During a reunion with an old school friend and while we were reminiscing about our old school days, she said something which resonated with me. “You always did your own thing, Bozena”. I took that as a compliment. In fact I was delighted, as it reinforced in me that I do not always follow convention and am not afraid to go against what is perceived as the norm. So, you wonder, where am I going with all this?
Well, it was not that long ago, that having a dress or a blazer made for you by a dressmaker or a tailor used to be the norm. People were prepared to wait for their garment of choice to be skillfully made just for them. This of course was before the fast-paced trend of fast fashion came into being when people’s relationship with their garments changed dramatically. Fast fashion made catwalk designs easily accessible. Not only was the time from catwalk to high street super short, (all made possible by a move towards globalisation and use of new technologies), but it also made fashion super cheap and as a result more “disposable”. Consumers became used to convenience and speed which in the main, continues to this day. The effects of this global shift on the environment and people have been widely reported and documented. So, whereas larger brands continue to mass produce, hoping that supply will meet demand, a growing number of designers are going against the mass wholesale manufacturing model and returning to the fashion model of the past. Made to order.
From the beginning of our label, we at Bozena Jankowska made the decision to move towards a made to order model for our ready to wear collections. This was three years ago and at that time, we were being told by various industry experts and consultants that it will be a challenging model for clients to buy into. We decided to stick to our guns and move forward with the model as we wanted to focus on small production, quality and offering each of our clients a personalised and special experience. The environmental benefits were also a clear win-win given we would be using fewer resources and only producing what was wanted.
Three years on, we know from experience that made to order offers a very different shopping experience. It is an inherently considered purchase, it generates a higher emotional value, the human interaction is greater, and it connects you to the making of the garment. With our made-to-measure service, we take the made to order model a step further by bringing the client into the design process which is not only immense fun but it also gives us the opportunity to offer a more personal service to our clients.
Buying a made to order or measure blazer means an investment in craftsmanship, and quality, and with made to measure ensuring great fit. It is a way to slow down fashion, moving away from the fast paced, mass produced conveyor belt of fashion. So, are you ready to do your own thing?