In an effort to introduce his clothes to a wider audience, designer Derek Lam has inked a deal with eBay to produce an exclusive collection.
However, Lam's collection will be "crowdsourced," as eBay is calling it: "The designer will unveil a ready-to-wear collection of original designs at a presentation during New York Fashion Week in February 2011 and invite shoppers to vote for their favorites on eBay.com. The final collection will be available for purchase in Spring/Summer 2011 at accessible, fixed price points—delivering shoppers immediate, in season access to Lam’s signature designs at excellent value, exclusively on eBay."
This is just the latest development in a concerted effort by eBay to move away from simply vintage and used products to selling new, exclusive items. While eBay is undoubtedly the place to find flea market items, that market probably isn't going to get much better. There's more growth in new product.
Full disclosure: I contribute to eBay-funded website The Inside Source.