Mountain View, California (PressExposure) December 26, 2007 -- You don't need to be Heidi Klum, Michael Kors or Nina Garcia to have a say in whether the creations of a set of promising fashion designers will stay, or get Auf Wiedersehened out of the competition. Enter: iStyler at http://www.zentrend.com, an online interactive platform and social network where up-and-coming designers from around the world submit their fashion concepts. The public casts votes for their preferences and then the winning styles become part of next season's collection.
The iStyler open source fashion house is the brainchild of ZenTrend, a Silicon Valley-based e-tailer founded by Lekha Srinivasan, who left a decades-long career in Internet Technology and Business Management, with Hewlett-Packard and then Symantec, to follow her passion for fashion. Srinivasan launched ZenTrend in November of 2006 to provide hand crafted, globally inspired apparel which is created through fair trade practices, while promoting the careers of unrealized design talent. The ZenTrend store boasts thousands of unique visitors per month and a 20% monthly growth rate.
iStyler is the next evolution to solidify the company's vision. The open source credo may not match the prevailing ethos of the fashion business, but mass collaboration has been an unspoken part of this company's business model from the beginning.
"The sourcing capability, immediacy of communication, and social networking feedback offered through the internet is something I feel driven to bring to the fashion design and marketing process," says Srinivasan. "As a fashion fan, but somewhat of an industry outsider, the internet has proven to be a natural equalizing environment in which to offer our own brand of innovation."
Currently, at iStyler, the public can preview and vote on the design concepts of several European fashion designers scouted from an initial call for talent. Voters choose from numerous fashion directions and get to know the talent behind the inspirations. The top selections will comprise ZenTrend's Spring/Summer 2008 merchandise offerings. Further building on the collaborative community, iStyler will unveil a fashion blog as well as a social networking component early in the New Year.
Just as the advent of the Internet has brought the world a long way toward the democratization of information, communication and commerce, a playful part of iStyler's ambition suggests a time when we may see more egalitarianism in women's fashion. At the very least the platform is a fun and creative way to shop and connect with other citizen stylists along the way. Now, that's a ballot worth casting.
To vote for your favorites styles for the ZenTrend spring/summer collection, visit http://www.zentrend.com/istyler.html (include your email address in your application and you automatically enter for a chance to win monthly fashion prizes). Designers interested in applying for iStyler's talent review visit: http://www.zentrend.com/istyler-talentsearch.html.