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Charles Harbison Turns To Kickstarter To Test The E-Commerce Waters

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In today’s crowded e-comm jungle, how is a young designer supposed to make their mark? Some turn to investors, while others rely on retailers to spread their name. But Charles Harbison had a different idea. After many inquiring customers asked where to directly purchase pieces from his Harbison label, the designer turned to Kickstarter to give e-comm a whirl. In addition to using the fundraising site to obtain the necessary capital to build a future e-commerce site of his own, Harbison is offering up a selection of his Fall 2014 collection for purchase. All you need to do is make a donation. We’ll let Harbison explain the rest…

Where did the idea to turn to Kickstarter come from?
This idea came from brainstorming with my mentor Patrick Robinson, who had a successful Kickstarter campaign last year. I met with him after my Fall 2014 show and he thought it would have been a good idea to help move the brand forward.

Is the full collection online and available for purchase via Kickstarter?
The collection featured in the campaign is our Fall 2014 line. We offered only the most commercial pieces and added a few special pieces made specifically for the campaign.

Have you donated funds to fellow Kickstarter campaigns?
I am new to the format since being introduced through Patrick, so I haven’t gotten a chance to support other projects as of yet, but I’m on the lookout for really inspiring, personal endeavors. I can relate!

When would you ideally like to have your own e-commerce destination?
We plan to introduce a small e-commerce interface on our website by the beginning of 2015.

What have customer’s responses been so far?
We’re having a really positive response because we were able to include some of our clients’ favorite pieces in the campaign. These pieces are what clients, buyers and editors have collectively been gravitating toward; they just happen to be some of our signature pieces.

If you reach your financial goal, how will you celebrate?
We’ll be cutting it close with my preparation for the Spring 2015 show, so a collective celebration will have to wait until after the presentation!

What else is new for the label?
We’ve been devoted to getting this campaign live since market closed in March. Unfortunately, that didn’t leave much room for a lot of new things. Besides supporting the Kickstarter project, developing our e-commerce site, and also recently moving our design studios to the financial district, we’re now working hard on our Spring/Summer 2015 collection.

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