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Style Launch

Style Launch helps new fashion brand entrepreneurs easily get the brand exposure and financial support they need to turn their creative visions into a reality by connecting them with the perfect audience.

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A post shared by Emily Chan (@_emilydzn)


New research shows that 80% to 90% of new e-commerce clothing businesses fail. Among the many reasons for failure, the top reason (38%) is from small businesses running out of cash or being able to acquire additional financial support. Running this type of business requires much money from design, fabrics, manufacturing, marketing, employees and more.

  • Small-sized line: Min. $500 (startup costs)
  • Medium-sized line: $1,000 to $5,000 (startup costs)
  • Large-sized line: $25,000 to $50,000 (startup costs)
  • To cover these high costs, fashion entrepreneurs often rely on various financing methods, such as self-funding, friends & family, crowdfunding, grants, bank loans & alternative loans and private fashion investors. Crowdfunding is an excellent method for indie brands/new products to reach a mass audience and receive generous financial support from them. While searching around the web for crowdfunding solutions specifically catering to fashion brands’ needs, I saw a limited number of platforms on the market:

  • WowCracy (OOB)
  • Before the Label (OOB)
  • Luevo
  • Betabrand
  • While they have the option to quickly start a campaign on the leading crowdfunding sites for creative projects, such as Kickstarter or Indiegogo, their chances of their campaigns peaking the interests of the users on those platforms are significantly lower as it hosts a variety of categories beyond fashion. Being lost in a sea of eclectic campaigns doesn’t give their ideas a chance to stand out, capture the appropriate audience, and receive the financial backing they need. I hope to build a platform that provides fashion brands with the brand exposure and supportive community they need to grow their brand.


    26 weeks


    Conceptual Product


  • User & Market Research
  • User & Task Flows
  • Wireframing
  • Visual Design & Branding
  • Prototyping
  • Marketing Site
  • Social Media Marketing

    ✔️ Make it easy for fashion entrepreneurs to connect with their target audience and get the financial support they need.

    ✔️ Build a functioning crowdfunding platform MVP with the help of fashion business knowledgeable people.

    ✔️ Attract new fashion brand owners, their customers and investors interested in fashion to test the platform and provide feedback.


    I set myself out on a mission to aid fellow aspiring fashion entrepreneurs who want to turn their big ideas into fruition and succeed long-term in this competitive space. I was motivated by my struggles with creating my collection and thought, why not redirect this frustrated energy and my developing UX/UI skills into solving their unique problems together?



    ✔️ Validate many people are struggling to create a clothing brand (a problem worth pursuing).

    ✔️ Learn why fashion e-commerce businesses fail within their first year (to get a wholistic understanding).

    I conducted my initial research by looking through social media posts. On Twitter, I discovered that many aspiring fashion entrepreneurs struggle to start and run their clothing brands due to a lack of fashion business knowledge, financial resources, and mental exhaustion from wearing multiple hats. They all shared a similar characteristic: stressed but determined to make it happen.

    On Reddit and Quora, while reading people's personal experiences with owning a clothing brand and their observations on others, I got some insights on why fashion e-commerce businesses tend to fail within their first year:

  • Lack of preparation
  • Inexperience
  • Lack of money
  • Poor leadership & management
  • Poor team
  • Lack of branding
  • Inadequate marketing
  • Unacceptable price point
  • Poor e-commerce UX
  • Lack of customer interest
  • I spent more time on this initial research than expected, overwhelmed by the number of posts. However, I made sure to allocate more time and energy to user interviews as that would reveal more accurate data.



    ✔️ Choose five passionate and determined fashion startup owners to interview.

    ✔️ Investigate their needs, barriers and preferred working style.

    Before conducting my user interviews, I made sure I was well prepared by translating the common obstacles and failure reasons I got from my initial user research into crafting meaningful questions that would get them to reveal to me their genuine experience. I used User Interviews to help me quickly connect with my target users, and I made a screener survey to determine who was a good fit to be interviewed. I then customized each set of interview questions to reflect the respondents answers.

    Responses that piqued my curiosity:

    💬 “I'm sure with the right advice and resources it will prosper.”

    💬 “I have started some initial research and funding but there are definitely things I am struggling with that I would love to talk about in the interview!”

    💬 “Find an investor. I see a lot of opportunity in the curvy fashion industry.”

    My screener survey results were overwhelming to take in, as I ended up getting over 500 responses in two weeks. Still, it also excited me that the fact that many people want to start a clothing brand but are struggling poses an opportunity for me as a designer to step in, investigate and help. I categorized the data by demographics and psychographics and referenced this later to make my persona. Next time, I will use a survey website that automatically visualizes data to save time.


    I based Carolyn’s empathy map on the four users I interviewed and their screener survey responses, who were trying to start a clothing brand for the first time. I narrowed this complex data by showcasing their shared common problems and goals. I based Jerry’s empathy map on the one user I talked to and his screener survey response, who was already running his brand and narrowed it down to his top struggles and goals.


    I transferred over the sticky notes from the empathy map to create my personas that I can easily refer back to throughout the entire project when making critical design decisions. The first persona Carolyn represents the target user group of clothing brand 'newbies' while Jerry represents the target user group of experienced clothing brand owners.


    Here I laid out the typical process a fashion entrepreneur goes through while trying to start and launch their clothing brand for the first time. I take essential notice in stages with the most emotional turmoil, like feeling overwhelmed or scared about how to proceed. The opportunities I discovered here are ones I implemented while planning my MVP features that aim to solve their pain points throughout their journey.


    I took time to get familiar with social media and crowdfunding platforms fashion entrepreneurs currently use to connect with their customers. While assessing their weaknesses, I noticed gaps and issues I could solve through my crowdfunding MVP solution that can fulfill fashion entrepreneurs' business needs. My features will follow a similar pattern to leading crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter and Indiegogo for user familiarity, leading to ease of use.


    Keeping up with the major fashion industry trends for 2023, it is said that personalization will be the next stage of the fashion evolution, with brands developing collections for their precise target groups to fulfill their unique needs of the right fit, and desired colours, produced on demand.

    “The digitization of the process chain from design through production to retail will make a significant contribution to aligning products more closely than before to customer wishes.” – from Dr. Regina Henke’sl article Major Trends: Future Fashion

    Gucci's personalization platform.


    I fleshed out a project goals map and lean canvas business plan for my fashion crowdfunding platform that I can easily refer back to when trying to reach my initial users for testing, building out the MVP features and sharing it with my future co-founder to get them on board.


    To determine what web pages my MVP should have for my initial users, I had to evaluate what could be feasibly done now with the least cost, energy and time to get initial testing going. It would be essential to have a signup feature to onboard new users, a way for a fashion brand to upload their campaign content and campaign backers to discover projects that align with their interests.

    I went through a top-down process where I laid out the overarching vision, broke that down into tangible key metrics goals and a product roadmap on notion where I and my team can follow to get the features built on time efficiently. To figure out what my top 3 features should entail, I referred to how top leading platforms like Kickstarter and Indiegogo function and their missing gaps to work off of.


    To effectively structure my product’s visual content to my user’s mental model, I started by referring back to my user’s project goals and, from there, determining what information they need to see and how the platform will function to support these goals. Before moving on to wireframing, I broke down the user’s goals for each page they would interact with and what order the information needs to be for easier access and to reach our business goals.


    I mapped out my user’s task flows by breaking down each interaction they would make to navigate their project goals smoothly. I understand that a new user’s goal (fashion brand owner) is to set up their profile to make the most out of their campaign posting. I fleshed out how a typical user (fashion brand owner + backers) would move through the campaign page and how fashion entrepreneurs can easily access the resources page to get the essential information they need. I also created wireflows to go with the task flows to start planning what my wireframes would look like.


    Before sketching the wireframes, I sourced inspiration from websites such as Mailchimp, Shop My and Shop App to create an eye-catching, pleasantly structured website. I started with creating my marketing page, where I made sure to have a bold hero section and broke down the steps on how this platform would work so that new customers could quickly grasp and become intrigued. When I made my homepage, I combined elements from Kickstarter and Indiegogo and put my spin on it to ensure it supports fashion brands' visual marketing needs.


    The logo is formed with two circles to form the letter ‘S’ to look like a link because it represents the support between brands and backers. The name ‘Style Launch’ was generated using Namelix using the keywords “Fashion Crowdfunding.” I chose a name that was not too long so that it sounded punchy and memorable and described what this crowdfunding platform aims to do: to help new fashion brands launch successfully.

    I picked the Manrope font from Google because it has this simple, modern, playful feel. I chose a teal colour as blue is the safest colour for UI design and comes across as calming and reliable, which is what I want my users to see when navigating and using this site. I chose a teal shade that comes off as more energizing and uplifting, which Millennials and Gen Z tend to gravitate towards.

    How color plays into generational marketing - Webflow


    The process of putting together my marketing page and making it responsive was quite exciting as I got to play around with the look and feel of the hero section throughout the page by making it dynamic and eye-catching to generate leads.

    Putting together the signup flow, homepage, and crowdfunding page was overwhelming as I designed these pages independently. Still, it gave me a feel for what pages are necessary to build an MVP ready for testing.

    Throughout the design, I ensured I used enough white space to create a sense of calmness and focus for the user when interacting with this site, where the images and text pop out, and backers don't get flooded with too many campaigns at once.


    While taking the DesignerUp course to guide me through this project, I learned much and gained new skills in UX research, business strategy and UI design.

    Developing this product was quite challenging as I would get overwhelmed with the many problems my target users were facing and wanting to solve all of them at once but realizing I could only focus on a few most important ones to make the most impact. Throughout the process, I also tended to get ahead of myself and thought of too many ideas, but I kept narrowing my focus.

    I look forward to implementing my skills and passion in e-commerce and building this MVP solution for my users!