By  on April 6, 2010

Grandiose as it might sound, the democratization of fashion is taking hold in a battery of incarnations.

As crowdsourcing continues to gain force, consumers aren’t just having their say about specific designs – whereas in the past, participants were content just to be part of the process, now more companies are compensating them monetarily, with prizes, discounts or other recognition. By definition, crowdsourcing is the act of taking a job traditionally performed by a designated agent (usually an employee) and outsourcing it to an undefined, generally large group of people in the form of an open call, according to Wired contributing editor Jeff Howe, who coined the term. The trend is huge in Holland, and it is also popular in San Francisco, New York and Chicago.

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