Get Personal. Give a personalized gift

How to give an iconic product your own customized spin

by 08 November 2011

When it comes to Christmas shopping, each of us has a certain way we like to go about buying gifts for loved ones. Many of us are list makers, others impulse buyers and some of us prefer to do our shopping from the comfort of our home behind a computer screen. The one dilemma we all face is choice and when there are so many attractive propositions out there, the search can become seriously diluted.

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This season we concentrated on one detail that sets a product apart from the pack: Personalization. It’s that little extra step that can make all the difference to your gift, showing the recipient that you put thought into it, beyond having it wrapped. Personalizing a product gives it that added value, making it a timeless element among possessions. On the following pages we list some of the personalization services high-end brands have to offer.

For the one on-the-go: personalized leather goods
Brands like Gucci and Louis Vuitton have prided themselves on made-to-order leather goods since their beginnings. Gucci’s special personalization services use vintage-inspired pieces from the brand’s iconic archive with the option of adding your own golden initials to them. Gucci Boutique Listings

Louis Vuitton’s custom services include: Mon Monogram – Add colourful stripes and initials to one of three iconic LV silhouettes – keepall (holdall bag), pegase (trolley) and speedy (handbag). This service can be requested in boutique or online. Painting and Hot Stamping – Request to have Louis Vuitton’s expert painters apply stripes, monograms and artistic lettering in rich, vibrant colours or pick from a wide selection of bags and leather goods and have a personal monogram hot stamped onto them. Custom Made – Visit a Louis Vuitton boutique and design a made-to-order travel piece as a gift. A sales associate will help you select from an array of leathers and sketch the piece you want made. The request is then sent to the workshop in Asnieres, France. Note: this requires some advanced planning as it takes 4-6 months to send an order.Louis Vuitton Boutique Listings

 For the techie: bespoke gadgets and timepieces
There are plenty of personalized gifts for the techie on your list. Give them their very own personal concierge along with an engraved luxury mobile phone from Vertu. Vertu handsets are handmade in England, with keys that are individually cut from sapphire in a 25-hour process. The Vertu Concierge Service, is an additional feature that can be added to your purchase. At the push of a button, the phone’s owner has access to a Vertu Concierge who can help them take care of their personal commitments like buying their own bespoke gifts, accessing high profile events and making reservations – talk about the gift that keeps on giving! Vertu Boutique Listings

The iPad 2 is out and if someone on your list still doesn’t have it, we bet they would love to find one under the tree. Rather than just order the device itself, have it engraved with a special message. When it comes to timepieces, brands like Jaeger-LeCoultre will enamel your image or initial of choice on the watch. Bring your idea to the boutique and have your timepiece gift personalized with a favourite painting or 2-letter initial engraved on a Reverso watch on a complementary basis.

JLC Boutique Listings

For the man of style: a bespoke suit
What better way to treat a guy than to a made-to-measure suit? Because this gift depends on taking measurements and examining posture, make the order in advance and they'll have something to look forward to, even after Christmas. We recommend:

Brioni – Arrange for Brioni’s master tailors to take your gift recipient through the process in one of their global boutiques, or visit them at their home or office if they are unable to come in-store. Brioni Boutiques

Ermenegildo Zegna – Book an appointment online that suits your recipient’s schedule, he will consult with their tailor, have his measurements taken and pick the fabric and style of his suit. Ermenegildo Zegna Boutiques

Pal Zileri
– These suits are special for what’s on the inside, impeccable workmanship, three inside pockets and a special tailored patch that reads 'abito su misura per' ‘made to measure suit for: Your Name Here – a lovely keepsake that he can even pass on to his own son one day.

Pal Zileri Boutiques

For the shoe-aholic on your list: customized footwear & accessories

Drop by Giuseppe Zanotti Design, a favourite among fashionistas and A-list stars. Why not go for the brand’s tailor-made services to craft a pair of kicks that are just your loved one’s style? To create custom-made footwear, call the boutique for an appointment. Provide sales associates with precise measurements and choose from an array of beautiful styles and materials. Giuseppe Zanotti Design’s expert craftsmen in Italy will make the shoes to your specified requirements and send them to your loved one’s mailing address, finally some mail they’ll be happy to receive!

Giuseppe Zanotti Design Boutique Listings

Prada is also offering a limited edition bespoke service through its website for men’s lace-up shoes. These British-inspired brogues are exclusively available online and you can choose from 12 different colours that come with their own shoe bag, which can have initials heat embossed on a saffiano leather label. Prada also offers a private eyewear collection where you can order customized eyewear with letters, numbers or shapes like hearts, stars and skulls imprinted on the frames.

Prada Boutique Listings

The search doesn’t stop here, many more of our favourite luxury brands offer personalized services, so next time you’re in a boutique or online, check out how you can make a standard purchase, a one of a kind piece.

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