Last year, we noticed a trend of innovative fashion brands finding success with a little help from popular crowdfunding site Kickstarter. One menswear company raised a whopping $400,000 to get off the ground and since then, a sweatshirt line raised over $1 million from the site’s pool of benefactors. Of course, Kickstarter is home to a wide variety of projects–and recently we’ve noticed another segment of the fashion industry using it as an outside-the-box funding method: magazines.
Typically, to launch a successful print magazine (or sometimes even an unsuccessful one), one must have, or have ties to a recognizable name. Being associated with an e-commerce site, coming from an important role at a well-known publication, or–obviously–being part of a major publishing house are generally helpful qualities. So is having a lot of money–publishing and distributing a print magazine is really, really expensive (hence the slow death of print).
But thanks to Kickstarter, anyone with talent, motivation, and a unique, appealing idea can now potentially launch a fashion magazine. And there are apparently still people willing to pay to read a good one. However, publishing is just as cutthroat in Kickstarter world as it is in the real world–it has one of the lowest success rates: 33.22% (The only category with a lower success rate, in fact, is fashion). However, in total funding, publishing-related projects have brought in a total of $35.81 million on Kickstarter, quite a bit more than most other categories.
To learn more about how to get a magazine funded on Kickstarter and why people are doing it, we spoke to a few EIC’s who did it, and whose magazines are still alive and well: Cherry Bombe, a magazine blending food and fashion; Intern, a magazine showcasing the work of and encouraging discussion about unpaid interns in creative fields; and Fashizblack, a France-based high-end fashion glossy that describes itself as “more than just a Black Vogue.”