Cercle is a crowdfunding program, exclusively for fashion, that is rich in community building. “Fostering collaboration between those who design and those who love design,” the newly launched company provides consumers a way to invest in featured designer’s upcoming collections. Benefits include getting a sneak peek at collection inspirations and the opportunity to fund for double the credit in apparel post launch.
For designers, the platform provides a way to gauge interest and fund projects. Brands like Study NY and M. Patmos have already jumped on the Cercle bandwagon to promote upcoming seasons. We caught up with Cercle co-founder, Ayala Meromi Keinan, to learn more about this exciting new platform and how it might push independent design forward in the industry.
Tell us about your intro into the fashion industry.
I started my way by making just a few items and selling them by myself every weekend in a special market for emerging designers in a Tel Avian shopping mall. It was a huge success and I started distributing my designs to many boutiques in Israel. Later on when the demand was strong, I opened my first and second brick and mortar stores in Tel Aviv.
What inspired you to start Cercle?
My Inspiration came from two directions. First, I’m a fashion designer and my brand was part of the beta launch of another startup. I was involved with giving them feedback. That process made me think about the possibilities that the tech world can offer. Second, running a fashion business made me confront many challenges and brought the idea that stands behind Cercle.
"Running a fashion business made me confront many challenges and brought the idea that stands behind Cercle."
How do you choose the designers you work with?
We have several criteria for choosing to work with a designer- first we have to appreciate his creation. He needs to have a distinguished hand write. Second we are working mainly with established designers who have a significant amount of followers.
What are some of your favorite collections you have featured thus far?
We really like the M. Patmos collection. We love the fine balance of minimal elegance and novelty charm that it holds.
"We help to keep the balance between slow fashion and fast fashion."
Why did you call the platform "Cercle"?
"Cercle" is french for circle. Our platform help designers to grow from their inner circle. Their inner circle is their followers and by getting those followers involved both financially and emotionally they become brand builders and brand ambassadors.
How is your platform shaping the future of fashion?
We believe we help designers become sustainable businesses and by that we help to keep the balance between slow fashion and fast fashion.