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Mass Customization Monday #26

As an aged Cuban fisherman trawling the gulf we have hunted. We however do not seek Marlin but instead the most relevant mass customization news of the week.

True Gault Combines 3D Scanning with Mass Customized Shoes

3D scanning foot

True Gault is a US startup that lets you 3D scan your feet through their iPhone app. A mass customized shoe can then be made based on your unique foot scan.  The IPhone app uses the regular Iphone cameras and some custom algorithms to determine the height and depth of your foot. The custom shoes are made in spain and cost between $250 and $350 per pair. Founder Sandra Gault said that, she was “baffled by the notion that women everywhere simply accept that looking great in high heels means discomfort.”


customized shoes


We love the fact that a woman lead startup is solving the problem of women’s shoes not being comfortable. By offering an app in conjunction with the mass customization manufacturing service True Gault could be one of the firms to crack the mass customization of shoes. Founder Sandra Gault did team up with Julian Sanchez who has deep experience in shoe manufacturing in Spain. This focus and experience in actual manufacturing bodes well for the start up. By working in close contact with factories in Spain, manufacturing should also be much more flexible than if they were outsourced further ashore.


Will the field of combining 3D scanners with mass customized shoes become more crowded? We believe that it most assuredly will with many established companies using 3D scanning to mass customize shoes. True Gault may gain an early lead but the company will have to out market and out execute in order to stand up to later entrants who will inevitably join this market.

Forbes Rounds up Travel Bags with a personalized touch

Forbes has a round up of its favorite travel bags and they noticed that they all have an element of personalization to them. One can add personalized patches to the My LV World Tour personalization app for Louis Vuitton.

Custom made bags

A Coach’s custom Rogue bag.

Coach offers customized bags ranging from $75 monogrammed bags to completely built to order bags for $1200. Bag manufacturers have all offered monogramming as a customization option for a number of years now. It is noticeable that they are expanding their monogramming personalization to more creative monograms. Simultaneously more customization options are being offered as well. It is notable that “build to order” is now a term being bandied about for the most exclusive completely customized bags. Built to order is used in order to differentiate them from bags where one can simply add custom monograms to them. Initially “Build to order” was a term that was previously used more in industry, we’d be curious to see if the term is used more often in the future. Out of all the fashion industry mass customization initiatives it seems that the most is being done and the most revenue is being generated in bags. Whereas shoes may seem like a more logical vertical, since higher utility can be derived from the shoe fitting one unique foot, it seems that for high fashion brands bags is where the mass customization action is at, for now.

Freak City does custom creations for stars

Vogue raves about Freak City a label that does customized creations for stars and club scene aficionados.

“We were always collecting and selling rare vintage clothing and making customized clothes because our style was very different. We wanted to rebel against the typical retail structure and make clothes for the freaks, the outcasts, the misfits.” Their assortment includes red tube tops printed with the LV and Supreme logos, skintight spaghetti-strap minidresses in orange and black embroidered with Dior, and double C–printed sports bras.”

Custom t-shirt

What would you do if you were the marketing manager of the US Postal Service?

The brand has made clothes for Nicki Minaj, M.I.A, Rita Ora and others. It is interesting that Vogue is so positive about the brand. Freak City is new and hidden and they don’t even have a store but are big on Insta. All things that could cause a Vogue reporter to become enamored with the brand.

Custom T-shirt


Freak City’s FO’Real Compton collection presents some interesting talking points for L’oreal’s Intellectual Property team.

“We want to add value and flavor with our own touch given to these brands,” Romero says. “We want to create pieces that will make these luxury brands question whether they’re real or not. Our approach has been fashion fantasy turned into reality.”

But, Freak City takes famous logos of established brands and makes clothing with them. They don’t pay a license and this would seemingly be illegal or go against these companies copyrights and design rights. While at the border and in customs raids knock off Chanel clothing would be captured and destroyed, Freak City in a rather public way gets a loving Vogue article written about it. Is it on what Freak City does because they are loved by some in the fashion world? Shouldn’t they obtain permissions or offer royalties for use of those logos?

Artaic gets $2.1 investment to expand custom mosaics

Artaic is a ten year old firm that can take any image and turn it into a cost effective custom mosaic. The company has recently gotten a $2.1m investment to expand its offering. Artaic can now turn your image into a custom made mosaic for around $20 to $70 per square foot. The mosaics are made in Artaic’s factory in Boston or at a partner location in Texas and is highly automated. The company has previously tried to sell direct to consumer but this has so far not worked and it mostly does mosaics for hotels and other industry customers. The core of the Artaic innovation is essentially to use a pick and place robot to automate the placement of mosaic tiles. This coupled with software lets the company customize mosaics inexpensively.

Artiac technology

Artaic’s software identifies color gradients and turns an image into the right collection of tiles.

Artaic technology

A pick and place robot then places the right tile on the right grid.

Artaic technology

Manual quality control is done as a final step.

We’re puzzled as to how Artaic is managing to stay ahead of the competition. Pick and place robotics and machine vision applications such as this one are well understood. Really inexpensive mosaics should have been something that was available to consumers by now. Is there more to Artaic’s technology? Or is this something that may look simple but is actually very difficult to do?




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