Style counsel

By Noreen Flanagan
Unless you have an angel investor, a trust fund or win the lottery, launching a fashion line is a risky venture. Tapping into the crowdsourcing trend, two companies are poised to launch fashion sites that will collect funds via the Internet to finance young designers.
StyleTrek and
FashionStake are currently selecting designers. According to a post on
The Business of Fashion (BOF), StyleTrek designers will receive 75 percent of the proceeds from their sales. If fans, or “StyleTrekkers” recommend designers, who are subsequently accepted, the designers will receive 74 percent of their sales and 1 percent goes to the fan. FashionStake has a slightly different strategy, according to BOF. “The business model works by allowing designers to offer exclusive collections directly to the public. Revenue from the collections is split between the designers and supporters of the collection. Supporters are people who bought ‘stakes’ in the designer’s collection. They receive their revenue in the form of clothing credits, redeemable for any purchase on our site. FashionStake takes a percentage of sales.” If the collections are thoughtfully chosen, this could be an innovative funding source for talented designers, not to mention retail therapy for fashionistas who like to think and shop outside the “retail” box. Does anyone know of similar ventures happening in Canada?