Fashion Customization and the rise of DIY mobile apps


Pretty young woman using mobile phone and getting photos, outdoo

[Tweet “Consumers want unique items that represent their one-of-a-kind personality.”]

Customization is nothing new. Long time players like Etsy and Threadless helped to grow the movement. By letting people have access to pieces from independent designers, Etsy gives users the chance to purchase totally unique items you won’t find in stores. Threadless has taken their user submitted design model to the next level. Last month, Threadless launched a new app that lets users choose phrases and add them to a t-shirt, which will be shipped within 48 hours.

[Tweet “Now anyone can design a t-shirt on the go.”]

This shows us that more than ever before people want to be unique. Consumers want others to ask them about their clothes, and wearing items from big chain stores doesn’t lend well to that. The only way to ensure that you will be the only person with a particular piece of clothing is to make it yourself. DIY clothing also plays into the desire to be a maker and to be part of the process of making the products we use. Several companies have jumped on this trend and are offering users the chance to create their own customized items, directly from their mobile. Last week the design community SeeMe launched their first app, which allows users to turn their photographs into all-over designs on t-shirts. Uniqlo, a Japanese retailer, also just released an app that makes customized t-shirt design easy and interactive. Another great website called Apliiq goes beyond just t-shirts and lets users customize items with unique fabric patches. These are just a few of the new options for personalized merchandise on the market right now, and we are likely to continue to see more pop up. I think it’s safe to say that the customization trend will be around for a while. So think about this growing trend when marketing to your audience.

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