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San Francisco -- November 21, 2011 -- ModCloth is taking a giant step toward its mission to fundamentally change and democratize the fashion industry with its first crowdsourced fashion design competition. The online retailer's Make the Cut Contest is asking for design sketches that align with ModCloth's vintage-inspired aesthetic, with participants having the chance for their designs to be put into production in the spring of 2012. ModCloth kicks off this exciting development with the recent addition of Velvet Brigade co-founders Lindsay McConnon and Jena Wang to their team. Lindsay and Jena will be at the helm of a more ambitious and enduring program at ModCloth to support the work of aspiring designers.
Velvet Brigade is a fashion community founded by McConnon and Wang in 2011. They started the site to give aspiring designers the chance to submit sketches for community vote. The best styles were produced and co-branded with the winning designers. "We built a wonderful community of designers and voters, but we're ready to scale that mission with our work at ModCloth" says McConnon. While Velvet Brigade will cease operations, their community is encouraged to participate in ModCloth's Make the Cut Contest. "We hope Velvet Brigade designers will capitalize on the opportunity to be part of an even bigger and more public platform for their work on ModCloth," says McConnon.
"What Lindsay and Jena have accomplished with Velvet Brigade is core to ModCloth's mission to fundamentally change and democratize the fashion industry by creating a vibrant social marketplace, and we're excited to have their thought leadership here," says Susan Gregg Koger, ModCloth's Co-Founder and Chief Creative Officer, on Lindsay and Jena's addition to the ModCloth team. "I know what it’s like to follow your dream and start a small business within the fashion sphere, and we want to help make that happen for talented independent designers and suppliers across the United States and the world."
ModCloth shared an inspiration board and sketches for pieces slated for 2012 production that represent Susan's vintage inspiration for spring. Susan and the ModCloth team will select the design finalists and post the finalists on Facebook for the larger ModCloth community to vote. "Facebook is the perfect platform to welcome our aspiring designers. Our Facebook community is approximately 400,000 fans strong and generous with their feedback and participation," says Natasha Khan Kazi, ModCloth’s Social Media Manager. "Through our first ever Facebook fashion design competition, we hope to create an ongoing conversation with our ModCloth community, which supports democratizing fashion design." The top 5 designs, announced on December 16, will be produced and featured on the ModCloth site, and the winners will have their name on the tag of their items and receive $500.
ModCloth.com is an innovative online retailer specializing in fashion and decor from independent designers. They've attracted a large, devoted following through engaging promotions on the ModCloth Blog and social networks. Their mission is to democratize the fashion industry and change the way clothing is produced, sold, and even marketed by empowering independent designers, style bloggers, and their own community through programs like Be the Buyer™, (which allows customers to vote items from emerging designers into production). The company is founded by husband and wife team Susan Gregg Koger and Eric Koger.
Alicia Barnes, Public Relations Manager