Starting a fashion line requires a large amount of research, especially for the new designer.
The first type of research you’ll want to do is market research. Browse the web for potential competitors, and compile them into a list. You’re going to have to research the following points about each of your competitors:
Mission Target Market (Demographics of their customers) Experience Sales Strategy (Retail or Wholesale?) Median Price Range Marketing Strategy (Social Media? Paid Advertising?)
Keep all of this info neat and organized, because you’re going to put it into a polished business plan later in the game.
Starting a fashion line requires researching your own target market, too. You need to define this group in its entirety. Find out the following things:
How much money do they make? What is their disposable income? Where do they like to shop? Where do they “hang out” online? How much money do they spend on clothing? What are their needs, are customers? How are their needs being met in the current market? Why will they be inclined to purchase your product?
In addition, you will need to start searching for suppliers. These are the people that will make clothing production possible. Starting a fashion line is easiest when using a full-service company that can create your samples from your sketches, and translate those samples into patterns, and finished products. Researching these companies in advance will give you a better idea of your options, and allow you to think about the type of supply chain you would like to have. Ask yourself these questions as you research:
Do I want to outsource, or produce in the USA? Where do these suppliers source their fabric from? What are the working conditions of overseas suppliers? How much experience do they have? What is their lead time? Who are their other clients? How will I import products back to the States? What type of company do I want to support with my business? What is the company’s stance on the environment, the planet, and bottom-line profits?