Retail is going through one of its most disruptive periods with pressures coming from all corners. This disruption provides new opportunities and a window into where you can go next with your fashion brand to transform your business into a retail powerhouse. Now is the time for brands to adapt to a customer-led environment by sharpening their technological capabilities so they can prosper in this new environment.
Technology is changing the way that we, fashion designers, approach fabric sourcing.
There's a whole range of pioneering textiles that are not only groundbreaking in a
technological way but also push the fashion industry towards more sustainable practices.
This includes the development of fabrics and materials from the byproducts of other
industries, which is also a much-needed step into a circular economy.
Sourcing the right fabrics for your fashion products is half of the battle in developing the perfect garment.
However, the process can be overwhelming, long and frustrating, especially for a new brand that is new to the industry and can't yet commit to high volume.
How can you make this process more effective and less complicated?
Below I've put a checklist of the steps and actions that you should take to help you with that.
...Like really know your customer!
Not what you think, wish or hope that they would be like, and not just the high-level details of their age, income level, and location but the specifics of their character, habits, likes and dislikes, priorities, what a day in their life looks like and more as if they were your best friend or a close family member that you know very well.
In fact, when you start a brand (or any business for that matter) the first question you should answer is WHO AM I SELLING TO?
We are experiencing many issues with our production, can you help us with this? ”
If I had a cent for every time that I heard that sentence i would probably be retired by now.
Most fashion brands (especially if they are new or small), assume that since production is the last part in the process they’ll just worry about it when they get to it, and rather choose to focus mainly on designing and making the perfect samples.
NEWS FLASH - that is the wrong approach.
You have probably noticed it on some garments that you bought.
It i a number, usually somewhere on the care labels, most likely with the letters RN# before it. As in the picture below.
An RN number or registered identification number is a number issued by the FTC (Federal Trade Commission), upon request, to a business residing in the U.S. and engaged in the manufacture, importing, distribution, or sale of textile, wool, or fur products.
As a start-up fashion brand, costing your product for the first time is one of the most challenging parts of your fashion business.
When you source a factory you will have their costs for making both a small run of your product (i.e. 50 units) and a bigger run (i.e. 200+ units). For many designers, the first season is experimental and you might not know exactly how many orders you will get. So the big question is: Should you price your product based on the cost of a small run or the cost of a big run?
Today’s post offers 4 tips to help you get the best results out of your pattern maker.
Knowing what to provide and how to direct your pattern maker is crucial to how well can they execute your vision. Whether you are a veteran or new to the industry the following should make your pattern maker job easier and will make you look like a pro not to mention save you time and money:
One of the most common mistakes we see with young designers is grading a pattern too early in the development process.
At what stage of the process should you grade your apparel pattern?
First, let’s explain what grading is:
Grading is the stage of sizing an apparel pattern up or down to create the patterns for the other sizes of that garment.
Sustainability - The ability to continue a defined behavior indefinitely.
In the fashion industry we are constantly producing more and more goods. We use tons of natural resources, produce garments all over the world and all the while we are trying to keep up with ever changing trends and timely demands of the fashion industry. What is that impact? Most of the pollution in the garment industry comes from textiles. Water usage, finishing agents, and dyes. 20% of the worlds water pollution is due to the garment industry. How does it affect the community that work and live around these factories? As designers and consumers we have the responsibility to ask ourselves these questions and the ability to make change.
How do you as a designer build a company with all of these things in mind and as a small brand be a part of this change?
PaperGirl is a brightly illustrated and inspiring made in NY childrenswear line that our company manged the development and production for this past year before launching their first collection in April 2015!
The stunning original artwork that make up each print on the garments, coordinates with a booklet (also designed and written by the designer) stored inside the garment’s pocket to inspire its little wearers to dream as individuals. Here we meet the designer behind the imaginative brand to hear her unique story:
This is a guest post by Eric Fitzgerald, an independent business consultant and the founder of Fashion Business Insider.
Like most aspiring designers, your sketch books are probably filled will lots of new and exciting design ideas that you want to someday explore in your collection. Having a platform to experiment with new ideas, fabrics, and silhouettes is the dream of any entrepreneurial designer. As much as creativity will help define your brand, remember that you’re also running a business and that brands take time to develop. Part of that development process is being consistent with what you offer your customer and how you offer it to them.
Consistency does not mean you need to be boring or basic. In fact, as an emerging designer, ensure that your product speaks volumes about who you are and what your brand stands for. Push yourself creatively and continue to innovate. But do so from a vantage point that is