It’s strange to think that the world of fashion has a cash flow problem, but that’s a story we’ve heard quite a bit around Brooklyn.
In order for new brands to bring clothing to market that’s cool, respectful of workers and easier on the environment, it will take a whole new supply chain. It’s a financially difficult task for designers to make greener fashion choices and buy American-made products. So we were interested in the latest bid by a designer turned entrepreneur, Amanda Curtis, to make it easier for smaller designers to fund their lines.
Curtis founded 19th Amendment, a BF+DA company that gives regular customers a chance to buy unique designs from up-and-coming designers at wholesale prices, so long as they pick them during the 45-day presale for each design. “We are a marketplace to discover and support independent fashion,” she said.
Curtis told her story as one of the lightning talks at Wednesday’s Northside Meetup. She grew up in the fashion industry, she said, and found quick success out of college as a designer. But she also saw the problems inherent in the system. “I saw smaller brands, even if they were funded, starting and rapidly failing,” she said. Her designs received a lot of important recognition, including a feature at London Fashion Week, but that didn’t translate into making money.
Curtis said that she believed technology could help make smaller brands more sustainable by relieving their dependence on stores to get products in front of potential buyers. So she started a company that would make it possible for consumers to go to designers directly, and in the process deliver value to the consumers by saving them money on designs and giving them access to unique looks.
On her LinkedIn page, she says she wants to help new designers do more with less. She calls it “stiletto-strapping.”
In the photo above, Curtis is wearing a design from her site: Affection, by Zarankova, available on pre-sale for a few days longer.