The fashion industry has changed drastically over the last few years with a large shift to online retailing and larger companies shifting more and more production overseas.
But what about talented young designers who have just left school or university? How do these fresh-faced designers get a foothold in such a cut-throat industry without any prior business experience or capital?
This is where StageLabel comes in. StageLabel is a new fashion crowdfunding site that connects talented young designers to fashion forward people, the ‘fashionistas’.
StageLabel helps designers develop an early customer base, get feedback on their designs and receive funding for individual items. Customers on the other hand get access to truly unique designs and the power to support and grow the next big thing in fashion.
Helping the newbies take on the big boys
Having spoken to many of his friends who have tried to get their fashion labels off the ground, Founder and CEO of StageLabel, Rohit Bhargava, realised there were far too many talented people struggling to make it in the highly competitive industry.
It is not that they don’t have the talent but rather because they lack the resources, networks and business experience to compete alongside brands like Sass & Bide and Charlie Brown, which already have a strong tight grip on the industry.
“It takes a whole lot of money and appetite for risk to create a range and then sell this to customers. I want to pull down some of this risk and at the same time help designers build sustainable businesses. Crowdfunding and the validation it offers, perfectly mashes together these two ideas,” said Bhargava.
Humble beginnings and hard work
The StageLabel team came together at Start-up Weekend Melbourne where it finished as runners up in the competition. Since then, they have not looked back have been making a name and building connections in the industry.
StageLabel has partnered up with some of the biggest fashion schools in Australia and was recently invited to run workshops for Indigenous Designers as part of Melbourne Spring Fashion Week. It has also continued to grow its designer base, signing up more than 50 young and established designers in Australia and being contacted by several designers from overseas.
Launching in mid-November, 2013, StageLabel will be giving access to its first set of campaigns to customers, with exclusive access being granted to an initial batch of 500 fashion forward customers. So if you love all things fashion, you should keep an eye on their website.