You’re thinking of creating your own clothing brand. Very good idea. You just need common sense, good taste and to avoid excesses, both optimism and pessimism.
Let me contribute a few suggestions. Not all of them will work for you, but I’m sure some will.
Study the market. And he spends a lot of time on this. Analyze who your target market is going to be and who your competitors are going to be. Read and absorb as much information as you can.
Thanks to the Internet it is now available to you at no cost. And do not worry if you are not able to retain as much information, if you only get 25% of what there is, you already have 25% more than you had before.
If you are not a designer, but you have ideas, look for an independent designer. A good professional designer should be able to capture your ideas and materialize them into sketches and designs. Besides looking at their work or what it costs, consider their ability to communicate with you, to capture your ideas.
Focus on branding. The longevity of a brand is based on the loyalty of its customers. It is not all about getting a good design, but about linking the brand to a style and staying with it.
If you are going to outsource production, when looking for a manufacturer or screen printer, be honest and realistic with him. Make sure you have an idea and know what to do with it before contacting them.
Many starting brands release only a couple of designs to begin with, usually to limit risk. Put yourself in your clients’ shoes and you will soon realize that this is too little, it does not generate enthusiasm or confidence.
With the new digital printing techniques (t-shirt printers, sublimation,…), you can present many designs with a minimum investment.
Reinvest. Both in designs and in stocks. The time will come to harvest, for now we must sow.
Be very patient. Consolidating a brand requires it, and in large doses. If you can, get busy on other projects while it’s happening.
Draw up a marketing plan. Don’t think that if you have good designs, customers will look for you. It is exactly the opposite: you are the one who has to provide the means to reach the consumer.
Put the brand in front of their eyes time after time, and don’t stop being patient. Another important thing: talk, talk and talk about it in all the spaces you can: forums, blgs, networks,… Just by doing so you will contribute to awaken interest in her.
Don’t be obsessed with making money. It’s the ultimate goal, no one disputes it, but not the means. Concentrate on promoting the brand, on doing your homework well.
Try to enjoy your work to the fullest. For that, you must be able to identify with your brand, otherwise it will be very difficult to make it credible. And it will be difficult for you to play the role that corresponds to you. It must be something you would wear, and with pride.
Don’t copy. Okay, okay, we are all “influenced” by other designers… besides, it is assumed that almost nothing is 100% original (whether it is intentional or not)… but don’t go overboard with the use of those licenses.
Don’t worry about it. For example, if you can’t include in the initial collection some printed suspenders that you like… if you don’t get there in time to launch a customized packaging… well, don’t! 2 good reasons?
If you want to compete with the working capacity of the big companies, you will break. Besides, you have to reserve, to dose: in building a brand, constancy is worth more than abundance.
Attend professional clothing and fabric fairs. He visits both the big brands and the small independent ones. You will see the new trends, get inspired…
The hardest part of creating a clothing line is achieving recognition from the major clothing chains, if you want to achieve this avenue of sale. Buyers only think about finding things that sell well. So, don’t forget that the ones who have the last word on whether your products should reach the stores are the buyers.
Be realistic about which sales channel is best for you. Or the one you’re really qualified for. For example, have you thought about what would happen if a buyer from a large chain asked you for 1000 units per store?
Protect yourself. Register and patent what you can. It’s impossible to do everything, but be selective and do it. To sell, you have to teach. And that implies that some will copy you.
It’s not fair, but assume it’s inevitable from now on. If you make it clear that you did it first (in a blog, a specialized magazine,…), it could even be a help to spread your brand.
Growing up too fast may not be as lucky as it seems. You can die from success if you are not able to adjust demand to what you are able to serve, within the agreed time frame. Learn to give up on orders, rather than accepting them and not attending to them.