Is it Time to Launch Your Own Clothing Line?
If you love fashion, you might decide that you want to launch a clothing line. After all, you have plenty of design ideas, and you know that there has to be an audience out there that will buy them! And if you do it correctly, you can launch a profitable clothing line, even if you’re currently on a limited budget.
However, many people launch a clothing line, manage to sell a few pieces, but then ultimately shut down because they just don’t have the finances to continue to their clothing line. So, how can you create a successful clothing line? Is it even the right time to launch a clothing line? Here are some factors you’ll want to keep in mind to determine if you’re ready.
Do you have the right skills?
Knowing how to put together a great outfit is great, but it isn’t enough to launch your clothing line. If you’re making the clothes yourself, you need to know how to design clothes and sew. Some online classes and videos help you to develop these skills.
You also need knowledge of business development. You have to be prepared to develop a business plan, manage a budget, network with others, possibly hire employees, and more. There are classes that can teach you how to run a business.
How will you develop a brand?
Developing a logo, creating visually similar collections, using customized labels for clothing, knowing what your values are, figuring out how to tell your story…there is a lot that you’ll do when developing a brand. Your brand is so much more than a logo. It is who you are and what values your company encompasses.
One way to start thinking through your brand is to look at other fashion designers on Instagram. Think about what personality they’re delivering through their posts and what that says about their brand.
What will your business model be?
There are a few different business models you can consider. Once you know what model you want, you can start to develop a stronger business plan. For example, if you run a successful vlog, you might want a simple clothing line that is just your logo on blank apparel that you can sell to fans.
Another model is wholesale, where you create a design then get it mass-produced through a company. Or, maybe you want to do everything yourself, from creating a sketch to sewing the final product.
Will you be different from other brands?
You also need to make sure there is a market for the type of clothing line you want to launch. For example, if you’re planning to sell at the local consignment, but someone else in your town is already producing similar clothes, what are you going to do to make yourself stand out?
If you cannot produce unique products, you could be setting yourself up for failure. Determine who your direct competition is and then determine what you can do to set yourself apart. This takes time and research.
Can you network with local industries?
Look into some of the local industries, such as fabric producers and print shops. Networking and partnering with a local company could make more of an impact. Chances are, there are people or other businesses that are partnered with them.
Therefore, when people hear you’re also partnering with them, you could gain an immediate audience. Many people enjoy supporting and developing their local economy, so if you can find a way to contribute to the existing local economic network, you may find yourself more successful as a new business.
How will you sell your products?
Finally, determine where and how you will sell your products. If you’re designing custom clothing, you may want to start by partnering with consignment shops in the area until you have an audience. Eventually, you may be able to operate your own retail space, but having an existing audience will help.
If you’re looking to mass-produce, an online store might be your best option. Keep in mind that running an online store comes with its own set of logistics, such as how you’re going to manage and ship inventory.
If you’ve read through all of this and you’re still interested in launching your clothing line, congrats! That is a sign that you’re ready! Keep in mind, the more persistent you are and the more prepared you are, the more successful your clothing line will be. There may be struggles along the way but you can overcome them.