On Tuesday, New York-based designer Derek Lam began selling what eBay is calling the “first-ever crowd-sourced collection” through an exclusive partnership with eBay. Derek Lam + eBay is his collection of five dresses priced at $125 to $295, a fraction of Lam’s ready-to-wear prices. The collection was whittled down from 16 dresses by a vote of eBay users after Lam debuted the dresses at New York Fashion Week in February. More than 120,000 votes were cast before Lam showcased the most popular designs. They became available for purchase yesterday at dereklam.ebay.com.
The partnership is designed to target fast-fashion shoppers, highlighting a growing trend among high-end labels to appeal to shoppers at lower price points. Campaigns like Lanvin for H&M or Calypso St. Barth for Target help luxury labels to showcase their designs to shoppers outside of their usual clientele.
“It’s a chance to expand the brand and reach an audience that may not be as familiar with the brand,” said Lam during a visit to Saks Fifth Avenue, Chevy Chase, in April where he showcased his Fall 2011 ready-to-wear collection.
Ronald Frasch, President and Chief Merchandising Officer of Saks Fifth Avenue, agreed that partnerships such as Derek Lam + eBay can also help retailers that carry the ready-to-wear lines. “It doesn’t affect our sales or hurt the brand’s image,” said Frasch. “When these partnerships are made with reputable retailers like H&M or eBay, it can often be beneficial. We have customers that shop at both Saks and retailers like H&M.”
Derek Lam for eBay is sold exclusively on the partnership’s website in limited quantities.