Derek Lam announces crowdsourced collection with eBay
It was just announced Thursday that Derek Lam will be collaborating with eBay on a line that will utilize crowdsourcing, therefore allowing shoppers to dictate the collection.
The line will be released in February during New York Fashion Week. Customers will shop his ready-to-wear pieces, picking which of the looks should stay and which should go.
“Having a direct and immediate dialogue with the online audience is what makes fashion exciting and relevant in this moment,” Lam told WWD.
He added that eBay’s technology gives him the ability to simultaneously reach a new audience and take their opinions into consideration.
Lam hasn’t released any details about the collection.
Refinery29 editor, Connie Wang, had something to say about the news. She made an interesting point: Even though customers have opinions, should designers be listening to them?
Isn’t there a reason why shoppers shop and designers design?
“Democratically chosen fashion sounds like a great idea, and, in theory, there really doesn't seem to be anything wrong with making sure that you actually have a market for the goods you produce,” Wang said in her post. “But based on past attempts at crowdsourcing fashion, people seem to really like incredibly fugly designs.”
She used examples of Steve Madden’s and Zappos’ websites, which asked customers to mark their favorites, sometimes yielding unexpected results – such as a python-cover heel or a shoe aptly named “Streetwalk.”
Derek Lam’s designs, however, do have a different audience; therefore, his shoppers might be the right market for crowdsourcing. Although it’s been done before, a designer of his caliber hasn’t taken a stab at it yet, especially with one of the biggest websites at his side.