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Fashion website promotes young designers with crowd-funding scheme

LONDON - Upcoming fashion designers are being given the opportunity to sell their clothes to a wider audience through a new website called Catwalk Genius.

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The Catwalk Genius site showcases the work of designers who are more established as well as those who are starting out in their careers.

As well as selling cutting edge fashions, Catwalk Genius has come up with a 'crowd-funding' scheme, aiming to raise money so that designers can embark on new collections.

'Shares' in a designer can be bought for £11 each, until 5,000 shares are sold, with the money being used to fund a new collection. Then when a piece from the designer's collection sells, the profits are shared between the investor, the designer and Catwalk Genius.

The site is also running an affiliate programme offering 10% of the profits of any items that are sold through ads that users run on their own web pages.

Founder Helen Brown admitted it was 'scary as hell' to launch in the current environment but pointed to the success of other business that had launched during the dotcom bust and thrived, such as Net-a-porter.

She said: "I'm encouraged by the fact that Catwalk Genius is doing something that is unique in the fashion industry, and I'm optimistic about our future. It's going well so far, and sign-ups are going through the roof."

Catwalk Genius is a venture owned by IQL Ltd, a private limited company based in Dublin and founded in June last year. The management team comes from backgrounds in finance, technology and retail.


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