Crowd-funding fashion, Part 2: The Amanda deLeon Edition
In the previous post on this topic, I had discussed how crowd-funding campaigns for designers don’t seem to be that successful overall, unless it’s more like a pre-ordering campaign. About a week after I wrote that post, I caught wind of another crowd-funding campaign by a designer, this time a Kickstarter by kOs fave Amanda deLeon. Now this intrigued me quite a bit as, first of all, the Kickstarter serves as a pretty cool announcement that Amanda will be showing at the next NYFW! (Congrats, Amanda!) Also, as you may remember, I had a discussion relatively recently with Amanda about using Kickstarter to fund clothing labels. Amanda obviously put a lot of thought into the matter, as her Kickstarter looks a lot different that she had at first conceptualized it. That is, rather than using a Kickstarter to fund a new collection, Amanda’s campaign is for raising funds to present a collection we’ve already seen (‘we’ as the already tuned in ones who have been following Amanda’s career for quite some time now), but in such a way that the presentation really grabs the attention of the buyers and fashion editors in the front rows who are not familiar with Amanda’s work, and who will be viewing dozens if not hundreds of collections the same week. And, rather than offering pieces from the collection (or previous collections) to backers, the rewards range from personalized thank-yous, to stills from the fashion film the campaign will fund, to a visit with Amanda, either at NYFW or in New Orleans. That is, the more traditional crowd-funding type of rewards that are meant as tokens of appreciation, rather than goods exchanged for the amount of money pledged.
So, doesn’t this then put Amanda’s campaign in the group of fashion crowd-funding campaigns that seem doomed to fail, since backers won’t be receiving clothing in return for their support? Well, I don’t think it does or should. Because the difference here is that Amanda is raising funds for the presentation aspect: the lights, make-up, hair, models, insurance, travel, and potentially a satellite hook-up to stream the show on the Internets live. Also, Amanda is wanting to use some of the funds to expand the bits of film you see in the Kickstarter video into a full short to send to buyers and media in hopes of enticing them to the show at NYFW. So really, what Amanda is asking us to support her with is not creating a collection that we as already jaded crowd-funders for some reason would feel entitled to get a piece of. Rather, she’s asking us to both support a work of art (the runway show and film) and invest in the Amanda deLeon label by allowing her to get the much deserved attention of the fashion industry’s movers and shakers. Knowing the Amanda is one of the few who are committed to local, ethical, and sustainable production, I think it’s a cause well worth supporting, and I would love to see Amanda’s campaign be successfully funded. I can even contribute without breaking my New Year’s resolution. Hope you can too.