When Looking Alike Becomes Costly

Published on 18th September 2007

The labour-intensive and expensive production that characterizes items made according to a customer’s specifications is common to all industries. ‘Smart’ industries have rendered the ‘made to’ method obsolete through the initiation of mass production. Mass production has made items more affordable, but at a cost—the cost of similarity; the cost of one-size-fits-all. No wonder similar dressing styles have hit everyone.

In fashion, personality is a key factor that influences style. Like in a steeple chase game, to be a champion, you’ve got to be strategic and daring to excel. In spite of an array of hurdles to be jumped over, the race has to be won, but how? As one African scholar puts it, “when the hurdles are too high for you to jump, all you need to do is lower them to your level and comfortably jump over them. You will be counted among those who jumped!”

Mass produced fashion items and accessories are flooding the market. Individuals who are out to have a unique identity are in for an uphill task. But, like in any maze, there is always a way out: a try on hand made items. The allure of this exceptional fashion concept lies in its personal touch and perfection. For instance, the authentic brushstrokes involved in hand-painted fabrics give a natural finish that is hilarious. Hand-mixed dyes and paints offer spectacular shades and tints that machines cannot achieve.  

The uniqueness of each garment lies in the designer’s distinctive art. For those out to achieve a unique outlook, handmade fashion items are a perfect way of signifying individual creativity and inspiration. A designer’s unique creation is better revealed in handmade items than machine made items. It is much easier to make an alteration by hand than machine. A hand made customized fashion item therefore displays a unique sense of individuality it is original and customized.

Being a much untapped business strategy, most of the low end designers in the handmade fashion industry may not be as popular as their high end counterparts. But, as they strive to create original and trendy jewelry for the contemporary and fashionable women and men, it is becoming imperative that embracing their effort will soon pay.

Designers in hand made fashion items work hard to come up with trendy designs and interesting combinations. They create everything from necklaces and earring sets to bracelets and rings – all made of bone, beads, horn, seeds, stones, and other natural materials. They have established a niche in gift items. For an ideal gift to someone special, handmade fashion items might just be the long awaited miracle, a prescription your wardrobe has lacked in many days. Distinctive accessories that are as extraordinary as the men and women who buy them can only be available by way of handcrafting skills.   

Embracing hand made fashion products is by no means going back to the Stone Age era. It is achieving uniqueness as opposed to sophistication. ‘Old is good and cheap is expensive,’ goes an old adage. It costs you more trying to look different in similar products than when a fashion item is customized to your taste.


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