Innovation That Matters

DIY dress design

Fashion & Beauty

Couture gets personal with StyleShake—a new online venture that lets creative customers design their own duds, picking from a selection of quality fabrics and putting together dresses from virtual pattern pieces to create truly personal pieces that can be delivered to their doors (in Europe or the United States) in as little as 10 days, with prices starting at GBP 139. What’s more, the garments are produced in London, so customers need not worry about sweatshop labour. Winning points for user-friendliness, the StyleShake website is so intuitive that 95% of visitors start designing dresses. Virtual mannequins allow them to see their designs come to life as they choose the colour, bodice cut, neckline, sleeves, waist panel, lower bodice and sleeves—a process that can be downright addictive for those with a flair for fashion. Lucky for them, the site allows users to store their designs as part of their profiles. Members are encouraged to rate and comment on one another’s designs or simply browse through other users’ collections for inspiration. While would-be Stella McCartneys may go a long way before they run out of dress design ideas, an obvious next step would be to expand clothing options to include pants, suits, swimsuits and more—including men’s and children’s wear. Fashion forward entrepreneurs eager to get on board with this or other DIY concepts might take a hint from Crushpad and consider offering e-commerce marketing solutions to facilitate customers who would like to start selling and branding their designs. Concepts like StyleShake appeal to consumers who love unique, handmade goods, and eagerly buy them from ‘pro-am’ creators through online marketplaces like Etsy and Supermarket, but lack the technical know-how to construct their own clothing or other products. Business opportunities? Provide an outlet for the average person’s creativity and enable them to wear or use one-of-a-kind pieces that they have ‘made’ themselves. Think of it as ADIY (almost do it yourself). (Related: Customized lingerie.)


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