There’s nothing quite like a personal gift for the holiday season. In fashion, that usually refers to monogramming – the odd initials on a scarf or a handbag, even some unique embellishments on footwear or denim. Standard protocol is for the base of the design to be entirely controlled, while the customised part is merely a miniature accent on top.
Turn to London-based start-up Unmade, however, and what we’re talking about is knitwear that the user can manipulate until it really suits what they’re looking for. Indeed, the name “Unmade” comes from the fact no garment is finished until you, the shopper, come and complete it, as previously covered.
Now, the team is bringing that concept to the US (and beyond) with a unique collaboration with Opening Ceremony. ‘Opening Ceremony and UMD by Unmade‘, as it’s called, is a customisable capsule collection available exclusively on e-commerce platform, Farfetch.
What that means, in a literal sense, is sweaters and accessories that can be adjusted merely with the click of a mouse to suit individual style. Users can drag the tromp l’oeil of traditional knit motifs into all sorts of variations, also selecting the colours they like and adding original, varsity-inspired monogram letters alongside. With Farfetch as the host platform, the resulting designs are also shoppable worldwide.
On the backend, that is of course incredibly complicated – the endless variations of the designs means producing such knitwear on-demand isn’t possible in the traditional way, where machines do mass runs of the same pieces. Unmade’s technology however, transforms each choice into a back-end automation of industrial knitting machines, so individual products are manufactured for the same unit cost and speed as mass production. This has been referred to previously as a knitting version of 3D printing – the info goes in, and the different knitwear comes out.
Humberto Leon and Carol Lim, founders of Opening Ceremony, said: “We are huge supporters of companies that use technologies in interesting ways to elevate fashion, and when we learnt about Unmade, we felt an instant connection.”
I sat down with Ben Alun-Jones, co-founder and creative director of Unmade, to find out more. Head over to Forbes to read the full interview.