pre-ordering retail fashion for independent fashion designers

Crowdfunding and Crowdsourcing Fashion

In one of our previous posts we highlighted some of the challenges that aspiring fashion designers encounter when starting up their businesses (you can find the full article here). To sum up, here are the top three problems:

Let’s be honest, the fashion industry does not take full advantage of the advancements in IT, and the designers have to be very creative to overcome their challenges. Many resort to major online marketplaces to sell their creations. These work for designers offering custom made products – and they can sell one item at a time based on customer’s requirements. On the downside, the designers can’t source materials in large quantities because of the unpredictability in demand and they end up sourcing expensive supplies and pass that cost to the buyer. Furthermore, it is very difficult for the buyer to find a particular designer as these marketplaces become more like a universe of everything for everyone (For example, Etsy reportedly has over 800,000 active shops).

What we’ve recently noticed is that independent fashion designers are now appealing to the public to support their businesses and they do it on crowdfunding websites. Still, the fashion category on Kickstarter has the lowest success rate. We believe this is because the existing crowdfunding platforms don’t make for an elegant e-commerce solution. Consumers can’t really shop the designers’ products, but rather “donate” in return for different types of rewards. Crowdfunding works for fashion retailers that sell single products (such as the super-famous pebble watch); however, they don’t work as well for fashion designers that sell multiple products. crowdfunding fashion

Finally, a lot of new designers try crowdsourcing their designs, which takes care of the second obstacle they encounter – forecasting demand. By using a voting, liking and sharing system you can learn from your potential buyers more than if you were to investigate yourself. You can choose to produce only the most popular products or modify your collection based on consumer’s feedback. Still – desirability doesn’t necessarily translate into orders, as the potential buyers are not required to commit to a purchase.

At Luevo, we are working hard to develop a new kind of crowdfunding solution specifically targeted at aspiring and emerging independent fashion designers. We will use a combination of best practices from existing crowdfunding and crowdsourcing business models to create one solution to a designer’s top three challenges. We understand that as independent fashion designers you have certain production requirements. On our platform you will be able to obtain the pre-orders you need by crowdsourcing your demand.

You can find out more on how our fashion crowdfunding platform works here.

What to wear to a fashion event?

So you were invited to a fashion event, and the day before you start wondering what should you wear! This time is not your girlfriends checking out your outfit head to toe, but it’s your local fashion experts, and in a city like Toronto the pressure is on!

So, with an invitation in my hand to go to a fashion event in the famous Yorkville district of Toronto, I start lining up different outfit options, and what else can I do, but categorize, sub-categorize, and choose! (Must be the divide and conquer theory I was taught in history class a while ago…).

Option #1: Wear something famous! Choose a brand that anyone would recognize and flaunt in front of snapping cameras and the on-site fashionistas…but..  that can be a bad idea when the event is organized by a designer or a store that showcases certain brands, which is the case with my event. So no, this is not a good opportunity to showcase the one most expensive piece of clothing that I own; however, here are some designer outfits that most certainly will be a hit at a Toronto fashion event:

An outfit signed by Lucian Matis – one of the best shows at Toronto Fashion Week 2012:


Option #2: As an alternative, I could wear one of the labels carried by the respective boutique, such as :


A Back stretch knit dress by Arti Gogna you can buy here.

Cowl neck 3/4 sleeve dress by Dagg & Stacey that you can get here.


Option #3: Or you can be totally fresh, and wear Canadian label no other than Joe Fresh:


Ultimately I think the rules of the game are: while you want to stand out, don’t overdo it, be yourself! Be considerate to the event’s theme, if the event is organized for independent local designers don’t walk in wearing Prada!

And finally, in my case, I want to wear something that will represent me and my company, and most importantly bring forward the creations of the designers that we at Luevo have discovered.