Gigi Etienne explains how her new crowdfunding site supports designers, gives stlye-savvy shoppers exclusive perks, & promotes feel-good fashion.
Feeling inspired by London Fashion Week? Now you can back the hottest new talent, and feel even better about your fashion purchases.
This month saw the soft launch of Mode For Me, a new online platform where you can crowd fund designs by emerging fashion designers.
“Designers showcase their designs on our website and if the required amount of customers want to purchase the item, then it will go through to production, and to the customer’s doorstep,” co-founder Geraldine Etienne told The Memo.
Despite the fact that the site has been running for just two weeks – and with a limited number of designers – it’s already closed two successful campaigns by African-inspired designers Asaawa and purse and clutch makers Heidi and Adele.
The company now has over 75 designer applications to go through, and plans to start showcasing between 100 designer on their site at any one time.
So, what’s in it for you?
Shopping on Mode For Me gives you the opportunity to buy stylish items that aren’t available anywhere else at discount prices, says Etienne.
“We ensure that all the products on our site are totally exclusive to Mode For Me. In addition to this, the designs on our site are available much cheaper (50% in some cases) than if they were sold at a regular boutique or retailer which usually takes a higher premium.”
While there are some similar crowdfunding sites operating from the US, Mode For Me says its unique in working with fashion designers at the earliest stage of their career.
“Who knows, you may find the next Alexander Wang and own their goods before they hit it big,” says Etienne
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Unlike other crowdfunding sites, or fashion stores, Mode For Me has been built to fund fashion from the off, says Etienne.
“Contrary to ordinary crowd funding sites, Mode For Me offers designers 3 main things,” says Etienne.
“The first is, of course, the funding in order to get their items produced; the second is a platform where they can showcase their new designs in order to test the demand; and finally, we offer exposure to the fashion world which many designers struggle to build up themselves – using social media, our blogs, and our links to retailers and brands.”
“As our focus is designers, we do whatever we can to make the process of building their brands as easy as possible.”
Not only do shoppers get to feel good about supporting designers (and getting to buy some awesome new clothes), but Mode For Me is also far better for the environment that traditional outlets.
“Our long term mission is to help ‘slow fashion’ to make a comeback,” explains Etienne.
“We want to encourage people to turn away from the fast fashion brands which can often be associated with unethical means of production and low quality goods, and instead turn towards the original, high quality fashion that is produced by the smaller independent labels.”
After all, if designers only produce the stock they know that people want to buy, that massively reduces any waste which would otherwise be shipped around stores for sales, or even end up in landfill.
Mode For Me is currently building exclusive partnerships with some of London’s world-renowned fashion schools, and is keen to collaborate with manufacturers in the future too, says Etienne.
“We’re also trialling in the next few months some new features which may involve collaborations,” hints the founder. “We can’t wait to share it with you when it’s live!”
Mode For Me may also be involved in London Fashion Week next year, she adds.
“We plan to host runways during London Fashion Week to showcase our top designers,” says Etienne. “We’d love to collaborate to help their younger designers get more exposure.”
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Kitty Knowles is a Senior Features Writer at The Memo. Kitty previously worked as an online journalist for GQ. She can be found tweeting @KittyGKnowles.