Building a collection of designer goods can take a lot of time and patience. While it can be satisfying to obtain the object of your affection, it can be somewhat disheartening to discover that it is also owned by half of your acquaintances. Designer brands have acknowledged this conundrum and responded with a simple solution: bespoke services. Some of the top retailers now suggest having your own logo, monogram or insignia emblazoned on your purchase as a way to personalise the product. Personalised designers and collectables allow shoppers to put their unique stamp on a well-known brand—helping them to express their individuality.
Monogramming: a brief history
Monogramming can be traced back as far as Roman times; rulers would use their initials to mark coins and other forms of currency. The trend reoccurred at several other points down the line, most notably during the Renaissance period. Painters and artisans of the era would use a small monogram to sign their work—Dutch painter Rembrandt van Rijn was famous for using this technique. As time progressed, monogrammed belongings became an indicator of wealth and social status—especially during the Victorian age. More recently, monograms have transformed into a trendy signifier. They can be spotted on luggage, passport books and wallets—largely being employed for fashion purposes or as a mark of ownership.
Stationers since 1887, Smythson were among the first to adopt the concept of monogramming. Their personalised designer diaries, notebooks, pens and handbags put them on the map and became a defining feature of the brand. Smythson provides an array of options from fonts to colours and intricate engravings, allowing customers to add a personal touch to their stationary.
In France, monogramming became a trendy alternative to name signing in the 19th century. This undoubtedly influenced the French brand, Louis Vuitton, to incorporate it into their classic design. Now, Louis Vuitton offers the Mon Monogram service, giving customers the opportunity to put their initials on a selection of wallets, bags and suitcases. Hard cases are hand-painted by specially trained artisans, while soft goods are screen printed for durability. Customers can also opt to have coloured lines printed onto their item for the extra wow factor.
Recently, Burberry made the momentous decision to feature personalised designer scarves and other accessories in their luxury fashion line. With a range of colours and prints available for men, women and children, this option has gone down a storm. Burberry has even progressed to custom-designed perfumes, allowing customers to have their initials printed on the bottle of some of the company’s top scents.
Gucci is another brand to jump on the bandwagon, altering their items with monograms and other personal touches. Their signature sneaker was one of the most popular elements to be included from their fashion line. Initials can be included along the coloured stripe of the shoe. But Gucci have gone one step further with their customised collectables adding embroidered flowers and animals to their clothing upon request.
After unveiling their newly fitted Regent Street store in London, Tommy Hilfiger’s Customisation Lab was brought to light. This new in-house service provides a range of amendment options to suit the needs of their statement-hungry shoppers. Alongside tailoring facilities, they also monogram your desired item with patches or interesting embroidery.
Cartier has forever been known as a designer that stands for excellence and impeccable quality. Responding to demand, the high-end jewellery brand now fulfills bespoke engraving requests from their customers. The complementary service is offered up to three months after purchase, providing that a Cartier certificate of authenticity is presented. Rings, bracelets and necklaces can all be inscribed with an intimate message—a perfect opportunity to show a loved one how much you care.
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