Ever wish you could find your favorite bra in a different color, or with different trim? Love the cut of that lace shortie robe you received on Valentine’s Day, but wish you could find it in a warmer fabric?
Impish Lee probably has the solution, but you’ll have to find it for yourself.
Calling itself the first interactive design-it-yourself webshop for lingerie and loungewear lovers, the Long Island-based brand launched its online customization platform on Friday.
With trillions of possible combinations of individual styles, fabrics, colors, prints and trims, the Impish Lee point-and-click platform brings the rapidly emerging technology-driven world of personalization to intimate garments.
Tech-driven personalization is not new to the fashion world, but the marketplace is still trying to figure out which product niches will appeal to shoppers and support its tricky economies of scale.
Most consumers have encountered this business model through design-your-own-footwear options offered by Nike and Converse, but other efforts to bring customization to the masses — like Levi’s DIY jeans project or Burberry‘s recent bespoke trenchcoat service — were less successful.
Impish Lee is hoping to convert customers to their new shopping paradigm by offering a wide range of basic product templates that include several bra and panty styles, as well as rompers, robes, slips, leggings and other pieces that invite personal touches. Most of its design templates utilize soft stretch fabrics like mesh, velvet and lace, which can be dressed up with an assortment of prints and some novelty fabrics.
“We believe that since our customers know themselves better than we do, it is imperative to include them in the design process,” Impish Lee founder Noelle Lee Ventresca said in a press release. “By having a flexible and customizable platform, we can provide garments that reflect our customers’ individuality and fit perfectly too.”
Pearly Kate Photography
As Lingerie Talk reported in an earlier article, Impish Lee is a lot more than a Build-A-Bear for the intimates industry — although it does appeal to same kind of creative imagination. It combines the artisanal, DIY ethos of crafters marketplace Etsy (where Impish Lee got its start three years ago) with database-driven back-end technology created by customization startup Combeenation.
The concept is also meant to address the widespread dissatisfaction that many consumers feel about market options in the intimates category, giving women an added measure control over their shopping choices.
The company’s software allows users to experiment with colors and fabric choices — and see the results onscreen — before submitting an order. There’s a generous selection of sizes, too — bras are available from 28A to 40J, and loungewear pieces go up to a 24.
Impish Lee “promotes an empowered woman who knows how she wants to look and feel and is ready to be a part of the creation of her own wears,” Ventresca said.
Orders are custom-made by seamstresses in New York and shipped in 2-3 weeks. Impish Lee also offers a unique guarantee — if your order is unsatisfactory for any reason, the company will remake it for free or refund your payment.
Any returned items will eventually be resold on a separate website, with all proceeds from sales going to support the work of the Robin Hood Foundation to eradicate poverty in New York City.
Here’s a video that offers a behind-the-scenes look at what happens once your order is placed through the Impish Lee website. The company’s site and social media channels offer plenty of examples of the various styles available, but keep in mind your creation will probably look different depending on your own design choices.