ZÜRICH – As more retail companies see the value of customization on their bottom lines, the day is finally here: you can now whip up your own Freitag bag directly inside a store, from (nearly) start to (nearly) finish.
The new Grüngasse location in Zürich is an experimental ground for the Swiss brand: called Sweat Yourself, the store is actually a micro-factory of sorts. Inside, visitors will find a wide array of tarp pieces to choose from, as well as a specialized team of workers and the required machinery.
After making an appointment for a private production slot, shoppers get to pick a front and back side, a bottom, a pair of handles and a bold-patterned tarp cutoff leftover from the Oerlikon-based factory. These ‘designers’ have to use a cutter and a plexiglass template to create an external pouch, round it off with a punching machine and stamp the tarp with a welding machine. Once the dummy is in place, the creation is handed off to the crew members, who sew and rivet away while customers have a drink.
We recently highlighted Issey Miyake’s new Homme Plissé store in Tokyo, featuring a working pleating machine as a centrepiece. The reason for these bouts of experiential production is part of a long-game strategy: innovation-hungry consumers ultimately become more attached to those brands that allow them to co-create.