The Runway Is About To Get Democratized

model on catwalk

model on catwalkIf you love fashion but hate the exclusivity of the luxe designer runway, there’s a new Kickstarter project you may want to invest in.

Entrepreneur Cheryl Maleh is $1077 short (as of writing this) of revolutionizing the downtown fashion scene. Her idea, called LES Runway, combines the two most crucial aspects of selling fashion: a showcase for new talent and a place to sell new merch.

The high-end runway concept has been in desperate need of a makeover — the six-month lagtime between the new collection debuting and actually hitting stores is a bit ludicrous (though sites like Moda Operandi are working to solve this problem) and then there’s the notorious exclusivity (which sites like and even designer Facebook pages are working to overcome).

Maleh’s unique project aims to do away with the private and pretentious aspects altogether. Maleh is partnering with interactive store/event space Grand Opening to feature upcoming, local designers on the catwalk by night, and then sell their creations in a pop-up store in the space the next day. The whole event would take place in September 2011 — perfectly timed to coincide with Fashion Week.

The funds she’s seeking on Kickstarter will go towards renting the space, building the runway, staffing the pop-up, and paying for all other operating costs.

We love the concept of sponsoring fresh, new designers with a platform to show off their goods while also putting them up for sale immediately after. What do you think of the idea? Would you contribute to the project, or consider buying anything from the new designers?

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