Crowdfunding is now a popular alternative to traditional funding, but is it right for you and your fashion business?
Luevo has teamed up with Startup Fashion and put together a detailed and resourceful guide and workbook for fashion businesses interested in crowdfunding. It took us months and we accumulated hundreds of hours in research and in writing, but hereit is available now to fashion entrepreneurs around the world.
The 77 page guide includes 7 chapters from how to choose the right platform, how to prepare for a crowdfunding campaign, how to market it and what to do once the campaign is over. To make things easier, we’ve also included templates, checklists, extra resources, budget tools and sample social media messaging. Basically, everything independent and emerging fashion brands need to know to successfully launch and manage their crowdfunding campaigns, on any platform of their choice.
Check out the table of contents!
Introduction to Crowdfunding Is Crowdfunding Right for You? Choosing Your Crowdfunding Platform Preparing for Your Crowdfunding Campaign Marketing Your Crowdfunding Campaign Before Your Launch Marketing Your Live Crowdfunding Campaign What to Do After your Campaign Has Closed
Tools and Bonus info:
Pre-Launch Campaign Checklist Social Media Resources Social Media Sample Posts Email Templates Project Budget Template Fashion Industry Interviews 8 Tips for Positioning your Brand for Funding 12 Tips for Continued Business Success
If you’ve used our crowdfunding guide let us know how it helped you and your fashion business via Twitter. If you’d like to apply as a designer on our platform, please do so here, our platform is now open for any designers located in USA and in Canada.
https://www.luevo.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/crowdfunding.png767958Ana Carahttp://www.luevo.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/luevo-logo-2x.pngAna Cara2014-12-08 11:23:002015-02-19 20:15:39Learn how to crowdfund your fashion business
Well known in the urban scene for their talent in professional breakdancing, these B-boys, Weiming Yuan, Wei Dong Yuan, and Patrick Lum are the creative minds behind the newly yet rapidly growing fashion label, AEON Attire. Making waves on the global fashion map, AEON Attire is already located in 30 boutiques across Canada and the USA. We had the pleasure of sitting down with Wei Dong Yuan to talk about their story and journey in fashion.
How did your interest in fashion and design come about? From the beginning, I was always interested in fashion. I was interested in the aspect of how you can change a person’s perspective and how they express themselves in a unique way. As professional break-dancers, I think there are a lot of overlap between dancing and fashion, which are both self-expressive.
How did AEON Attire form? My brother and I met Patrick in the breakdancing scene, and we were in a crew for a couple of years. After doing professional performances, we wanted to take it to the next level, which was creating a company for fashion accessories and products. Through street performances and private events we used our dancing to make money and put our dream into reality. For our first street performance, we took out a boom box, rolled out linoleum flooring and put out a bucket that read “free smiles”. Not having an educational background in fashion we purchased sewing machines and taught ourselves everything we needed to know by watching YouTube videos and asking our friends.
In a few words how would you define the AEON brand? Fashion, function and timeless. Not only do we want our accessories to be fashionable, but we also want them to be functional to serve a purpose that will make them valuable. Our accessories also have a timeless aspect; the word AEON is a Latin term that actually refers to a lifespan and eternity, which essentially refers to timeless.
Do you have a specific lifestyle and consumer in mind when you design? In the beginning, the AEON Taper was an inspiration that came out of the dance community. We saw that dancers were aiming for a more slimming fit on their pants when they danced; it wasn’t an in- style to dance with baggy pants. We wanted to solve this problem and we knew that dancers are always looking to express themselves in new and unique ways. In both ways we wanted our product to function, like taper the pant leg to be slimmer, but also to function as a form of expression.
In terms of our others accessories – Beanies, 5-Panel Hats, Circle Scarves, Sunnies, gloves, belts – we do have a clear target market. Our target consumer we envision exists as a hybrid a hybrid between a styling of Club Monaco and Urban Outfitters. Something that isn’t too outrageous and something not pretentious, we design for a fashion that can be relatable to someone. We want our consumers to stand out yet also fit in.
Why does AEON focus on accessories? Will you expand? Beginning as a small company, we wanted to create items that could be worn by anybody and transcend the boundaries of sizing for the most part. We felt that accessories were something that we could really make an impact in, and eventually dominate that market. While, we do have tank tops, currently we are looking to expand in the accessories market. Accessories are a great way to accessorize, and we feel the details are what make life worth living.
What is next for AEON Attire? Currently, we have been focusing on our Touchpoint Glove campaign, and we are lucky to have such support. While, we are going to be expanding our Beanies, Circle Scarves and 5-Panel Hats, our main focus after the glove campaign will be watches.
What do you recommend for emerging aspiring designers? When we started we didn’t know anything, not even the fundamentals of how to turn an idea into reality. We were just brave enough to go out and do it. Rather then waiting, just go out and do it but of course have a team that you can rely on, as Drake says, “it’s hard to do these things alone”.
In a web 2.0 generation, the ‘crowd’ is synonymous with the buzzword, crowdfunding. This collective effort of the crowd or “wisdom of the crowd” has become a mainstay for the creation and success of many early stage companies, startups and digital platforms.
From the many successful crowdfunding campaigns through Kickstarter and Indiegogo it seems like this trend won’t be disappearing anytime soon. While, we may think crowdfunding is an easy and simple effort in actuality it requires extensive thinking and planning. What makes a crowdfunding campaign successful? Many would ask. To explore this question, let’s look at five tips for crowdfunding success.
Do your research. When planning a crowdfunding campaign, research is a crucial step that shouldn’t be overlooked. Research provides the building blocks to understanding your key demographic, competition, and place in the market. By doing your research, you can stumble upon other successful crowdfunding projects, which could lead to inspiration and ideas for your project. Additionally, you’ll need to research relevant media and keep an ongoing list of people who may be interested in your project.
Define the specifics: Defining and knowing your brand is important. For instance, spend time planning out your goals, missions, and any descriptions that resonate with your product. Here, you should consider the perks or incentives that will encourage people to get involved and support your campaign.
Communicate your brand: While, knowing your brand is important you’ll need to communicate it to others. In order for potential backers and media to support you, and the crowd to follow, make sure your pitch is genuine and well articulated. Simply telling people about your product won’t lead to success, you’ll need to create a story for your product. Resist the hard facts and tech specs, and opt for a story that connects with people in a meaningful way. Add in some creativity and weave in videos, images, and anything that will catch people’s interest.
Leverage your social networks: The words ‘hype’ and ‘buzz’ should resonate with your ambitions for a successful crowdfunding campaign. Get heavily connected to social channels to help spread the word about your crowdfunding efforts. You’ll want your crowdfunding project to be promoted to people in your personal social networks and beyond. By reaching out such as through a tweet, you can connect to like-minded and tech-savvy people to start channeling the interaction about your efforts. In addition, you can generate a lot of buzz by reaching out to bloggers, journalists, and reporters for potential press coverage and media recognition.
Always recognize your contributors and supporters: Have a ready to go list of core contacts that can help promote your crowdfunding efforts. These contacts will help contribute and make the project successful, and also give you the extra confidence and positivity needed for launching. Even after the initial burst of energy after launching, you’ll need to stay engaged, which requires frequent updates to your contributors and supporters. These contacts can do wonders for your campaign, but you’ll need to find ways of returning the favour to make them feel important and appreciated for their effort.
Article written by Raylin Grace aka the Red Curl Owl with Luevo. You can follow Raylin at@raylingm
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Clearly emerging fashion designer Bishme Cromartie of Baltimore, MD was born with the fashion bug; as a little boy he used socks and scraps of fabric to make clothes for his toys. At the age of eight he began putting his creative visions on paper sketching designs for women’s clothing. I would love to see the early designs of a young and uninhibited Bishme with his own imaginings of what the female should look like.
[two_third]February 9, 2007 was a defining moment for the 16 year old Bishme; destiny knocked on his door and he showcased his work at his first solo fashion show. His designs were remarkably chic and very well made for someone of his age. Word spread quickly about this wiz kid designer on the rise. Today Bishme’s architectural-looking creations are modish, vibrant and over dramatic; and have been featured in Elle Vietnam and on Vogue Italia’s website. R&B singer Ashanti wore his design on a “Good Morning America” appearance. Who says dreams don’t come true, in the “Emerging Designer” category? Bishme showed his exhilarating pieces at New York’s Fashion Week 2013!
Bishme’s collections are strong and beautifully sleek sultry works of art. They are eye catching with exaggerated shoulders and hips. His collections absolutely tell a story of strength and are not for the faint of heart. Women who wear his clothing must not be shy or afraid of having all eyes on her.[/two_third][one_third_last] [/one_third_last]
[one_half]Bishme is never afraid to go against the wind with his line, so he is inspired by designers that are the same. One of his favorite designers is Giambattista Valii, who is known for being dramatic and paying the upmost attention to detail. When asked what was so special about this designer, Bishme told the team at Greedmont: “[he] is never afraid to go against the norm and it is a very pleasing thing to see such creative work from [him]”. [/one_half] [one_half_last] [/one_half_last]
You can view Bishme Cromartie’s full collections on his personal website.
This is part 2 of a two part interview with Toronto based independent fashion designer Lois Laine. Lois designs eco-friendly clothing with fabrics and labour sourced in Canada. If you haven’t already, check out part one of this interview here.
What do you hope your consumers see when they are attracted to your brand? I want them to see that it’s unique, but not showy. It’s unique and subtle, just something that they want to grab on to every day.
What are some of your fashion goals? You know I really know that I should have it more defined, but my main goal is to be able to keep doing what I do. I have envisioned a couple of different scenarios: I think generally people have to get bigger to sustain their job in this industry, for me that’s not the most important thing; if I need to get bigger I’m happy to do that. But if I can keep going like this where I have been up till now designing for the upcoming season, and I really enjoy doing that and I can take advantage of doing those limited yardages and I can be more on the season because its coming right up. But if I go into the wholesome market, which is generally how you get bigger then I need to be able to order a 100 meters of something and so I won’t be able to do some of these other nice little treaty things. So my plan is to do two fall/winters this year, so that I can get into the wholesome market and see how that goes. I’ve been in contact with Ana Caracaleanu from Luevo and I am very excited about their idea, the platform would allow me to keep going with the fabrics that I can just grab onto and do small scale or big. That is just very exciting to me. I’m still doing some artisan sales like: the Wearable Arts Show in October from the 24th-26th at 918 Bathurst St. Also, I’ve been invited into the Fresh Collective in the fall (August/September).
https://www.luevo.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/Headerpt2.jpg6821024Ana Carahttp://www.luevo.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/luevo-logo-2x.pngAna Cara2013-06-15 19:40:362014-12-11 15:02:57Sitting Down with Lois Laine – Part2
We are so excited to have seen a wonderful 2014/2015 season with so many amazing collections being funded on our platform!
Here is a short list of FAQs to prepare you for the application process:
Q1. I am fresh out of school can I still apply?
A1. Yes. Your acceptance depends on a combination of factors: experience, education, skills, awards received, uniqueness of products. We are looking for talented individuals that have the potential to grow when using our service.
Q2. I am a somewhat established independent fashion designer, what can I get from your service?
A2. As an established designer you can use the Luevo platform to test the market desirability of your new products. Better yet, you gain more followers, pre-sell your collections and further strengthen your brand!
Q3. Can I just post my design drawings?
A3. Unfortunately, no. Our customers want to see exactly the final product they will be buying. You will have to produce a sample and post high-resolution images that show the details of your product.
Q4. Is Luevo manufacturing my products once they are successfully funded?
A4. NO. You as a designer are in charge of your own production.
Q5. Do my products have to be handmade?
A5. NO. This is not a site for handmade products only. You can choose to make your own production or outsource. We encourage using local manufacturers and suppliers.
Q6.What happens with the returns?
A6. You are responsible for accepting returns and refund the customer.
Q7. Do I have to compromise on price because I am pre-selling my products?
A7. You are responsible for determining the appropriate price for your products, based on your costs and required profit margins. If your minimums are high then it makes business sense to reduce pricing accordingly.
Q8. Does Luevo own the rights over my designs?
A8. NOPE. You own full rights over your designs, products and brand.
Q9. Do I have to be based in North America to post my products on Luevo?
A9. YES. Currently we can only launch US and Canada based designers.
Q10. Do I have to pay to have my products on Luevo?
A10. NO. It is free to post products and request pre-orders. We only make money if you do, after you successfully fund your products.
If you are a fashion designer ready to crowdfund your next collection, please use our online application HERE. And if you’d like to learn more, don’t forget to check out our free tips and sign-up for courses and webinars.
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Yet another week of fashion extravaganza stormed through our city, and many emerging fashion designers have had the opportunity to mingle, network or even launch their collections.
I am a big follower of everything that moves in the fashion industry: bloggers, stylists, designers, fashionistas and pretty much anyone that cares and is involved in the local fashion scene. I lived every moment of the fashion week by digesting Twitter feeds , Instagram pictures and Facebook posts.
And here is tip #1: If you are an aspiring or emerging fashion designer – you must stay connected to your local fashion influencers! Twitter is a good place to “stalk” them and stay up-to-date with latest news and events in the fashion industry. Find bloggers, stylists, fashion publications and organizations that will surely overload you with the latest fashion news.
Indeed, during fashion week it can be a little overwhelming with all the media hype around the big established designers and the runway shows. But learn to listen and filter to what is of real value to you
Tip #2: Attend smaller events where you can get valuable networking done.
Best part of fashion week is the high concentration of fashion influencers, but you will have to find the appropriate event to network with them. One of these opportunities was the speed-networking event organized by Fashion Group international and Fashion Takes Action. This event is typically sold-out, and you can meet with potential clients, HR recruiting firms specializing in fashion, bloggers, boutique owners and mentors. I recommend these types of events to anyone starting up in any kind of industry, and make sure you bring tons of business cards!
Tip #3: Enroll in industry specific organizations before the fashion week.
You are very lucky to be able to start a fashion business in a city like Toronto. Bigger metropolitan cities typically have fashion hubs that come with non-for-profit organizations, incubators, and an abundance of mentors. Being part of these will give you access to latest news, reduced ticket prices to fashion events and more networking opportunities.
Here is a short list of organizations that as an aspiring or emerging fashion designer in Toronto you should seriously consider:
Toronto Fashion Incubator – an innovative and highly respected non-profit organization dedicated to supporting and nurturing small business entrepreneurs in the fashion industry.
Fashion Group International – global non-profit organization of executives, designers and entrepreneurs in more than 30 chapters around the world. Toronto is their only Canadian chapter.
Fashion Takes Action– Canada’s premier non-profit organization that focuses on sustainability in the fashion industry.
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In one of our previous posts we highlighted some of the challenges that aspiring fashion designers encounter when starting up their businesses (you can find the full article here). To sum up, here are the top three problems: INITIAL FUNDING – FORECASTING DEMAND – GETTING PRE-ORDERS
Let’s be honest, the fashion industry does not take full advantage of the advancements in IT, and the designers have to be very creative to overcome their challenges. Many resort to major online marketplaces to sell their creations. These work for designers offering custom made products – and they can sell one item at a time based on customer’s requirements. On the downside, the designers can’t source materials in large quantities because of the unpredictability in demand and they end up sourcing expensive supplies and pass that cost to the buyer. Furthermore, it is very difficult for the buyer to find a particular designer as these marketplaces become more like a universe of everything for everyone (For example, Etsy reportedly has over 800,000 active shops).
What we’ve recently noticed is that independent fashion designers are now appealing to the public to support their businesses and they do it on crowdfunding websites. Still, the fashion category on Kickstarter has the lowest success rate. We believe this is because the existing crowdfunding platforms don’t make for an elegant e-commerce solution. Consumers can’t really shop the designers’ products, but rather “donate” in return for different types of rewards. Crowdfunding works for fashion retailers that sell single products (such as the super-famous pebble watch); however, they don’t work as well for fashion designers that sell multiple products.
Finally, a lot of new designers try crowdsourcing their designs, which takes care of the second obstacle they encounter – forecasting demand. By using a voting, liking and sharing system you can learn from your potential buyers more than if you were to investigate yourself. You can choose to produce only the most popular products or modify your collection based on consumer’s feedback. Still – desirability doesn’t necessarily translate into orders, as the potential buyers are not required to commit to a purchase.
At Luevo, we are working hard to develop a new kind of crowdfunding solution specifically targeted at aspiring and emerging independent fashion designers. We will use a combination of best practices from existing crowdfunding and crowdsourcing business models to create one solution to a designer’s top three challenges. We understand that as independent fashion designers you have certain production requirements. On our platform you will be able to obtain the pre-orders you need by crowdsourcing your demand.
You can find out more on how our fashion crowdfunding platform works here.
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We are a team of marketers, strategists and storytellers. We want to empower emerging fashion designers with access to free tips and tools to manage their business. More so, we offer consulting services, webinars and online fashion courses. Our deep understanding of crowdfunding principles and technology allows us to help designers meet their crowdfunding goals on any platform