L.A.-based designers Benjamin Yi and Jason Sun are betting that their line of bags and accessories is so appealing, they won't need traditional investors to get it off the ground. That's why they've turned to the crowd-funding site Kickstarter to raise money for Vinted Goods.
The idea is that you once you see the Charlie (pictured)—a smart, rugged-looking duffle bag made from sun-tanned leather and ballistic nylon—you'll want to pre-order it, bringing the young entrepreneurs one step closer to their $30,000 goal.
Yes, you'll have to wait until March for it to actually arrive on your doorstep, but think of the good karma that will come with helping a young company realize its dreams. Not that donating would feel like charity. The duffle bag, backpack, and briefcase share a classic, understated look with a focus on functionality—hence the use of radio-frequency welding to create a waterproof seal between the leather and nylon.
You don't have to spend big to support Vinted Goods. Chip in $5 and you'll get plenty of good will; $35 will get you an attractive slim leather wallet; and for $170, you'll get the wallet and a briefcase. The fashion upstart has actually almost met its Kickstarter goal, despite the fact that it has more than three weeks of fundraising to go. It's a sign that you don't need big-time investors or a blessing from traditional fashion tastemakers to start a line these days—all you need is a sexy product and an audience of eager would-be customers ready to make a small contribution.
Things have been moving this way in the world of fashion for a while. Ministry of Supply, which makes temperature-control dress shirts out of space-age materials, raised $429,277 over a single summer. Brooklyn-based Flint and Tinder raised $291,493 to make high-quality men's basics right here in America.
Previously, graduates from schools like Parsons and FIT needed industry connections to make it big; now it seems all they need is a good idea.
—Keith Wagstaff is a writer and editor based in Brooklyn, NY. Follow him @kwagstaff.