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Everyone is buying into the "me, me, me" trend these days, and brands are hell-bent on giving the people what they want. Fashion houses like Gucci and Proenza Schouler now offer customized handbags, and labels like Madewell and Levi's are spearheading the personalized denim game.
Lately, we've also noticed a number of newcomers that focus almost exclusively on customization. Just look at Dresshirt, a season-less brand of custom embroidered sportswear that has managed to catch the eye of everyone from Gigi Hadid to Lena Dunham. Dresshirt's designer, MarieClaire St. John, doesn't credit the success of her brand solely on its popularity with top models and celebs, though.
"I think people are looking to stand out. We're all aware that the millennial shopper is all grown up and earning and spending their money," said St. John. "What it comes down to, though, is an outspoken generation that wants to be seen and heard. Its cool to wear your heart on your sleeve, or on your back in our case."
It's also cool to be yourself, which could mean spelling out your name in patches on a denim jacket, screen-printing your name in cursive on a swimsuit, or embroidering your Instagram handle on the back of a button-up à la Dresshirt. Whichever way you decide to slip into the trend this summer, there's a customizable item out there with your name on it — literally.
Shop the five young brands enabling our obsession with individuality this summer below.
MarieClaire St. John was working at Ralph Lauren when she realized that traditional fashion's fast pace was not for her. So she launched her own label and decided to position it more like an accessories brand than a ready-to-wear clothing collection — one piece at a time, the customer's way.
The end-result is Dresshirt, a line of made-to-order clothing items with custom embroidery that work for any season. Highlights include button-down shirts, silk neck kerchiefs, and tailored jackets; a hit this summer is the brand's new "dscrop," a crop top that you can embroider along the hem.
Camille Parruitte's Nouvel Heritage has only been around since 2015, but as a second-generation jeweler, the designer's influences run deep. To align her family's business with her own generation's wants and need, she's reimagining iconic pieces using traditional French techniques and responsibly sourced materials, with a big emphasis on personalization.
All of Nouvel Hertiage's pieces are customizable and most are modular, meaning they can be worn in different ways for different occasions. You can opt for something traditional by engraving your initials on a signet ring, go one-of-a-kind pair of earrings that will be custom-made for you, or even create a "kiss necklace" from your own kiss mark.
Founded by two New York City creatives, Odessa Rae focuses mainly on personalized denim jackets decked out with colorful patches. The process is pretty simple: When ordering your jacket, input any customization requests at checkout — including name embroidered, placement of the word, and which patches you'd like on your jacket. (There is a max of 6 patches, though).
If you're looking for some inspiration on how to style yours, head on over to the Odessa Rae Instagram account.
You can get more out of your bathing suit when it doubles as a name tag, like the personalized pieces made by Bruna Malucelli. This Brazilian brand specializes in bespoke swimwear customized with any word of your choice.
When model Bella Hadid celebrated her sister Gigi Hadid's birthday earlier this year, she wore a Bruna swimsuit printed with Gigi's name instead of her own.
Bruna Malucelli "The Bay My Name" bespoke swimsuits, both $249.
Los Angeles-based Departure pegs itself as a travel-inspired clothing label fit for a jetsetter, with screen-printed items like sweatshirts, tanks, tees, and swimwear.
In the "Make it Personal" section on its website, you can put your name on to just about anything — but opt for one of the brand's embroidered bomber jackets if you're looking for something on-trend.
You can read more about the psychology of customization in our feature here.