THIS autumn we’re not talking about leather and plaid, the deep V-neck or the revival of the round shoulder – though, for the record, these are some of the biggest trends you’ll see come September. But, no, the biggest story to hit fashion in years is less about the catwalk, more about crowd funding.
Wowcracy is an online fashion buying platform that allows designers to sell exclusive access to themselves and their collections in a bid to raise the full amount needed to fund an entire collection.
Pre-order something you like on the site, but no money will change hands until the designer meets or exceeds their goal. Once that happens, funds are transferred, the design process rolls into action and the customer waits patiently for their exclusive piece of fashion to arrive on the doorstep.
Supported by Vogue and Glamour, the project has just awarded one of its coveted places to Fort William-born, Edinburgh-based Judy R Clark – the only Scot on the books. Having worked for Alexander McQueen and designed exclusive pieces for Emeli Sandé, this time Clark has the not inconsiderable task of raising £4,000 in just 90 days if she is to produce a collection of exclusive Harris Tweed and Scottish lace frock coats.
“I receive emails every day from people asking where they can get hold of my garments or how they can order my designs,” says Clark. “Wowcracy
is the perfect platform to showcase
my work to a global audience. Through the site, anyone can buy into my
entire design process from start to finish.
“I am offering numerous parts of the journey, from a regularly updated email blog, limited edition postcards and prints of the designs, to a studio visit inputting to the overall look of the garments, to, of course, owning one of my jackets, including a frock coat named in their honour.”
Everything will be made in Scotland from Scottish textiles, including Harris Tweed and lace from the Ayrshire mill Morton, Young and Borland.
For the customer, as little as £5 will get you named on the website, with regular updates on the project. Spend £10 or £50 and a pack of hand-drawn postcards or a visit to Clark’s Edinburgh studio could be yours; £420 and you get an exclusive jacket – one of only 25 worldwide – and £850 ups the stakes to one of just two incredible frock coats, named after you and delivered to your door around September this year.
“By using this crowd-funding approach people will essentially pre-order
my creations and become part of my exclusive fashion brand.”