For many years, designers have been the reason people buy clothing from certain companies. The designer behind the product was the main attraction, and, in fact, a way of owning prestige among other companies. However, realistically relying on a small group of people for creative inspiration is limiting. Instead, a handful of companies have begun using a method called crowdsourcing to develop designs. Crowdsourcing is taking work and outsourcing it to a lot of people, instead of just a few. The result is more ideas, more comprehensive, more efficient, and less expensive. Since the pool of ideas is bigger, it includes people with many backgrounds, experiences, and talents.

 

 

(www.threadless.com)

(threadless.com)

DailyCrowdsource.com explains how crowdsourcing works in the design world, “you can tell a crowd of designers what you want, how much you will pay, and your deadline. All interested designers will create a finished design specifically for you.”

 

The perks of this are that you receive hundreds of responses and you only have to pay for the ones you want to use. In the words of DailyCrowdsource.com, “Crowdsourcing allows you to select the best result from a sea of ‘best entries,’ as opposed to receiving the best entry from a single provider.”

 

With all these perks, will crowdsourcing put top designers out of business? Fashion Law Institute professor Susan Scafidi says, “no,” in an interview with Daily Finance. “Should designers like Marc Jacobs and Alexander Wang fear that their talents for reinterpreting street style as high fashion will be obsolesced by crowdsourcing? Absolutely not.” Her reason? “The social media generation may think of itself as a crowd of creators rather than a herd of consumers, but every crowd has its leaders — and true talent tends to rise to the top.”

 

(www.shoesofprey.com)

(shoesofprey.com)

Although high-end fashion designers may not adopt crowdsourcing techniques, many clothing retailers have. Some of the most popular clothing companies who use crowdsourcing to develop their merchandise designs include Threadless, Blank Label, and Shoes of Prey.

 

The concept behind Threadless is that users submit designs, which are then voted upon online, and the top choices are made into t-shirts to be sold on the website.

 

 

Blank Label is unique because it allows men to customize their own clothing. Every detail of each product on the site can be chosen by the buyer to fit his needs. They specialize in dress shirts, which can be customized from the collar size all the way down to the thread used, making every shopper a designer as well.

 

Shirts to customize (www.blanklabel.com)

Shirts to customize (blanklabel.com)

Shoe lovers will appreciate Shoes of Prey’s business model, which allows shoppers to design their own shoes on an online three-dimensional platform. The shoes are each handmade so no shoe is identical, resulting in a truly one of a kind experience.

 

Long gone are the days of limited options. With crowdsourcing, options have expanded for businesses and customers alike. More ideas mean more products, and the possibilities are endless when everyone’s opinion is heard.

 

What are your favorite crowdsourcing websites? Comment below or tweet me @LydiaYekalam