By Christian Bayley

So this month marks the much hyped fashion month in NYC and most major designers are putting on shows and parties and the town is ripe for Activation discussions around these big events. However one event I want to highlight here on Taste this month is slightly smaller but in some ways more important. Designer Stacy Lomman had a passion for starting her own fashion label and had always wanted to put on a show in NYC during fashion month. . .the problem was the funding and the access. Enter social media. Enter the trend of crowdfunding – launching startups through social media contributions that come with a built in fan base. You can see the results in this video report from Huffington Post.

I also got the opportunity to interview (via social media of course) one of Stacey’s friends who helped her launch her social media ties Wendy Brandes. Wendy has been writing her own blog about jewelry for the past three years and is a member of the now 11,000 member strong Independent Fashion Bloggers organization, and she has experienced great success in tapping into customers via this network. Wendy helped Stacy get the Taffetadarlings blog online and introduced her to Kickstarter a social media tool to bring in crowdfunding. And in perhaps the most relevant show of support Wendy had this to say:

“I hate people who are all talk — I put my money where my mouth is! So, having convinced Stacy that social media was going to help her succeed, of course I sponsored two dresses. (You can see a picture of one of them on my blog)

It is examples like this that often fly under the radar of the mainstream coverage of social media but there are entire vibrant industries really getting going over the past several years despite a down economy thanks to the rise of these tools. . . .so Taste and Branch are proud to give a nod to all involved here!