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Who needs Derek Lam anyway? (We adore him, but we just weren't feeling the eBay collection.) New website Velvet Brigade takes the idea of crowdsourced designs to another level. The site encourages anyone and everyone to submit designs, which are then put to a popularity contest. The winning designs go into production and are then offered for sale (eventually). One of the things that's super-fun about it is that designers of all different levels can submit their work -- obviously, the images at the top reflect a lot of?um, diversity and varying degrees of skill. Since the site also serves as a community and does cross-platform stuff with Twitter and Facebook, inevitably, people who are good social networkers but so-so designers may occasionally win. But it's still a really clever idea. Democracy in America lives!
· Velvet Brigade [Official Site]