By  on September 3, 2009

PARIS — The next guest designer at Azzaro could be you.

New to the Paris house’s Web site this month, as well as its Faubourg Saint-Honoré flagship and Net-a-porter.com, is the Azzaro Couture service proposing 12 “star” dresses for customers to personalize at will. There are styles from its latest collection, plus iconic frocks such as the “Three Rings” dress by founder Loris Azzaro.

The new concept allows customers to pick and mix the ingredients of their dress — which comes delivered with a personalized satin label plus a sketch — using a range of exclusive fabrics, colors and embroideries. It’s a new direction for a house whose designer, Vanessa Seward, recently concocted glitzy guest designer hook-ups with Jemima Khan and Eugenie Niarchos.

Nathalie Franson, Azzaro’s chief executive, said she believes the service will appeal to customers seeking unique designs that reflect their personal wishes.

“High-end customers want exclusivity and rarity today — they want to know that a design is made only for them,” she said. “The [elements] are created exclusively to ensure no one else [will have] the identical dress.”

She noted customers can toy with between eight and 24 possible variations, depending on the style.

Delivery for the custom-made dresses, which retail from 4,000 to 15,000 euros (or about $5,700 to $21,300 at current exchange rates), takes from four to six weeks. In an era of overnight deliveries, customers who have an appreciation for craftsmanship will be prepared to wait, Franson asserted.

Paris atelier Cécile Henry, for instance, is charged with the embroidery. “The dresses [clients] will create for themselves are for very special occasions. They are not daywear pieces which one would purchase on a whim,” said Franson. “It takes time to maintain the highest standards.”

An Azzaro Couture dress costs up to 30 percent more than the house’s off-the-rack styles.

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