Mass customization takes a step forward

Mass customization for apparel has always been a challenge for aspiring retailers.

Falling somewhere between clothing personalized in simple ways such as monograms and clothing designed and fitted just for you by a tailor, mass customization done right means understanding how to operate in many different arenas.

BG Krishnan, CEO of, says anyone in the business has to know fashion design, web development, pattern making and more to keep costs and delivery times down.

The six-year-old company, offers custom sizing and style options for dresses, tops, skirts and jackets. Customers receive garments in less than two weeks and most items cost under $100.

An example of how dresses are customized at

An example of how dresses are customized at

While many custom clothing companies — most of which are based online — go as quickly as they come, a range of retailers see the value in offering the service and news of customized offerings continues to pop-up.

In June, Prada allowed customers to design a custom pair of shoes in a made-to-order program. Dolce Vita, a less expensive shoe brand, offered a similar program through Nordstrom.

Tinker Tailor is a website where customers can create and customize luxury fashions. It lets you put your own stamp on exclusive clothing from top designers such as Vivienne Westwood and Marchesa.

Prices start at just over $250 for a dress and delivery is within six weeks.

Tinker Tailor lets you design custom luxury clothing.

Tinker Tailor lets you design custom luxury clothing.

Many denim makers have tried (and failed) to jump on the customization trend. Denim Refinery has a slightly different, and probably better, model. The company revives old denim and resells it as a vintage item. They also offer a few classic refinements that you can have done on your own old pair of jeans.

Following the trend of companies that use your measurements to help you find the perfect fit, a Stockholm based start-up called Volumental is hoping to revolutionize mass customization with its 3D scanning technology.

Founded in 2012, the company created the first Cloud based 3D scanner and with a round of funding, they hope that soon custom footwear and other custom apparel will become the norm, instead of the exception.

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