It was once unheard of for designers to ask their customers for advice. Today, it's becoming quite the trend. "We’ve never really asked, ‘What does the customer need?' . . . There’s a clear shift. People are also insecure right now, and we have to take care of them," said Concetta Lanciaux, principal of Strategy Luxury Advisors.
High-end fashion houses like Dolce & Gabbana, Prada, and Anya Hindmarch are following their fans' lead and providing made-to-measure options. Giuseppe Zanotti has created a battery-operated LED fiber-optic booty (left) — the wearer is in charge of a “playlist of colors” that shine through the perforations.
Before the Spring show, Dolce & Gabbana asked fans for feedback via YouTube. "'Do you prefer black or white? High or low heels?’ It’s a kind of forum," said Gabbana. Miuccia Prada recently opened her first made-to-measure store in Italy, allowing customers to design and personalize their goods. Hindmarch recently introduced a bespoke leather goods collection. Road-testing these goodies are socialites like Leigh Lezark and Poppy Delevigne. "I test out product before it hits stores, and give my opinion and what I love about it," said Lezark. Awesome.