Many people dream of designing their own range of fashion and seeing their clothing showcased on some of the most prestigious and prominent fashion catwalks in the world. Whilst fame, fortune and glamour may come to only a few of the best fashion designers, that doesn’t mean that it isn’t possible to create and market your own successful clothing line. Starting your own clothing line is a venture that most often takes a lot of time and effort, but for somebody who’s passionate about fashion, it can be the perfect venture or project to invest in. If you dream of starting your own range of fashion items, here are the basic steps.
As with any business, it’s important to begin by writing a business plan. In your business plan you should determine your start-up costs and costs for the first three years of your business. You should outline how you plan to grow and expand the business, as well as consider any competitors.
Determine the type and style of clothing that you are going to specialise in. This will in turn determine your niche and the target market that you’ll be selling to. For example, you could specialise in plus size, teen, men’s, or even baby and toddler clothing.
Once you’ve chosen a niche, you should define and get to know your target market. Find out how the people that you’re planning to sell to think, what they are looking for, their buying habits, and how they respond to media and advertising.
If you don’t have the training or educational knowledge needed to create your own clothing line, you should obtain this. Many designers are self-taught, but if you feel that you lack the skills needed, you might like to pursue a textiles or design class. The same goes for your business skills.
Choose a business model for your clothing line. You could sell it yourself directly to consumers, as a wholesaler to retailers, or you could sell to both. If you plan to sell your own line, you have the option to either open a high street store, an online store, or both.
Put together a contact list of fashion designers, buyers, merchandisers, boutique owners and clothing distributors in your local area. These will be the people who you will invite to your shows, as well as your press releases, look book and line sheets.
Create a portfolio by making prototypes of fashion pieces from your first collection, and take photographs, or have a fashion photography company such as Fashot take photographs for you. These images can then be used for a number of other marketing purposes, and can be added to your look book and your online store, as well as being used for examples for any retailers looking to purchase your products.
Once you’ve completed the above it’s time to make some press releases, organise a fashion show, and promote your clothing line.