Possibly you were creating fashion designs since you were little, maybe you even created a couple of custom tees for you and your friends or are the star of the show when it came to Halloween costumes, no matter how you got into fashion, you are here now. Maybe you simply want a piece of the trillion-dollar pie that evolves around the fashion industry. Regardless of what makes you get out of bed in the morning, knowing how to start a fashion brand is extremely different from just wanting to start one.
You could potentially create a fashion brand for under £5000 and at a really tight squeeze, maybe £1000, but this requires a lot of work and long days and nights. There are many fashion entrepreneurs out there that have done this and are smashing it now, so in this article, we will go through some helpful tips on how to start your own fashion brand.
What Is A Brand?
A successful brand is more than just your colours, logo and tone of voice, but it is selling a lifestyle, it’s aligning your business with your audience’s beliefs, values and goals for the future. Your brand is how you want your audience to perceive you, so you want to ensure your core values are aligned with your customers. This part can be tricky so hiring a design agency Leeds based or Manchester will ensure you have some of the best talents in the UK.
Steps To Starting A Fashion Brand?
Create A Brand Business Plan
Fail to plan plan to fail, that’s the saying. And it couldn’t be more correct when starting any sort of business. Before diving into the bits that you want to do, you need to take some time to picture the end goal for your business. Is there anything you want to accomplish? Where do you want to sell your products? What stores should they be in? Who are your customers? Who are your competitors? Knowing all this information is vital for starting a clothing line as it will help you to guide you through the process and decision-making. It will also help you decide on your design branding and textiles. This business plan will also help you to get funding or expand when you get big enough. Your business plan is constantly evolving, so ensure you update it.
Here are some of the main factors to include in your business plan:
Executive Summary – Business name, mission, goals and values
Company Overview – Brief about your business what it does and its history
Products / Services Provided – What are you going to offer and how to make a profit
Marketing Strategies – detailed analysis of your customers, demographics, trends and customer segmentation.
Sales Strategy – How are you going to sell your clothes? What channels will be used? How will pricing affect sales?
Competitive Analysis – describe your competitors. Direct and indirect.
Production Plan – a timeline for production, marketing and sales of your clothing.
Operation Plan – Who will take care of different areas of business? Describe the daily work and who does what.
Financial Analysis and Projections – analyse your budget, how much you need for the initial investment, and how will you use the investment.
Develop Your Fashion Branding
For your fashion brand to be successful, you will need to determine how your clothing brand is going to stand out against your competitors. It is crucial to understand that the most successful clothing lines will niche to a specific market where they will be in demand. For example, if you are selling baby clothes and products, then you may go down the route of sustainable baby clothes.
Here are some tips on what to consider when developing a fashion brand:
Niche – Specific and detailed explanation defining your niche market. Who are you aligning your clothing to? Who is it going to appeal to in the larger market?
Design – How are you going to make your clothes look great? What patterns, materials, fits and colours are being used?
Quality – What quality assurance checks are you doing?
Brand – How are you going to market and package your brand?
When thinking about these factors, it is essential to remain focused on differentiating yourself apart from your competitors. The fashion industry is extremely saturated so you need to stand out.
Begin Fashion Design and Development
This is the fun part, this is where you are going to start showing your creative flare. Now you have developed your brand and niche market, it is now time to start designing your new line of clothing. As with any first meeting, first impressions count. This is your sole opportunity to create anything that you feel your customers are going to aspire to wear. This is also your opportunity for you to create something that your customers are going to remember, so maybe one bold and brash design will appeal to other markets.
As much as it is fun creating designs, it is also important to understand that you have a budget, and it’s hard to make it in this industry if the cost of your production is eating away at your profits. Always think of the cost of production, it will help to develop good business habits as you grow.
Start by creating sketches for your line and then out of them all, decide which ones you are going to make a reality. If you are doing print on demand, all you need to determine is the designs, but if not, you need to determine materials, patterns, fit, texture and any other features your clothing has. Other factors to consider include:
- Sleeve length
- The shape of the item
- Types of stitches
Mix and match all of these factors and see what works best. There are a lot of apps out there for design, but we prefer the good old fashion pencil and paper. If you already have the fabrics, try a dress dummy and fashion pieces yourself.
Follow these first steps and this is going to ensure that you have a great start for your new business venture. If you continue to struggle to create a fashion brand, speaking to other brands and collaborating is another great idea.