Fashion Forward Finance – How Crowdfunding Can Bolster Creativity
February 18, 2019 - February 18, 2019
The fashion agenda of AW18 has been set, with the latest fashion trends being revealed on the catwalks of London, Paris and Milan. Every designer starts somewhere, but the bright lights of the catwalk can seem very far away for a budding designer. Whilst sketches and look books are part and parcel of building a fashion brand – what else can the designers’ of tomorrow do to get a bolster? Crowdfunding is a great method of building awareness and a strong fan base. Read on to learn the top three benefits of crowdfunding for fashion.
The stratospheric rise of social media has opened up the fashion industry. Catering for every need, design and niche trend – there is now more choice for fashion-conscious consumers than ever before. Sharing your brand via social is one thing, but turning likes into sales is the key. Whilst fashion is very personal – both to the designer and the consumer – it’s ultimately a business. Making sales will take your brand from back room to shop, then potentially to the catwalk. For an inspiring example of a designer that has created the right blend of business and identity look no further than Zesso. With ethical-living at the forefront of design, it was important for Zesso to retain the core values of the product. Using crowdfunding, the team could target consumers who share those values, and were able to successfully complete their crowdfunding – taking a major step in their brand building journey.
Demand for Design
Creating something amazing and on-trend is half the battle, and the other half is ensuring there is enough consumer demand for it. Whilst a design may work on paper, turning that sketch to reality can be a challenge if there isn’t the consumer support for it. During the crowdfunding process you will also have the opportunity to hear feedback directly from backers – does that pocket work here or is an extra inch required on length? Using the feedback to make a final design before it goes into production is a great exercise for any new designer to go through as there is never extra money or time for a ‘flop’ collection. At the end of their 718%-funded campaign, Ultra Suit knows exactly which product features to tweak to bring the world’s most durable suit to market.
Whilst high street still rules the fashion playground, the new kid on the block is better poised than ever to mix things up. Small, independent brands are bringing innovative designs to market which quickly build a following. Crowdfunding provides the perfect opportunity to foster brand advocates – as there is a whole collective of people ready and waiting to back the latest upcoming designs. Cloak Watches went against the grain to create the ‘anti smartwatch’ and raised 176% of their funding goal by tapping into a community of fans that like to do things different.
As the fashion industry takes stock post ‘fashion month’, now is the time for inspired new designers to take their idea to the next stage. Whether that’s making a sketch come to life with samples or looking to crowdfunding, there is certainly a spring in the fashion-world step.
By Joel Hughes, Head of UK & Europe, Indiegogo