When it comes to replica handbags, these days there are almost as many ways to jazz up your existing bag as there are new designs.In Selfridges’ vast accessories hall in London, you can buy a clip-on set of metal flowers from Louis Vuitton, multi-coloured jangling robots from Prada, and leather tassels at Ted Baker.What customers want, it seems, is a way to stamp a bit of individuality on their purchases. And one new counter at Selfridges will let you go a stage further.
At Mon Purse, an Australian brand, you are handed an iPad and samples of leathers, and given the chance to design your own handbag.”I was looking around for the perfect handbag and I just couldn’t find it,” explains Lana Hopkins, 33, the company’s founder. “And I was quite heartbroken, you know?”Wandering through a Sydney shopping mall one day in 2014, Ms Hopkins stumbled upon Build-A-Bear, a shop where you can assemble your own cuddly toy with some limited variables such as fur, colour and clothing.
Mon Purse’s customers can choose from nine different basic bag shapes
Although Ms Hopkins was rather older than the average customer, she found creating a teddy for her nephew gave her an extra emotional connection to longchamp outlet the product. And the idea for Mon Purse was born.Skip forward three years and Mon Purse now has eight outlets in Australia, three in the UK and two in the US, including a newly opened concession in Bloomingdales, San Francisco.
Customers then select colours, linings and hardware
Last December, buoyed by Christmas, it sold almost $2m (￡1.6m) worth of bags, ranging in price from $75 for a simple pouch, to $620 for an extravagant tote.
‘Whiplash’The handbag industry is the latest retail sector to wake up to the possibilities of allowing customers to design their own product.And with people now increasingly used to having things their own way, be it configuring their own music playlists or choosing their exact sandwich fillings, industry insiders say demand for personally designed replica handbags is soaring.
Atelier’s Frank Zambrelli says customers’ own designs have surprised him and shown him how narrow his vision was of what works
The new wave of small companies set up to deliver customisation flip that model on its head.Mon Purse uses a visualisation tool based on 3D gaming technology, through which the customer can select size, leather texture, the type of metalwork, and shade of lining. The bag then takes approximately two to four weeks to manufacture.
Launched just seven months ago, 1 Atelier allows customers to combine colours from a carefully selected palette for the body, side panels, straps and pockets of 10 different replica longchamp bag designs.But if in the past buying something unique meant a price tag to match, now you can actually make the tailor-made item for less than the mass-manufactured equivalent, according to Mr Zambrelli, who was previously a designer at Chanel.