That is the question.
Is it worth it?
Is it too much struggle and shouldn’t expect significant profit out of it?
If you have an entrepreneurial spirit and an inclination towards fashion, the odds are in your favor.
The truth is the market is quite crowded, and you’ll have to compete with popular clothing brands.
But, that doesn’t have to be a drag. If you play your cards right, you can succeed – it’s the small leaks that sink the great ships.
How to Start a Clothing Line
If you’re interested in knowing how to become a fashion designer, there are a few things you need to consider before entering the market, and we’ll discuss each below:
1. Decide on What Type of Clothes You Want to Sell.
Are you aiming at everyday casual garments? Or rather clothing for fancy occasions? Maybe even items that are exclusively sold in theaters or for extravagant events?
This is the first thing you need to take into account because it sets the volume of clothing you’ll need to provide in the long run.
Everyday items are usually sold quickly, so you’ll need a significant quantity, whereas extravagant items are sold once every couple of months, at a bigger price.
Once you’ve decided, it’s time to define a business model.
2. Define the Business Model.
Once you know how much and how often you’ll need to print the clothes, you can choose between three main alternatives:
a) Print on demand
b) Wholesale label
c) Custom-made clothing
Each comes with pros and cons, and you should be aware of all of them beforehand. Also, please remember that the business model should be followed once the business has a steady income and has profit. But we’ll share more on that later on.
The print on demand model is the best one to start your business. It requires minimum time and money investment, and you can have your products within days. However, if your products are sold quickly, it might be better to move on to wholesale or private labels. Otherwise, things are going to get expensive (and you can rarely get discounts for print on demand clothing).
Wholesale labels are useful if you already have some orders running, and the future looks bright. Although it saves you money, the final products get to you within weeks. Moreover, you’re supposed to print minimum batches of identical units, so if you don’t have enough demand, they might remain in stock.
Lastly, custom-made clothing takes up most time and money resources. Nonetheless, when these products are sold, they can make a significant difference in your bank account.
Therefore, if you have wild ideas for exclusive items, make sure you find a collaboration before with a theater group or other artists that are always in need of clothes with a unique design.
How to Make Clothes
The first thing to do after designing your clothes is to go to manufacturers or printers and ask them for a prototype. This way, you make sure that the selling product matches the one you had in mind.
Choose the items that you think will attract your customers immediately, and then have them printed.
Next, wear them.
Be a walking billboard for your clothes and market them. Then, ask people what they think about your outfits. While it’s important to hear the opinion your friends and relatives have on your clothes, they might not be part of your target audience.
Therefore, when you can, ask people who match your customer avatar what they think about that particular item you’re wearing.
Listen to their opinion, and follow it by heart – your customers know best what they like, and they are the ones that will help you grow your business.
The Business Model and the Startup Model
The business model refers to the architecture of your business. But every company goes through the startup phase. This stage is not time- but productivity-defined.
What does that mean?
That your business can follow the model fully only after it reached a specific productivity point. Until then, you are advised to run MVP’s (or minimum viable products), to ensure that the market needs or wants the products you want to sell.
Otherwise, you’d start mass production and spend lots of money on a product that might not be well-received by your target audience.
To Start or Not to Start?
Now that you have an idea of what it means to start a clothing line, it’s up to you to decide if you’ll do it or not. But, the fashion world needs some fresh air, so we hope to see more enthusiastic entrepreneurs like you, and wear your clothes if we get the chance.