Eco fashion news

Crowdsourced Womenswear, Affordably Made in NYC

The Parsons graduate is raring to create chic, wearable garments that involve less waste…

By Bridgette Meinhold - Source: http://www.ecouterre.com
Photo © Carte Blanche

Photo © Andy Zou and Eva Sakellarides

Monica Noh wants to trim the fat from the fashion equation. As the founder of Carte Blanche, the world’s first womenswear label to use crowdsourcing as a way to empower its customers, the Parsons graduate is raring to create chic, wearable garments that involve less waste, increased quality, and heightened transparency. Noh, who cut her teeth designing for the likes of Ann Taylor and Kate Spade Saturday, also seeks to cut out the middleman, a tack that allows Carte Blanche to sell its dresses at their “true cost” rather than at four to eight times the markup. All styles are limited edition—meaning they’re few of a kind—and made to order in New York City. We caught up with Noh to learn more about her brand of “slow fashion,” why Kickstarter was the ideal launchpad for her business, and the changing relationship between designer and consumer.

Photo © Andy Zou and Eva Sakellarides

Photo © Andy Zou and Eva Sakellarides

What inspired you to move from a corporate career to designing your own line?

Working for larger fashion brands taught me how the industry goes about the design and production process. It struck me after a while that the design process hasn’t changed much in the past 10 to 15 years, while tech has dramatically changed the retail landscape.

“I enjoy the process of collaborating with whomever I’m designing for,” Noh says.

I’d always been interested in starting my own line, but I didn’t want to go about it in the traditional way.

Competing against every other talented designer to get the few coveted spots in boutiques and department stores is essentially a zero-sum game, and I don’t think it’s suited to my personality. I was interested in exploring the ways technology could enable me to practice my values as a designer and create a more sustainable business model.
Why did you choose to go the crowdsourcing route?

I enjoy the process of collaborating with whomever I’m designing for. I like the feedback loop inherent in the crowd-sourcing model; I’m always learning which styles resonate most with my customers and adapting styles according to that feedback.

People can also pre-buy the styles they want, and their credit cards aren’t charged until those styles hit their manufacturing minimums.

Photo © Andy Zou and Eva Sakellarides

Photo © Andy Zou and Eva Sakellarides

Read the rest at: http://www.ecouterre.com

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