In an age where the apparel industry is giving in to faster, cheaper and less authentic clothing, there is a hopeful option for the independent fashion world.
Nineteenth Amendment, a platform for fashion designers, is an alternative to today’s fast fashion scene. With the platform, designers are able sell their goods pre-production and gain exposure to an exclusive community of consumers. In return, shoppers are offered an opportunity to purchase unique wardrobe options that aren’t found at the nearest mall or mega store, where product has become largely uninteresting to many consumers.
“We love our ‘smart fashion’ model because it is super transparent and a win-win for all parties involved,” Nineteenth Amendment COO and co-founder Gemma Sole said. “Our inherently sustainable business model allows designers to pre-sell collections direct-to-consumer and leverage our network of vetted U.S. manufacturers through a design-to-delivery e-commerce and production software.”
First, shoppers can discover new designers on the Nineteenth Amendment website and follow their collections on social media outlets. Designers then debut their exclusive lines on the platform. Once Nineteenth Amendment designers introduce their apparel pieces, consumers may shop their collections during 19-day pre-sales. Ordered clothing is then manufactured in a four-week period and delivered to the shopper’s doorstep.
Nineteenth Amendment’s impact doesn’t just end with a finished product. A consumer who purchases a designer’s item is fully aware of the production and manufacturing process, which is often undetermined in today’s fast fashion scene.
“Our goal at Nineteenth Amendment is to provide full transparency in the fashion industry which we hope will get shoppers to demand the same of other brands and retailers,” Sole said. “For every order on Nineteenth Amendment, you are told who designed your garment and where, and also who made your garment and where they made it.”
Earlier this month, Nineteenth Amendment held an event to bring together designers and shoppers at the Fifth Avenue Lord & Taylor in New York City. Nineteenth Amendment featured nine selected designers from the platform and their distinguished collections. Attendees could view each designer’s line and vote for the best collection of the evening.
Dallas-based designer Lizna Kabani won the Nineteenth Amendment People competition for her notable apparel inspired by the Reynisfjara Beach in Iceland. Kabani currently sells some of her work on the platform, including feminine blouses and dresses with basalt columns and irregular stripes.
“The challenges that emerging designers face today are infinite,” Kabani said. “Nineteenth Amendment is the voice for emerging designers today and a one stop shop to get manufacturing assistance, exposure and sales.”
Meagan Ollari, another designer at the event, also showcased her unique Spring 2017 Tulum Desert collection. Culling inspiration from wanderlust and Mexican heritage, Ollari’s collection featured resort apparel items with intricate beadwork. Working with Nineteenth Amendment enabled Ollari to reach additional consumers that favored uncommon travel garments.
“They have been a really great asset and platform for my brand so far,” Ollari said. “You can choose what you want to sell and you can upload your own shop.”
While fast fashion remains strong in consumers’ closets, Nineteenth Amendment and other organizations are working to change collective style perceptions.
“If we want to foster and grow amazing talent that challenges our minds—and our wardrobe— we have to be conscious of the realities of the business and smart about our approach,” Sole said. She added, “We have to be creative not only in design but in business.”