Performancing Metrics

9.03.2011

Fashionocracy

Have you ever wished you could be a designer? I don't mean that in the Project Runway sense, I mean it as in, "I know the exact pair of shoes I am looking for, but I can't seem to find them anywhere..." Well, wish granted. Meet Open Runway.


Open Runway is a new company that offers you the chance to design your own bag, or your own pair of shoes. Open Runway is the brain child of Monika Desai, started after she was looking for the perfect pair of wedding shoes. After scouring stores, Desai decided to design her own. "Going through the design process, choosing my materials and seeing the design come to life was the most exciting thing", she says. "When I showed my friends, their eyes would light up and they would ask where they could design their own shoes".


Desai took this sudden realization and turned it into a business (and let me give a shout out here to female entrepreneurs!). I was so excited to check out this start-up...and, yes, play fashion designer. 

Log in to the Open Runway platform, and you can start by designing your own handbag (the option to design your own shoes will be online in October). There are a number of handbag styles available, and more styles (i.e. a clutch) will be ready soon. As the community grows, more product offerings will come out of popular demand (I want a weekender bag!!), but, as you can see, the lineup as it stands is nothing to sneeze at...


I have to admit, I was originally skeptical about materials and quality. But Open Runway considers their materials and construction as important as the originality of the design process. "Our handbags are manufactured in Europe; most of our leather and hardware come from Italy and Spain" says Desai, " We want to incorporate classic materials, as well as materials we just fall in love with!". Open Runway also plans to let the public decide on sourcing and material decisions as they grow.


One of my favorite things about Open Runway (and there is a lot, I admit) is their motto: "Join the Fashionocracy". I asked Desai about this saying, and well, I need to quote her in full: "Instead of letting fashion editors and department store buyers decide what's fashionable, we want to empower our customers to be a part of the design process and decide for themselves". 

Boom.

If this is the future of fashion (and I think it is) consider me a sci-fi-fashion-geek.