The fashion lover/fashion designer relationship just got a whole lot cozier. FashionStake.com launched today, offering users the opportunity to support a designer by buying a stake in his/her collection and get rewarded with store credit as the collection sells online.
There are four ways to support designers. A "Buyer" pledges to purchase a clothing item at a discount. Each designer (there are currently four online) sets up a funding target. Visitors who donate $50 reach "Funder" status and receive store credit based on the successful sales of collection items in the online store. The site says it will offer up to $125 return on a $50 stake.
For you big spenders, there's "VIP" status. Luxury perks and privileges include dinner with the designer or New York Fashion Week tickets (get your FW Survival Kit, too!) and one free item from the collection.
According to a release, the start-up has commissioned several designers, including Nicholas K, to produce exclusive collections and send them down the runway during their shows next week.
"Consumers will be able to pre-order items at a discount before they hit the runway, own a 'Stake' in a designer's collection, and enjoy several insider-only perks, such as tickets to a designer's Fashion Week show," the release reads. "They will also be able to provide input into the creative process by voting on and discussing pieces."
The site plans to feature more than thirty contemporary ready-to-wear designers, revealing one designer each week. Designers range from the up-and-coming Alice Ritter, who is part of the CFDA's Fashion Incubator (see all twelve designers here), to established handbag designer Lauren Merkin.
"We were very excited to see how much activity there has been -- not only in supporting designers but also in voting on styles. The idea of immediate, direct feedback from consumers is one of the reasons that designers have been excited to work with FashionStake," explains president and co-founder Vivian Weng.
"Designers don't get that kind of feedback through normal retail channels. We've heard of designers who actually go mystery shopping at department stores to hear what their customers are saying about their new collections."
So....power truly to the people. What do you think? Would you support a designer on such a direct level?
In other news, check out the complete schedule of Fashion's Night Out.