Friday, 23 July 2010

Katie Eary to design exclusive womenswear range for Catwalk Genius

London based menswear designer Katie Eary is now participating in the first ever public fashion funding scheme from online portal Catwalk Genius. Katie will be applying her dark, boldly unique aesthetic to her debut womenswear collection that is available to buy exclusively through Catwalk Genius from September. Her menswear has been attracting critical acclaim since the launch of the label as part of the Fashion East MAN collective two seasons ago and now has a celebrity following including Lady Gaga, Kate Moss, Courtney Love, Roisin Murphy, Sienna Miller and more. The ‘crowd-funding’ principle adopted by Catwalk Genius is both simple and effective. The concept offers customers the opportunity to support designers and brands with a small financial contribution for a share of the final profit. Most new business ventures seek funding from sole or few investors who each invest large sums of money. Crowd-funding invites a wide audience to invest a small amount of money by purchasing ‘shares’. By doing this, the financial risks to each investor are as much or as little as they choose. The scheme works as follows:

Catwalk Genius source and approach a suitable designer to collaborate with. The designer works with Catwalk Genius to set a financial target for funds they need to raise in order to produce a collection solely for the site.

Announcements for the collaboration are made and shares equating to the financial target go on sale through the Catwalk Genius site (in this instance, Eary’s shares go on sale in May, aimed at raising £5,000).

When all shares are sold and the target is reached, the designer is given the funding to design and produce the collection that (on completion) goes on sale exclusively through the Catwalk Genius site.

All supporters will get first option to purchase the new collection, as well as the chance to receive exclusive perks such as a visit to Katie’s studio, tickets to the launch and a free custom-made sample.

At the end of the season, the revenues are split and distributed equally between the designer, the supporters and Catwalk Genius.