What if shopping was more like The Voice — yeah the TV show where rock stars refine a talent pool of kick-A singers for fans to vote on. We choose the winner, so we know that we’ll definitely download his or her smash single whenever it’s released and our ears will be happy. Clothing company Carte Blanche wants to take a similar idea with its line of ready-to-wear dresses: They use crowdsourcing to determine which expertly crafted styles are popular, then produce only the items you really love. All at a fair price.
Carte Blanche’s business model completely takes the guesswork out of the fashion game: Designers aren’t making and producing clothes people don’t want to wear, and consumers aren’t left hoping that this season’s trends will fit their unique aesthetics once they land mass-produced on the racks (you guys, Jesus sandals are in again. Really). That’s a major win-win according to founder Monica Noh, who says the pre-order process allows her to focus on the craftsmanship and care of her figure-friendly designs and sell them at true cost — could we as consumers ask for anything more?
The debut Carte Blanche line features five breezy dresses that could easily become the anchors of your weekly wardrobe rotation. Lush fabrics make the neutral-toned collection look incredibly luxe — just lay your eyes on the chocolatey brown Feminine Tunic and tell me that you’ve actually ever wanted to wear a brown dress before this.
With hemlines that range from cheekily below the knee on the tiered Knit Dress to thigh high on the drapey LBD, there really is something for everyone in this refined clothing line. Even trendier touches like a high-low hem on the two-toned Easy T-Shirt Dress or the asymmetrical closure on the transitional Two-Way Zip Dress are so thoughtfully placed that they prove these dresses will be go-tos for countless seasons to come.
At this point, it’s obvious that crowdsourcing can help boost the culture of mindful consumption in the fashion industry and beyond, so it’s pretty perfect that Carte Blanche is seeking backing through Kickstarter to get this collection off the ground (ie. into production in NYC). Individual dresses range in price from $129 – $179 — not four to eight times that price, which is what you’d pay at a traditional retailer. For a $200 pledge, you get the dress of your choice (ohh, decisions, desicions!) + a seriously inspired signed lookbook. Or spring $60 more and nab TWO dresses (#worthit). With no markups or middlemen to stress over, Carte Blanche really is fashion made easy all around. Maybe one day major style players will follow suit. Just imagine: Your future Inbox full of e-mail newsletters from Anthro asking you to vote yay or nay on seasonal color schemes and trends. It just might be the best way to curb UOP (Unnecessary Overall Production) for good!
What do you think about this new way to buy clothes? Do you think crowdsourcing is the way of the future for all retailers? Tell us in the comments below.