Reality TV star turned designer Whitney Port backstage at Fashion Festival… ( Jennifer Polixenni Brankin )
Although plenty of recognizable names have used their celebrity status to get into the fashion game, we can't think of any who have outright asked fans to help fund a clothing line or -- in the case of reality TV star turned apparel designer Whitney Port -- fund a New York City runway show.
Quiz: Name the celebrity clothing line
As we mentioned in passing a few weeks back, the star of quasi-reality shows "The Hills" and "The City" (in full disclosure, before embarking on her reality-TV career, Port was a summer intern at Fairchild Publications when I worked there for the now-shuttered Daily News Record) has been asking fans and supporters to raise $50,000 to fund the showing of the spring-summer 2013 runway collection of her 3-year-old contemporary women's line, Whitney Eve, in the Lincoln Center tents during Mercedes-Benz New York Fashion Week.
According to Port’s online appeal, the money will go toward paying production company fees, venue fees, models, a stylist and a DJ. In exchange for pledging funds, Port is offering the kind of perks that only a celebrity designer can, ranging from a personal tweet of thanks (for a $5 contribution) all the way up to a personal tour of the brand's headquarters in Los Angeles -- complete with a piece from the clothing line and a coffee date ($500).
As of this writing, the campaign, which launched Aug. 1 and is set to end Sept. 10 at 11:59 p.m. PDT, stands at $6,828, which means folks will need to pony up pledges at the rate of about $4,000 a day to make that $50,000 goal a reality.
Although that doesn't look like it's going to happen -- though it easily could if even 5% of the 915,400 people who follow Port's Twitter account chip in the minimum contribution of $1 -- it’s unlikely, from a practical standpoint, that the runway show, scheduled for 5 p.m. on Sept. 12, won't take place as planned even if the crowd-funding effort falls short.
Either way, we have a sneaking suspicion that this won't be the last attempt at fan-funded fashion, so we're going to stay tuned.
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