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Designers Seek Fashion Advice From Customers 2009-12-15 10:00:25

Designers Seek Advice From Customers

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.

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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.

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