Personalized or made-to-order clothing is to hit the mainstream or it already did, first what does this concept mean, well, if you want to buy a new piece of clothing, you don’t have to go to pick a dress or jeans on display from your favorite brand store, what you can do now is send your measurements and they will have it tailored specifically for you.
Here are some of the companies that started applying this trend:
Indochino: this is an American men’s clothing brand that can custom-made shirts, pants and many other.
Black Lapel: through their website you can send your measurements to have your piece of clothing made to order, they will send you measuring tapes to help you in this. It is also a men and women’s wear.
Tailor Store: it offers customized clothing for both men and women.
This new trend which will become the norm in many western markets is promising where customers will get exactly what they want with a lower price too, retailers and luxury brands will no longer have to hold inventory, or have excess in stock for items not sold.
In an article in wired magazine, Mivhelle Tinsley, Intel’s Director of mobility and secure payments, says that “made-to-order can help retailers track inventory, which will stop them from discounting the “Trillion-dollar problem”: over ordering.”, so, this basically means many brands will no longer have extra-stock they are willing to dispose for a lower price, in retrospect, if we look where these extra items usually go: to developing countries, they too will be effected from this industry shift.
If I want to examine how this will effect third party retailers in developing countries, where there is a widespread trend of selling clothes normally purchased by merchants in bulk at discounted prices due to the fact they could be an older year’s design. On the other hand, it would be crucial highlighting the popularity among women in the Middle East to tailor their clothes through local tailors and seamstresses, this is something that has been done for a long time, where some magazines such as Burda have been a source for designs and how-to techniques, Burda is not the only source though. Tailoring is not only a resort for those seeking lower prices, actually, those who seek uniqueness and more individualized clothing have always turned to seamstresses to sew clothing for them, especially for Hijabi women where they can alter a design according to their specific needs, whether it’s a long sleeve or a non-see through garment.
I believe the growth of personalized tailoring will have consequences on developing markets, it will satisfy the needs of customers with high and middle purchase power but still, those who don’t fall within these categories, which they account for a large segment in the Arab societies, will need to find other places to buy from. I expect a shift will happen, with shop owners turning to suppliers for clothes from countries like China and Turkey, I also have to say, the high and upper middle-customers in developing countries might see personalized tailoring as a bless and welcome it very much but this might not be the case for another segment of customers, because although this made-to-order price is a reduced one, it still remains out of the reach for customers with low purcase power, in which the reduced price shops, or most commonly known, for instance in Jordan, the “Discount Stores” sell more cheaply.