Regent high-top trainer by Kaner Scott
For all of its eagerness to associate the brand with a hip London street-cred, the brains behind the footwear brand SWEAR is Portuguese. And, indeed José Neves seems to suffer a little for entrepreneurial ADHD. Not content with the success of his hip sneaker brand, he went on to launch Farfetch.com, one of today’s most successful and credible luxury online fashion retailers.
Even with his fashion retail empire soundly positioned to keep him a wealthy tycoon, he’s never stopped innovating. And one of his more recent ventures should be of particular interest to those sneaker freaks, male or female, who just can’t help themselves from acquiring limited edition trainers. How much more exclusive can you get than actually creating your own pair of customised luxury sneakers? Well, in up to about 60 combinations. So the chances that you will end up with exactly the same design as someone else is probably more likely than your winning the lottery.
Under the motto, “You Create. We Make”, MYSWEAR combines the best of both of Neves’s successful companies: using the Fartfetch.com as an exclusive online outlet for the range, MYSWEAR is a collaboration with SWEAR that allows you to build your own customised sneakers online. Click and wait about six weeks while they’re produced to high standards in Portugal and then shipped to you. Oh yes: none of that happens until you’ve paid for them which, as you can imagine, doesn’t really involve bargain prices.
Of course, all of this is rather reminiscent of what Puma were doing in certain European countries about a decade ago. And, stopped doing partly because the cost of the operation wasn’t really justifiable against the profit margin. Relatively few members of their markets seemed interested in creating their own trainer from a menu of options.
So, it’s interesting to see how the same basic principal fares in the luxury market. Smartly, perhaps, MYSWEAR launched with a suitably international list of ‘ambassadors’, ranging from dyed-in-the-wool fashionistas to musicians, all of whom were asked to customise their own design/s just in case that proves more attractive than asking you to be your own creative director. MYSWEAR has equally smartly kept up the concept that allows you to play it safe with impeccable fashion bragging rights; ongoing ‘guest editors’ drawn from a range of creatives and influencers producing their own designs. This smart move smacks of hedging its bets across key global markets as well as increasing the visibility of what is essentially a niche, exclusive product.
José Neves hasn’t won prestigious industry awards for nothing. He allows you to join our communal digital retail future for luxury items whether through a sense of entitlement to your own styling decisions or through channeling the opinions of those who come with a style pedigree.
Michela Meni for MYSWEAR