By changing address, My Very Own Hollington reopens its doors in an even more comfortable private space, with a wider range of fabrics and services.
On this occasion, we decided to meet Christine, who has been accompanying you in this personalization option for more than three years. Here she shares her experience and explains in more detail the different ways to make your garment unique.
How long has the My Very Own Hollington service been in existence?
Truth be told, as far as I can remember, there have always been special orders at hollington. But they were infrequent because the final price of the garment was high – it almost doubled the price displayed in stores. It was a deterrent and we only made a dozen special orders a year.
And then the repetition of requests from customers wishing to personalize their garment led us to think about how we could satisfy this desire. There was also the case of people looking for a size that we did not offer right away, and we had to find a cheaper solution. So we finalized the MVOH concept three years ago.
Didn't Patric already offer this formula in the 90s?
I didn’t witness it, but at that time it was much easier to make unique pieces. At the very beginning of the history of hollington, Patric did not have a line of ready-to-wear strictly speaking. In fact, he was doing specials orders only.
Customers gathered around a table and they chose their clothes according to the prototypes that were presented to them. Sizes were produced according to demand.
Then, ready-to-wear arrived en masse: when I joined hollington, the textile sector was taking off in France and fabrication had become much more industrial. To give you an example, the manufacturer we worked with made 2,500 pants a day, which was huge. Under these conditions, producing a single item of clothing became extraordinary, and therefore very expensive and luxurious.
Who are the customers requesting personalization?
There is a great demand for large sizes, but not only.
We are seeing more and more people who have a clear idea of what they want to wear, or who have favourite models that they do not find during a specific season or collection. Men who are used to living with a specific model of jacket or a specific kind of fabric want to find them regardless of the evolution of the season. And then the offer for certain models, such as sleeveless jackets or Yunus jackets, is poorly developed.
The urge to indulge oneself and stand out from mass production is increasing. Being able to have the piece you want made whatever the season or the fashion of the day has become important again for our customers.
How do you support My Very Own Hollington customers?
MVOH is an ad hoc service, which aims to determine the precise wish of the client and to find the best solutions to satisfy it.
What is tricky is to get the person to imagine the finished product when they only have a sample of fabric under their eyes! For those skilled in the art it seems simple, but for a layman, it can be difficult to contemplate. I therefore take responsibility for guiding and orienting them in relation to what was mentioned upstream.
What is possible to order for large sizes?
We have patterns that are available up to size 72 for vests, jackets and sleeveless jackets. For example, the Tyrol jacket with Nehru collar, the Sligo with carpenter's collar, the classic waistcoat with piped or patch pockets, the "20 pocket" waistcoat, etc.
For shirts, we go up to 5XL with or without collar.
For pants, it's a little more problematic, because the more you go up in size, the wider the leg, and aesthetically speaking it is not always successful. We can do it, but there are also a lot of post-delivery finishes. I had one made for a size 68: it is the factory that "ranks" the garment ordered in relation to the pattern.
What about small sizes?
There was less demand, but it has been increasing since we started making jackets and vests in size 44 and shirts in size S. MVOH is the ideal solution when certain models are sold out and we have no plans to redo a specific series. But it is only possible if we have some fabric left, of course!
What in the structure of the garment can be transformed?
We do not change the cut in any case: we can make it evolve, but not change it. We cannot bend a straight jacket, as this would distort the hollington line.
On the other hand, we can modify the pocket system: instead of having patch pockets, we can have piped pockets. It’s very pretty on the Yunus jacket, because it supports the sober and refined side. We get back to the slightly "Indian" style of the line. On certain waistcoats or sleeveless jackets one can completely remove the pockets.
We can also customize the interior lining, the buttons, add musketeer cuffs to the shirts… I sometimes offer shirt fabric to line the inside of the jacket: it adds a touch of colour!
When can one place a special order? How long does it take?
People who make an appointment with me for a personalized MVOH service come either in the morning before the store opens or after the store closes.
Once the choice is made, the most important thing is to order the fabric that will be used to make the garment. Then I send the request to the factory. It takes an average of six to eight weeks for manufacturing. Then we proceed to the finishing: adjustment of the sleeves or the bottom of the pants.
What do you like most about the service you offer with MVOH?
What I like is being able to support the client in the dream of the ideal hollington clothing they want to achieve. I try to be really attentive to guide them in their choices. Seeing the joy it brings them is tremendous personal satisfaction.
And then the creative side is exciting! To create a universe adapted to each person and arrive at the finished product is a very different satisfaction from the work in store. The exchanges are more intimate, too.
At the main store, we realize that there is more and more talk about this service, because we all try to satisfy our clients. The hollington client often has a creative temper and really wants personalized clothing. I am very confident in the future of MVOH.