"Collaborative branding" is the business trend in scouting out and teaming up with young creatives found on social networking sites. Particularly in the realm of the fashion industry, more companies are beginning to search for budding genius on the web. Social networking platforms make it easy to scour profiles to discover the next top model, fashion designer, or incredibly gifted photographer.
Nicola Formichetti is just one designer using social networking sites to headhunt potential talent. The fashion director of Dazed & Confused, a magazine focused on art, fashion, film music, ideas, has hired based on MySpace profiles and found it particularly successful.
"There are several individual blogs that are increasingly influential places to hear about new trends," Formichetti said. "People now buy magazines for the photography and to be inspired by new ideas - but not get the latest information, because they git it much earlier online."
Formichetti fills his store, Side by Side, in Tokyo's Harajuku district with designs from buddings labels he discovers on the site.
MySpace is a good vehicle for budding designers to get discovered. Vancouver based fashion designer Christina Culver,23, keeps her profile up to date, but doesn't just rely on the social network for exposure. As well as hosting her own website, she also displays at shows like L'Oreal Fashion Week.
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