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Take a stake in a designer

Fashionstake.com gives users a chance to invest in up-and-coming designers at New York Fashion Week.

Launched this month just in time for New York Fashion Week, US website Fashionstake.com is an innovative concept aimed at financing start-up labels via consumers.

The site works by commissioning designers who exhibit at New York Fashion Week to showcase designs on the FashionStake site which are offered for sale direct to consumers. The designers have all previously produced collections and received some sort of recognition by the industry as up-and-coming talent.
Shoppers can choose from a number of ways to support the designers financially, the first being that they can pre-order any item from the collection at a discounted price to help the designer get the collection into production.

But the main concept is the option to invest directly in a designer’s business, by taking a stake. Each designer sets a cash target they would need to reach to produce the displayed collection. Users are given the option to “support” the designer of their choice by taking a stake - $50 (£32) minimum - in the collection.
Payments are confirmed by credit card and the collection is only produced if the target amount is reached, otherwise no cards are charged. If the target is reached, 50% of net profits from the sales of the collection are divided between the stakeholders.

A VIP stake worth $500 (£323) is also available, which entitles contributors to rewards such as New York Fashion Week catwalk tickets.

Support for the collections appears to be moving slowly but steadily, with designer Nicholas K already achieving 76% of his $50,000 (£32,000) target at the time of writing.

Vivien Weng, co-founder and president of FashionStake, says: “Our designers are incredibly excited to connect with their consumers in a way they haven’t previously been able to.”

The site, which takes a commission on sales, allows customers to order exclusive items and feel part of the creative process.

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