We’ve discussed some of the finer aspects of clothing manufacturing in previous blog posts, but we’ve yet to address the bigger picture: how to start your own clothing line.
There are many factors to consider when launching a fashion brand, and as many things that you need to get right there are as many things that you need to avoid.
To simplify a rather complex process let’s start by separating aspects of starting a clothing line that are strictly related to the design and manufacturing process from those that are related to business logistics.
Create a Design
First and foremost: you need a design. It should be something original that reflects your unique style. Remember that you have a voice and your designs should express that! The last thing you want is to make clothing with designs that are carbon copies of what’s already out there.
Get a Prototype
We’ve previously blogged about how important the sampling process is for any garment or accessories designer. Getting a prototype of each design will help you identify a clothing manufacturing partner that can best help you produce your line.
Find a Manufacturer
This is easily the most complex and tricky part of getting your designs made; finding a manufacturer that can meet your specific requirements isn’t easy. There are a lot of manufacturers to choose from and not all of them may be the right fit for you. The sampling process can help you find which manufacturing partners works best for you. There are a number of things to consider:
- the quality of the garments (including quality control processes);
- the level of communication the manufacturer provides to its clients; and
- the cost effectiveness
These are all issues that generally come to light during the sampling process where each manufacturer will be able to show off the quality of their work, the efficiency of their processes and their cost effectiveness while giving you an opportunity to judge their communications style.
The most honest form of marketing may still be word of mouth, but it’s certainly not the most efficient. A company website and social media platforms are now a must. Keep in mind who your target audience is and market to them and their tastes and interests — without losing sight of your business’ brand identity.
Next up, we’ll talk about the business logistics of starting your own clothing line.