Crowdsourcing is fostering a new age in creative, ethical, and environmentally sound designs from largely unknown talent looking to make their name. New small private brands and designers can collaborate with the crowd on Crowdholding to effectively create a community around their brands.
It’s not just new brands and designers that can use crowdsourcing; it’s a tool employed by even the most established designers in the fashion industry.It also allows customers to shop for quality practical designs with a clear conscience and even invest in new lines and enterprises.
For the designers at large retailers, handing over creative control to the consumer is unrealistic, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t uses for crowdsourcing in this segment too. A winning combination of crowdsourced opinion (which will guarantee garments stocked will be popular!) and gamification, without having to alter the design process. Crowdholding takes this process one step further, by also reimbursing the crowd for their ideas with future revenue from the fashion garments they helped co-create.
In the competitive world of fashion, more aspiring designers hoping to be the next Alexander McQueen or Vivien Westwood are finding a financial support and voice for their projects through crowdfunding. Indeed, crowdfunding is steadily changing the world of fashion, but not just by enabling more designers to have their work noticed and financed. It is attracting new and creative designs, and is even generating a focus on ethically produced and eco-friendly pieces that are not always found in the high-end fashion industry.
“A fashion designer’s mission is to create something the public needs or wants before they even know it. If suggestions are part of the mix, they are coming from a Creative Director, a Buyer for a store or a trusted colleague. Information from a stranger, though kind enough to pay in advance for merchandise down the road, is not necessarily the voice a designer is likely to take as gospel.”
Cameesa, bought by Zazzle, offers freelance designers the opportunity to gain recognition for their work whilst securing funding for their line. Designs are submitted and then selected by a panel who then put them forward for funding. Interested investors can purchase a t-shirt which they will receive if the design reaches its funding target, not only entitling them to their own t-shirt but also a small percentage of future sales.
Any business that attempts to break up the cliquey nature of the fashion industry should be applauded. In the age of the so-called Web 2.0, the Harvard Business School pair of Gulati and Weng have recognized the importance of social media, and, more importantly, the growing need to develop tighter relations and dialogues with the consumer.
With the removal of the middleman, the designer gets a greater share of their profit, and the consumer has greater access and influence over the preceding season’s designs. As with all startups, there are ifs, buts and maybes that will need to be addressed before one can say whether Fashion Stake is the revolutionary business that will really take off in a big way.
Nevertheless, if the legalities can be ironed out, the company’s principles are intriguing and their ambition to try and shake up the fashion industry is truly admirable.
Pose: Denoted as fashion hauls meets crowdsourcing, Pose.com (and its accompanying free app) is an online community that allows their clients to follow what their favorite influencers and friends are wearing in real-time. With opportunities for users to showcase their style finds via photo uploading, geo-tagging, Twitter and Facebook, the platform allows users to get immediate feedback on what they are trying on from a community of “fashion experts”. Influencers (or posers) on the Pose platform include Coco Rocha, Rachel Zoe, the Man Repeller, Catt Sadler, Atlantic Pacific and more.
Crowdholding connects the crowd with fashion entrepreneurs to co-create, allowing them to give ideas and feedback for future revenue. Learn about Crowdholding in 1 minute by watching our Youtube video.