The growing number of influential Weibo commentators are increasingly opening their own online shops or promoting products.
The site caters to girls between the ages 5 and 12.
FashionPlaytes, a web-based platform that allows 'tweens' to design their own clothing, has raised $4 million in funding led by Fairhaven Capital Partners with New Atlantic Ventures, Launch Capital, and Golden Seeds participating in the round. This brings the startup's total funding to $5.8 million.
The site, which caters to girls ages 5 to 12, takes "dress up" games a step further and allows kids to design custom clothing that are produced and then shipped to them. The platform includes a virtual sketchbook and 5 million design combinations that enables young girls to create their own jean jackets, dresses, tees, hoodies and more. Price points for the clothing made on the site is similar to The Gap Kids, says the company. For example, a customized dress will cost around $40 on the site and a pair of pants costs around $15.
Since the site's launch in November 2009, young fashion designers have created nearly 200,000 unique garments on the site. And earlier this summer, Sanrio, the company behind Hello Kitty, partnered with FashionPlaytes to launch a series of branded clothing design kiosks in its retail stores in the U.S.
Founded by Sarah McIlroy, FashionPlaytes will use the funding for product development and customer acquisition. Mcllroy says that the startup will be focused on building out more of a community for the site, allowing kids to interact and share their designs with each other.