Catwalk Genius

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= Crowdfunding for fashion



"Similar companies are emerging in the fashion industry, such as, a venture of Dublin-based IQL Ltd., launched in June 2007. Aspiring designers sell samples of their work on the site. Customers can invest in designers they like in increments of £10 ($14), plus a £1-a-share processing fee. When a designer amasses £50,000 ($70,000), the company says it will use the money to help the designer develop and sell a new line. IQL co-founder Helen Brown says she expects the first designer to reach £50,000 by year end. Once sales begin, she says, the company, designer and investors each will get 30% of revenue; 10% will be split among Web sites that help promote the lines.

The typical investment has been £10, Ms. Brown says, though some have invested in the £40 range. Shareholders can ask to be reimbursed anytime up until the designer reaches £50,000." (