Image from Harrods' August Made With Love magazine issue

Image from Harrods’ August Made With Love magazine issue

British department store Harrods is showcasing the passion behind the handcrafted luxury goods it sells with a month-long storewide campaign that brings artisans and consumers together.

During Made With Love, the store will host a number of limited-edition and exclusive items designed specifically for the retailer and will also bring in representatives from brands to provide demonstrations or personalization services. Introducing the makers of its luxury goods to consumers may boost consumer loyalty while also justifying purchase price.

“Harrods’ focus on craftsmanship is a great way to elevate the exclusivity and uniqueness of its luxury merchandise,” said David Naumann, director of marketing at Boston Retail Partners. “Watching an artisan create or customize a product is entertaining for customers who enjoy the theater of shopping.”

Mr. Naumann is not affiliated with Harrods, but agreed to comment as an industry expert.

Harrods was unable to comment directly before press deadline.

Passion project
Made With Love is returning for a second time this year, following a successful inaugural event in 2014 (see story).

Throughout the store will be items special to Harrods, including exclusive versions of Chloé’s Drew bag and three exclusive styles of carpets from The Rug Company. There are also limited-edition dresses from Alexander McQueen and Mary Katrantzou, and one-of-a-kind jewels on display from Bulgari.

Chloe Drew bag
Chloé’s Drew bag

To showcase the people behind the coveted merchandise, Harrods will use “retail theater,” bringing the artisans in-store.

From Aug. 14-16, a Ferragamo artisan will be on-hand to demonstrate how the brand’s Tramezza shoe is made.

In the watch and jewelry room, Officine Panerai, Jaeger-LeCoultre, IWC and others will create watch straps embossed with the Made With Love logo.

Made With Love Harrods logo
Harrods Made With Love logo

Aspinal of London will be offering a free illustration with purchase from Aug. 14-16, and from Aug. 21-23, the brand will be hosting a competition in which consumers can design a bag for a chance to win a bespoke tote bag.

The founders of French perfume house Henry Jacques will host a meet-and-greet with consumers, and will be available for one-on-one consultations.

Louis Vuitton, Anya Hindmarch and Mulberry will monogram or personalize consumers’ purchases. In the men’s shoe salon, Tod’s will provide complimentary monogramming on its Gommino driving shoes, available in 15 leathers and 20 lace colors.

In women’s shoes, shoppers can build their own Casadei Blade pumps from scratch, picking heel height, material, color lining and embellishments, while men can do a similar bespoke consultation with Paul Smith.

Harrods Made With Love Santoni
Santoni display at Harrods for Made With Love

Similarly, Harry Winston will be highlighting its Bespoke Ultimate Bridal collection, allowing customers to create their ideal engagement ring.

The experience also extends to Harrods’ food halls and home goods department.

Harrods Made With Love Original Sofa Co
Display featuring the Original Sofa Co.

Fendi will pop-up in Harrods’ ground floor exhibition windows Aug. 6 with a virtual display that mimics its Rome’s Palazzo della Civiltà Italiana. This will host exclusive products and limited edition colors of handbags such as the 2Jours and By The Way.

In addition to the events, footage will play on screens and the store guide will feature details.

Harrods will also promote Made With Love through its digital and content channels. Its Web site will contain ecommerce edits of merchandise, while its monthly magazine features a dedicated section for the initiative.

The magazine, available online and via a mobile application, shows a model swinging from a giant heart-shaped pendant on the cover.

Harrods magazine cover Aug 2015
Cover of Harrods magazine

In the editor’s letter, Jan Masters explains, “This issue is our way of celebrating those who see their work less as a job, more as a passion.”

Inside, the issue runs down some of the special merchandise available in-store, including Miu Miu’s first scent, an exclusive Elie Saab gown and Jimmy Choo’s bespoke pumps.

Content also includes an interview with Karl Lagerfeld on the 50th anniversary of his tenure at Fendi and a conversation with perfumer Roja Dove, whose scents are the result of passion.

“The August issue of Harrods magazine features top designers, artisans and chefs that reinforces the Made With Love campaign and inspires customers to visit the store to meet the craftsmen and personalize their own products,” Mr. Naumann said.

Made With Love will run through Aug. 29.

Individual attention
Multi-brand retailers are uniquely positioned to host this type of bespoke event.

With spring right around the corner, a number of luxury department stores are appealing to male consumers looking for a wardrobe update with made-to-measure appointments.

Bergdorf Goodman, Harrods and Lane Crawford are all bringing together tailors from a bevy of menswear labels to assist customers in crafting a suit just for them. Due to the range of brands carried, retailers are uniquely positioned to host this type of large-scale event, allowing consumers access to insights from many different experts (see story).

Brands have selected Harrods as a destination for their customization programs.

British fashion label Anya Hindmarch began offering its bespoke services in Harrods, the first time they could be accessed outside of the brand’s independent stores.

The arrangement features  furniture by Italian designer Matino Gamper and allows consumers to customize products on-site. As the brand expands, it is important to send out credible representatives to ensure a smooth transition (see story).

This type of personalization creates a lasting impact.

“Inviting customers to see and meet the artisans in-person creates a personal connection to the brand,” Mr. Naumann said. “Shoppers can customize merchandise for their preferences of size, color, fabric and engraving to make the product one-of-a-kind and more personal.

“When customers wear or use the personalized merchandise they customized at Harrods, it will elicit a positive memory of the experience and the brand.”

Final Take
Sarah Jones, staff reporter on Luxury Daily, New York