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Kickstarting a Fashion Empire in Canada

There are many more uses for Kickstarter than simply funding Veronica Mars movies or raising capital to buy Rob Ford crack videos. These days, small business owners are turning to the crowdfunding platform to jumpstart their budding ventures, particularly within the fashion industry.

E-tailer Everlane markets itself as a new kind of retail experience, one that exists 100% online and bypasses all middlemen to create beautiful designer goods at truly disruptive prices (with no retail markups). They offer some of the bestselling tees on the market, the U.S. market that is, because up until now they didn't have the capital to migrate north.

Everlane

Everlane

"We want to come to Canada, but we want to do it right. So many retailers enter new markets with little knowledge of whether there’s excitement there. As a young company running a lean business, we want to tread carefully and be smart about our next moves.

There were many discussions around the launch. In one of our team meetings a young engineer said, 'Why don’t we kickstart this thing?' And it just felt obvious. We see this as a unique way to bring rewards for those who join early, while testing demand."

So, Everlane took the logical step of asking the unwashed masses for help funding its expansion on Kickstarter. And guess what? They did it. Exceeding their $100,000 goal by $18,095, promising a bounty of free credit to investors and finally breaking into that tricky Canadian market. A happy ending all around, but Everlane isn't alone in crowdfunding its fashion empire.

Canadian startup Knix Wear, a lingerie company that sells high-performance underwear, recently pre-sold more than $36,000 of its goods on Indiegogo. They aimed to raise $40,000 in 44 days to help fund their first production run and, within 24 hours of launching the campaign on May 2, the company had already surpassed 20% of its fundraising target. Their innovative product line and novel approach to raise funds was even profiled on Forbes.com.

Knix Packaging

Knix Packaging

Knix Wear investors — depending on their contribution — receive a free pair of underwear, featuring the new Fresh Fix Technology they tout as being able to wick away moisture, naturally eliminate odor, while keeping you feeling fresh and dry all day long. With less than $4,000 and four days to meet its target, the Canadian startup may just succeed, but has crowdfunding reached its tipping point?

Knix

Knix

If the Rob Ford Kickstarter debacle has taught us anything, it's that investments can go down the drain, so what do you guys make of the innovative way small fashion business are getting off the ground? Would you invest? Maybe you already have, in which case, do share your experiences in the comments section below..

 

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Up-And-Comer Turned Cash Cow: Cue Takes a Slice of Dion Lee’s Lucrative Pie

dionlee

Image: ElleUK.com

Dion Lee first fooled around with Cue back in 2011, collaborating with the brand on a popular capsule collection based around modern office-appropriate separates.

Now the two have made their love affair official. After a few months of speculation, Cue and Dion Lee have announced a joint partnership, with the high street icon acquiring an undisclosed shareholding in the high end label. Cue Clothing Company operates 231 stores across Australia and New Zealand under its Cue and Veronika Maine brands.

Both parties have been quick to stamp out rumours that the acquisition is the result of financial difficulty, and we’re pretty confident that’s true. Dion Lee is the Australian fashion industry’s deservedly lionised golden child and the most oft-cited example of young designers finding success in the face of economic uncertainty. And keep in mind it was he who approached Cue regarding 2011’s collaboration.

According to Lee, the deal frees him up to focus more heavily on the creative side. “Having a partner allows me to become more creative and allows me to take on more exciting projects and build the brand to its utmost potential,” he told The Australian. “That’s difficult to do with an unfunded business.”

Here’s to a newly cashed-up Lee and his continued trajectory onto the international landscape. 

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Mariacarla Boscono Stars In New Giorgio Armani Campaign (Forum Buzz)

GAW_FW1314_-_adv_campaign GAM_FW1314_-_adv_campaign

Giorgio Armani is known for booking lesser known models for his runway shows and then wowing us with a mega cast for his campaigns. This season he cast the fierce tFS forums favorite Mariacarla Boscono and male model Florian Van Bael for his Fall 2013 campaign, lensed once again by photographer duo Mert Alas & Marcus Piggott. The result doesn’t disappoint and forum members are wowed by the strong images and the great cast:

“Woah this looks frickin amazing!  Looks like this will be the best Armani campaign in quite some time,” exclaimed Elfinkova.

Melancholybaby showed himself equally ecstatic over the previews for the campaign: "This campaign is giving me life! The first two shots are absolutely flawless, they suit Armani's aesthetic to a T.” 

“Only MCB could pull off such an odd hairstyle. Love the lighting, and how there's some depth in the picture as if she's going toward somewhere where the light is located. The contrast between the dark jacket and the light, pastel trousers makes for a great look," analyzed Lagerfeldboy.

Creative pointed out the similarity to an old story shot by legendary photographer Irving Penn, which could have been the inspiration for the concept of this campaign and anlabe32 found that the campaign was “incredibly boring… but what else is new at Giorgio Armani. The clothes are also very dull.” 

I am sometimes stunned by everyone’s unfathomable love for Mariacarla Boscono and found her long reign at Givenchy (as Riccardo Tisci’s muse she starred in  just about every Givenchy campaign since the Fall 2005 season!) to become a little tedious, but as the ultimate Italian high fashion model, she was a perfect choice for an Armani campaign. What makes it hard to impartially enjoy most of Mert & Marcus’ campaigns and editorials is that you always have to wonder where they drew their inspiration from. They notoriously often copy concepts from old shoots one-to-one without giving proper credit, as seems to be the case here. Nonetheless to say, we are spoiled with a set of stunning pictures here and this is slated for becoming one of the more visually appealing campaigns of the season. Like many other tFSers, I am definitely excited to see more!

Image Credits: styleandfashion.blogosfere.it via the tFS Forums

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Is Model Toni Garrn Leo DiCaprio’s Latest Squeeze? (Forum Buzz)

Toni Garrn via Lia Toby/WENN.com

Toni Garrn via Lia Toby/WENN.com

It’s no secret that actor Leonardo DiCaprio has a weakness for young, blonde, long-legged beauties. In recent years he has dated Blake Lively, Anna Jagodzinska and Erin Heatherton. Not to mention his high profile relationships with über-model Gisele Bündchen and Sports Illustrated babe Bar Rafaeli before that. After rumors circulated that he invited Cara Delevingne to Cannes Festival, he has now been seen multiple times with Victoria’s Secret model Toni Garrn. The two were seen flirting at the Amfar Gala After Party, taking a stroll together in Versailles on June 6 and, as tFSer sore noted, also both separately attended the French Open Semi-Finals. Forum members are rather cynical about the blossoming romance between the 20-year old German stunner and the 38-year old womanizer. 

“I was wondering who'd be next! I wonder if dating Leo would do more for her profile than it did for Erin [Heatherton],” commented Clipse.

“Oh Toni! You are 20 and hanging out with modelizer Leo who is 38! What do young models see in him?” asked kab348.

And ForChicSake wrote, “He definitely has a type… he knows what he wants and gets bored quickly. I hope she's having fun and not dreaming about happily ever after with Leo but you never know she might be the one. Life's too short so let them enjoy themselves.”

“It must be funny at the VS fashion show backstage,” laughed clarissea, expressing what is actually awkward about this whole thing, that a majority of Leo’s flings are models straight out of the Victoria’s Secret catalog.

This rather predictable liaison is a little too cliché for my taste, as well. But ForChicSake has a point. Aren’t Hollywood romances mostly superficial to some extent? Don’t most actors go for young, beautiful models? They may not all change their model girlfriends as frequently as DiCaprio and Adam Levine, but the concept of beautiful, powerful and famous people dating even more beautiful people is hardly new. And regardless of how serious Leo's and Toni's relationship is, they sure do look great together. And let's be honest, don’t we love Leo for regularly providing us with some model gossip?

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Luella Bartley is Back and Designing for Marc by Marc Jacobs! (Forum Buzz)

Luella's last collection, Luella Spring 2010Luella Fall 2009

Kaitie Hillier and Luella Bartley have been named Directors of the Marc by Marc Jacobs brand. This marks Bartley’s return to designing after a 4-year hiatus. Bartley, a favorite among celebrities such as Alexa Chung and Sienna Miller, went out of business with her Luella brand due to financial difficulties in 2009. Since then she had mostly been active as a fashion writer. Forum members are excited about having Luella Bartley back on the clothing design scene. 

“This is fantastic news! I missed Luella dearly!” shared deflyricist2006. Marc10 agreed, “This is really exciting news. I think we were all missing Luella in the business and Marc by Marc is right up her alley. Great things to come.”

“I hope we can see a full on Luella quirkiness in the future, so excited about it!” stated Pricciao

Luxx wrote: “This is a really fascinating and cool development. Love the idea of two people headlining things and both getting appropriate credit. So often the designers heading up the accessories side of things are never mentioned, even though their contributions are essential to the monetary success of so many big brands. Where would some of these labels be without shoes and handbags! This is also magical for fans of Luella. Her presence has been missed — I expect a delightfully quirky collection.” 

“I think this is really interesting in terms of brands trying to build their diffusion lines into full-blown brands on their own right. McQ hired Alistair Carr, MbMJ these 2 ladies, it will be interesting to see if other labels will take this step as well,” observed thejarc

Bartley will take on the role of Design Director. She is joined by Katie Hillier who will be the Creative Director. Hillier had previously been designing jewelry and accessories and consulted for Marc Jacobs and Victoria Beckham, as well as the Luella brand. The new duo is expected to present the first Marc by Marc Jacobs collection under their creative direction for Fall 2014. This is the first time Marc Jacobs has appointed other designers to design for his diffusion label and we think he made a great choice!

Image Credits: wwd.com

The Buzz Latest News

The Fashion Spot’s 10 Best Articles of the Week

10-best-J7-M

  1. On Our Radar: International Fashion Star Zhang Yuqi – The Chinese actress made a splash at Cannes this month. 
     
  2. 21 Questions with… Jillian Michaels – Our June guest editor has a confession to make: She HATES exercising. Click through to find out what motivates her to do it anyway. 
     
  3. The Best, Most Insidery Instagram Photos from the CFDA Awards – A view of the CFDA you haven't gotten yet. 
     
  4. Get Angelina Jolie’s Simple Look with Just 5 Products – Angelina Jolie is having a moment. 
     
  5. The Winners and the Style Stars from the 2013 CFDA Fashion Awards – The biggest awards show in fashion happened this week. 
     
  6. Runway to Real Life: Rachel Bilson in Chanel, Jessica Chastain in Gucci and More (Forum Buzz) – See how stars translate runway looks to the red carpet. 
     
  7. United Nude: How Heartbreak Launched a Shoe Brand – An interview with the designer of the unique footwear label.
     
  8. Angelina Jolie Makes a Welcome Return to the Red Carpet and Other Best Dressed Celebs of the Week – Some people clean up nice. 
     
  9. Get Ready for This Jelly: 10 Amazing Shoes of Rubber – We are so ready for this jelly. 
     
  10. Meet the Inspiring Founders of Accessories E-Tailer The Editorialist – Find out what drove two former Harper's Bazaar assistants to launch an accessories e-commerce site. 

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