Personalization has long been a hallmark of luxury, from family crests to monogrammed stationery. And now, in our digital age when every tweet or post is an exercise in personal branding, channeling one’s individuality from top to toe has never been more in style. So it is fitting that luxury behemoths, Louis Vuitton and Gucci, are getting in on the personalization game with services that allow customers to embellish best-selling products with a host of highly Instagram-able patches, emblems, and icons.
Louis Vuitton recently launched the My L.V. World Tour program, which draws on the brand’s heritage as the go-to trunk-maker of the jet-setting elite. The service makes several of Vuitton’s iconic monogrammed bags and leather goods available to be emblazoned with patches ranging from vintage hotel stickers (the kind your very posh grandfather might have collected on his grand tour of Europe) to decidedly modern graphics of headphones and spaceships. Initials and important dates can also be added in a similar style. The potential combinations are near infinite as up to 10 different patches can be placed, depending on the piece.
The program is offered at all Louis Vuitton boutiques worldwide and each personalized piece takes 8-12 weeks to be completed. Later this fall, My L.V. World Tour will expand to include several additional men’s accessories.
Although its bags are not up for personalization, Gucci’s DIY program encompasses everything from tailored suits and shirting to bomber jackets and sweaters, all of which can be tricked-out to your liking in the brand’s Beverly Hills, Chicago, New York and Milan flagships, among other stores. Suits can be customized by choosing the lining from a range of bold printed silks, and by adding an embroidered monogram or numerous different patches, including a bee and flowers straight out of a Renaissance botanical painting. In addition to being patched and monogrammed, a selection of denim, bombers, and leather jackets can also be hand-painted.
The price and turnaround time vary depending on the piece, ranging from $630 for a shirt, which will be delivered in five to six weeks to $9,980 for a silk bomber jacket, which takes 12 weeks to be delivered. All of the embellishments follow the nouveau-baroque aesthetic set forth by Creative Director Alessandro Michele—a look that telegraphs individuality at full volume. But the beauty of DIY is that you can go as extreme or understated as befits your personal style; the real luxury is in having a choice.