This one isn’t exactly new, having launched at the end of 2008, but it’s certainly worth a mention as a business that combines passion with a funky business model.
Aspiring designers register on the site in the hope of raising around £50,000 to fund the production of between 4 and 7 key pieces which are then sold via the site.
Shares are sold for £11 each (£1 going to cover admin costs) and when 5000 have been sold, Catwalk Genius supervise the production of the collection. Any profits from the sale of the collection are paid out equally to designers, backers and the company (diagram above).
But as they say themselves, “it’s mostly about the satisfaction of owning a stake in your own fashion line – since there are no guarantees that your favourite designer will hit the funding target”.
As with all crowd-sourced and crowd-funded models, allowing consumers to back a collection creates a ready-made market and interested, engaged fan-base to help spread the word. We’ve seen it working with music, with startups, with films, with fashion and even with crowd funded sports teams – so where else can the crowd funded model be applied?