An Internet startup called Fashion Stake, which will open in the coming weeks, has the ambitious goal of shaking up the fashion industry, just as the file-sharing sites have turned the music around.
Fashion Stake will allow people to directly fund stylists after viewing the collections online: they can buy a stake in the collection in exchange for credits to buy clothes.
Stylist sponsors can also send ideas to designers and vote on the best collections.
The company, inspired by social networks like Twitter and Facebook, bet on a growing business model that calls on entrepreneurs to get in touch with consumers, funders and distributors of content or products.
Fashion Stake Chief Executive Daniel Gulati is a Harvard Business School student, where the project was conceived.
According to him, high-profit industries are abandoning the belief that executives decide what the public is consuming.
We believe it can really be a watershed, he said. What we’re basically doing is redirecting the margin to the fans and carving the retailers.
Fashion designer Althea Harper of New York said the new model could help find funding. In addition, it will allow clothing designers to avoid the sales channel via conventional tenants.
It’s hard for a network of clothing stores to trust you when you’re a new stylist, she said.
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