While appreciating the original work of the designer in creating the product, we crave to add our stamp to it — to own it. A design that speaks to us in its entirety is sure to stay in our favourites for until the durability allows.
In the case of a shoe,there are even more aspects we could play with. We could have the same shoe customized and made in a new pattern (e.g. chappals, wedges, sandals, loafers, mojaris), a different outer sole (e.g. anti-skid, light-weight etc.), insole (e.g. arched, extra cushion), additional back support, inner lining (e.g. vegan leather, suede, velvet), peep toes and the list goes on.
Customization also presents more options for the finishing of a product and the same product can have different designs. Usually customization is offered on products with similar bases and basic structure but what makes every product different, is the way it is customized and worked on to give the final touches and complete the look.
From the perspective of the designers and manufacturers of the products, customization offersa unique window to keep pushing the creative boundaries and testing their skills – whether it be a clothing line, canvas art, jewellery or any other product. It keeps the process of creation challenging and enjoyable. Sometimes making the same thing over and over again can make the whole task exhausting, mundane and monotonous.
On the other hand, it can sometimes be a manufacturer’s nightmare. Consolidating all the possible customizations and building a perfect piece for every customer can be a herculean task. An almost impossibility to get right in the first attempt. Hence, it requires a lot of patience, effort and cost commitment to get right. In the case of shoe making, with the more nuanced possibilities, it further needs a devotion to the craft that is shoemaking. And only a designer manufacturing every element from scratch will be able to accommodate all requests.
With many government aided programs and with the help of other organisations, handmade products are making a comeback, and garnering more value than their mass-produced counterparts. With the beginning of industrial revolution and the rise of multinational companies, we have lost touch with handmade gems of our own country. A lot of treasurable artistic and creative talents have been crushed under the weight of the brands famous for their mass-produced products. Customization is a way of honouring the skills and the handiwork of the creators, artisans and craftsmen. They need the support of loyal customers to keep creating.
In all, the process of customisation essentially makes sure that those unique needs are met. It also allows the designer to push his/her thinking to constantly create something new. Though not devoid of its challenges, this is the way of the future. As more power is rested in the hands of the customers, the slew of customisations that need to be accommodated will only increase. We have seen recently thriving brands offering custom tailoring and stitching options (e.g Raymond) – it is no longer treated a luxury – premium, may be. We are not far from the day when “customisation is the new standard”.
Design your own shoe with Around Always! Help and support the creators and artisans by getting products customised to your needs! Check out some of Around Always’ collection of shoes and sandals.