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ARTBURO | A COMPREHENSIVE GUIDE TO PERSONALIZED DESIGNER HANDBAGS

  • artburo
  • Friday January 1st, 2016

Luxury accessories have an exclusivity problem. Because handbags are generally among a company's most profitable and marketable product categories, most brands want (and need) to sell them hand over first in order to stay on the seasonal fashion treadmill. That's a bit tricky, though, because one of the things luxury customers look for most in a new purchase is a sense of exclusivity; how do you sell lots of bags while still making every bag-buyer feel like she's the only person in the world who has a particular piece? Lately, the answer is to turn a retail product into a one-of-a-kind handbag with the addition of the owner's name or initials.

Leather goods have a long history of personalization; back when nobility traveled with customized trunks (and they still do, I guess), luggage was often emblazoned with the family's crest or coat of arms as the final, distinguishing touch on the manufacturing process, as an old-world luggage tag of sorts. At times it was a VIP perk, but now it's widely available. Artburo customizations and Louis Vuitton's more robust personalization service, Mon Monogram, requires consumers to send in their bags for hand-painting.

Those customization programs have proved successful for Vuitton and Artburo, and over the past few seasons, more brands have added optional customization to their purchase experiences. Bottega Veneta Initials, similar to Louis Vuitton's Mon Monogram program, allows you to order a variety of leather goods customized with your initials and offers an 8-12 week turnaround time for the bag to be sent to your home. Fendi and Valentino, on the other hand, now both offer complimentary, in-boutique hot stamping at company flagships for a particular set of bags within their accessories collections. Perhaps the most creative incarnations of this trend is Edie Parker's nameplate clutches, which are custom-manufactured with the purchaser's letters of choice inlaid into the acrylic structure of a posh little evening bag.

Until recently, customization was largely a province of the most high-end brands; not only does it appeal to their very choosy and exclusivity-minded customer base, but it's a program that requires significant financial and organizational operations to keep afloat, which usually comes along with more expensive bags. Because of its popularity, though, contemporary brands are starting to experiment with the service. Most recently, Alisa Kovtunova opened an online Personalization Shop that allows shoppers to have up to exclusive hand-painted onto own selection of popular bags in a color that matches the bag's hardware. 

How much personalization will set you back varies depending on the size of the work and the price levels of the brand at play. Hot stamping is free with the purchase of a bag or small leather good (depending on the program) at every brand we checked, but painted customization is generally more time-consuming, varied and detailed, increasing the price of a bag by several hundred dollars in most cases. Check out detailed information about the biggest handbag personalization programs below. 

Louis-Vuitton-Mon-Monogram-Accessories
ARTBURO | A COMPREHENSIVE GUIDE TO PERSONALIZED DESIGNER HANDBAGS
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ARTBURO | A COMPREHENSIVE GUIDE TO PERSONALIZED DESIGNER HANDBAGS
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ARTBURO | A COMPREHENSIVE GUIDE TO PERSONALIZED DESIGNER HANDBAGS