About this project
My name is Monica and I'm the founder and designer behind Carte Blanche. After years of experience working in the industry, I grew frustrated with the inefficiencies and waste generated by the traditional retail model. Carte Blanche is about creating something new for today's consumer -- less waste, better quality, and producing only what you love.
Here’s how we’re different:
1. Crafted with love in NYC - We work with the same fabric vendors and factories as your favorite luxury brands and keep our production here in NYC to ensure that our dresses are of the highest quality.
2. Crowd-sourcing - Fashion companies spend a fortune each season trying to forecast trends. Carte Blanche is the first women’s fashion brand that uses crowd-sourcing to allow users to vote on which styles will be manufactured.
3. No more middlemen - We sell our dresses at their true cost, not 4-8x, which is what you’d pay at a traditional retailer.
Our debut collection:
THE TWO-WAY ZIP DRESS: Cut from a beautiful two-ply silk, this dress can be worn any way you choose.
Colors: Blush (as shown) and Cream.
**Note: If we meet our stretch goal of $40k, we'll be able to offer this style in black and grey!**
Details: - 100% 2-ply Silk - Side Seam Pockets - Silk belt with thread loops
Dress Length: Shoulder to Hem = 34"
Unzipped, this dress becomes a modern, architectural silhouette.
Fully-zipped, the silhouette transforms into a fitted cowl-neck dress.
The Two-Way Zip Dress in Cream
THE KNIT DRESS: The knit dress is cut from a slinky rayon matte jersey, providing plenty of support and a flattering peplum.
Colors: Black (as shown)
Details: - 100% Rayon Matte Jersey - Invisible Zipper at Center Back
- Side Slits - Kangaroo Pockets
Dress Length: Shoulder strap to Hem = 42"
The front of the Knit Dress features kangaroo pockets and a peplum that's shorter in front and longer in back.
THE EASY T-SHIRT DRESS: Inspired by the 20's, this dress features a flattering draped-front bodice, a dropped waist, and a pleated, asymmetrical skirt.
Colors: Navy body with sheer black sleeves (as shown)
Details: - Dress is 100% Silk Crepe de Chine, Sleeves are 100% Silk Georgette - Invisible Side Zip - Back Neck Keyhole with Hook
Dress Length: Shoulder to Front Hem = 35 1/2"; Shoulder to Back Hem = 46"
The Easy T-Shirt dress features a relaxed body and raglan sleeves. Back Neck Keyhole has a hook and eye so it's easy to pull on, and an invisible side zip at the waist.
Cut in a beautiful 100% Silk Crepe de Chine, this dress is designed for comfort without sacrificing style.
THE FEMININE TUNIC: The Feminine Tunic features side-seam pockets, a tunnel waist, and a beautiful, soft shoulder drape.
Colors: Wine (as shown)
Details: - 100% Silk Crepe de Chine
Dress Length: Shoulder to Hem = 33"
The soft shoulder drape is mirrored on front and back, with the waist tie passing through the drapes.
The 100% Silk Crepe de Chine produces a soft, feminine drape that's easy to dress up or down.
THE LBD: The Little Black Dress is cut in a beautifully drapey viscose and can be tied in front or back.
Colors: Black (as shown)
Details: Shoulder straps and waist ties are cut in the same drapey viscose.
Dress Length: Shoulder to Hem = 36 3/4"
The LBD is a great template for your personal style: throw it on with a little leather jacket and boots to dress it down, or stilettos as shown above to dress it up.
Note: Model is 5'9" and wearing a size small.
How do I know which size will fit me best?
Our sizes run close to what you might find at J. Crew. Once the campaign is complete, we'll be in touch to confirm your chosen style, color, and size. If you have any questions at all, we're here to help! Email us at email@example.com.
I've had many questions about how short or long the hems are, so I made a little video to show you!
Take a look at our Instagram for more images and videos.
Our THANK YOU GIFT ($15): A hand-written thank-you from me and a signed copy of our lookbook. Not just any lookbook: a beautifully curated selection of images shot by photographer Eva Sakellarides, our Where to Wear guide, and an inside look at what inspired the collection.
Our WELL ON OUR WAY GIFT ($50): A hand-written note from me, a signed copy of our lookbook, a set of 4 postcards from our watercolor series shot by photographer Eva Sakellarides, and it all comes in a cotton canvas CARTE BLANCHE tote.
About Monica and the origin of Carte Blanche:
Carte Blanche is a really important idea for me, and it really underlies every major decision or pivot I’ve made in my life. It’s the idea of having the freedom to make your own rules: to re-examine or question the way things are done and change what isn’t working. I love fashion, but there’s so much we can improve in the process of designing and manufacturing clothing.
I have years of experience designing at large fashion brands and in that time I noticed how much we operate in an antiquated system when designing and manufacturing our collections, season after season. This results in tremendous inefficiencies and waste. On the other hand, my friends who'd set out on their own as independent designers were much more agile, but had a very hard time staying afloat while paying for the tremendous up-front costs associated with launching a new apparel brand.
With all the tools we have available to us today, it's possible to bypass the middlemen and create a direct connection with ones' customers and fans, and that's why I'm so passionate about Carte Blanche.
Visit us: www.carteblanche.ly
About the Aesthetic:
I'm naturally drawn to designing styles that are figure-flattering, so my debut collection is really just 5 styles that I'd love to have in my closet. When designing, I always ask myself, is this piece one of the 20% of your wardrobe that you just always want to wear? Out of probably around 200 sketches, I chose my top 5 and those are the ones you see here on Kickstarter.
Many thanks to all those who contributed their hard work and talent to help make Carte Blanche a beautiful reality. Without you, this would not be possible.
VIDEO: Direction - Eva Sakellarides; Editing - Josephine Noh; Music - Dan Wickner
PHOTOGRAPHY: Eva Sakellarides
HAIR & MAKEUP: Takahiro Okada
GRAPHIC DESIGN: Rashi Birla
JEWELRY: Vrai & Oro
ADDITIONAL THANKS: Anar Joshi, Julia Lee Yu, Kevin Lai
Risks and challenges
After years of experience and many production cycles, I can confidently say I understand what it takes to execute a successful production run. Our supply chain is all lined up and ready to go as soon as our campaign ends.
I'm allotting 6 months to deliver all dresses, including lead times for ordering fabrics, time for backers to return our fit/color questionnaire, and extra time to safeguard against any possible delays.
As we move through the production process, and with any unforeseen circumstances or bumps in the road, I'll be sure to stay in touch with any updates. Rest assured, we're working hard to make this a great experience for all!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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