EBay Unveils Crowd-Sourced Exclusive Fashion Collection

For the first time, eBay is letting consumers dictate the contents of the next designer collection that it will sell exclusively online.

The collection of 16 dresses, designed by Derek Lam, were unveiled this morning at New York’s Fashion Week and posted online.

For the next couple of weeks, visitors to the Derek Lam+eBay site will be able to vote for their favorite dresses. On March 1, eBay will announce the five dresses that rose to the top. The dresses will then be sold online in May, ranging from $125 to $295.

This is the first time eBay has ever used crowd-sourcing techniques to produce a collection.

The idea is part of a continuing trend by e-commerce sites to experiment with social-networking-like mechanics to make a more engaging shopping experience.

The collection of dresses vary from short and form-fitting to long and flowing, perfect for backyard picnics, or even a formal black-tie event. Colors range from denim to pink to black.

The best part of the experience is the way the dresses are presented on the site.

It’s like a scene from “Harry Potter,” where the subjects in the magical portraits come to life and the people within the image move and interact.

The models shift their weight from one foot to the other, place a hand on the hip and twirl around to show off all sides of the dresses. The fabric and the model’s hair blow in the breeze.

Derek Lam, the designer, launched his label in 2003 and sells his designs in his two retail stores, as well as online at DerekLam.com.

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— From the fact sheet for a fake product entitled Useless Plasticbox 1.2 (an actual empty plastic box) placed in L.A.-area Best Buy stores by an artist called Plastic Jesus