Every week a different FADER staff member will pick a clothing item or accessory that he or she has lately been spending a lot of time with—or would like to—and write a little love letter to it. We would’ve done a column on who we’re dating but that seemed a little bit much. This week Felipe Delerme writes about his Personalized Rugby Shawl Collar Sweater, modeled by the lovely Kristen Frasier.
The first and only time I ever customized something was a pair of White/Mocha Jordan III's as a freshman in college. I bought them on an impulse and decided some three weeks after that if I was ever actually going to wear them I'd have to make them look like something I'd ever actually wear. The task itself didn't seem daunting. I'd come relatively close to being an art major and this was around the time when people were making a nice buck customizing Air Force Ones. The actual process, however, is a far different story. I can't remember exactly how many hours the whole operation took, but with a couple of cycles of taping, painting and drying, let's just say I wasn't wearing them to the club that weekend. I'm quite proud of how they came out, as they ended up looking something like these. I haven't been inclined customize anything since, but I'll never forget the reaction I got from stepping out in something no one else could buy.
Ralph Lauren's Rugby line has been offering in-store customization of rugbys and the like for some time now, but they've just released an iPhone app that allows you to do it from the comfort of your own phone. I opted for a maroon shawl collar sweater (North Haven High School, what up!) and my initial goal was simply to use as many patches as the program would allow, until I found out that there aren't any restrictions to how many you can use, or even where you have to place them. Within the design process I was stacking patches on top of other patches, putting them in a bunch of strange places and most comfortingly, taking my sweet, sweet time arranging and rearranging them, all without having to endure the judgment or impatience of an exhausted salesperson. It was like having the store closed down just so I could be alone in the design studio. The final result came out a bit more conservative than some of my earlier designs, but in the end I opted for flyness over flamboyance, and that's really the point of having something exclusive. Making other people jealous that they can't have it.