Launching my own clothing line has been one of my Golden dreams since the first day I grab a needle and a piece of fabric, but at the time I was juggling with a full-time job and adulthood. All the time I had left to pursue my hobby was weekends and I couldn’t find any course with enough foundation to become a fashion designer, all I could do was take Patternmaking and Tailoring classes, which have been really helpful so far. No complains!
However, I was determined to become a Fashion Designer so I took a deep dive into all the books and materials I could found on the topic, it is fair to say there is a world of information out there and nothing is written in stone. As hard as it has been for me to understand not everything in life can be as exact as math, I have gathered a few things here and there to use as a starting point to developing a clothing line.
The first thing I learned is that being a Fashion Designer and launching a line are two completely different things, so let’s start by outlining a few points that are basic to create a clothing line.
Who will wear my clothes?
It is impossible to create something without fully knowing who will be the end user, right?
The first thing to do is to have a clear and broad idea of who will be wearing your clothes, and I don’t mean a vague description of someone that could end up buying an item, but a crystal-clear picture of a regular person that could love the entire line.
Start by creating one person and imagine everything about it: age, hobbies, family, job, and so on.
What is my customer style?
Think about this Brands and their signature styles:
Tommy Hilffiger = Preppy Style.
Calvin Klein = Casual.
Chanel = Classic.
What style does your customer will mainly wear? It does not have to be just one, but try to define a main style and then you can add one two adjacencies to it. This will give you a starting point to take further decisions.
When will my customer wear my clothes?
Once you have a clear idea of who is your customer and its preferences, is time to take a further step and define when will your customer wear your clothes according to their style.
For example, are you selling clothes for a professional designer that works in an office half time, for a weekend morning brunch, for a night out with friends or for a cocktail party?
How many seasons?
The next step is less about your customer needs and more about your own capacity to produce/buy/re-stock.
You must design your own Calendar to determine the number of seasons you will be displaying so you have enough time to plan.
You can have as least as two (Spring/Summer, Fall/Winter) or as much as 6 (Early Spring, Spring/Summer, Fall Transition, Fall/Winter, Holiday and Cruise).
If you are just launching your Brand, two seasons is a good starting point and you can keep adding seasons once you feel comfortable.
How will I sell my product?
Finally, it is time to think about selling strategy. Are you setting up a show room, a boutique or an online store?
At this point you should have a clear idea of the price range of your products to make sure you are including packaging, advertising, rent and other costs.