The fashion industry is often thought of as a group of elite demigods setting trends for the rest of us, whether we shop at Tommy Hilfiger or Target. However, with the advent of crowdsourcing, more and more designers, retailers, and fashionistas are working to offer new fashion opportunities democratically through crowdsourcing.
Recently, Kaos added a new design and designer to their collection by launching a contest inviting emerging designers to share their ideas for a new jacket. The contest was managed on Trendsales.fi where designers could upload their clothing sketches and users could vote on them. The winner emerged after 54 hopefuls had submitted designs and more than 2,000 people had voted. The final voting method? The facebook “like” button which is being used as a voting determinate more and more often. Even Seattle Magazine’s most recent “Seamless in Seattle” competition used their Facebook “like” button as their method of identifying the “Reader’s Choice” winner.
Kaos and Trendsales are not alone, however, in asking readers and users to vote on new fashion trends. It is similar to what Fashion Stake has created: a swank buffet of hand-picked, young designers who are then evaluated by the base of Fashion Stake subscribers. The subscribers vote on which designs they predict will fly off the shelves most readily and are then rewarded if they are correct. Young designers get a headstart and the crowd gets what they were clamoring for (whether it’s a new purse, pea coat, or dress). Fashion Stake also maxes out prices at $200 so that fashion subscribers can still remain cost conscious. You can also find other (and sometimes similar) fashion crowdsourcing at sites like Mod Cloth, Garmz, Threadless, and many, many more where shoppers can vote on the designs or designers can find backers for their new line.
For such a specialized industry, fashion has certainly embraced the crowd. I suppose this is unsurprising, considering that pretty much everyone clothes themselves (whether they want to or not) and therefore has a valid say in the future of the industry. Will this change the field of fashion? What other wisdom does the crowd have to offer when it comes to the fashion industry?