There are plenty lists dedicated to “How to Start A Clothing Line”.  We provide some tips that make starting a clothing line even easier. Resourcefulness and a bit of elbow grease can help you save money and time. Check out our list of Do’s and Don’ts before you start!

 

Do Qualitative Research

 

Narrow down your target market significantly. There are hundreds of brands out, make sure your line solves a much need problem for your targeted shoppers.  

Get personal! Ask question about fit, aesthetics, shopping preferences and motivations. The more you know the better your long term strategy will be.

Don’t Rely on Demographics Alone

Demographics are a great way of grouping people into types with some predictable outcomes so that other people can form stereotypes and broad generalizations. They are not however, the best way to know your customer.
When it comes to your target market, demographics aren’t even half of the battle. Make sure you’re collecting RELEVANT , up-to-date information from analytics and don’t be afraid of social commerce.

Have a Plan for Fit in Your Designs

If you don’t know by now, fit is a problem that needs solving.  

Consider fit during your pattern making process and e-commerce content development plan. Pay attention to fit because it’s a major competitive advantage online. Major KEY!

Use 3D design technologies to fit your products on virtual fit models if you do not have frequent access to fit models. Some programs like Clo3D costs as little as $80/month!

Don’t Just Make Things That are Great to Look At

Trust us, when it comes to trends fast fashion will always have you beat.

Instead of making haute couture pieces that you and your design school friend ooze over, consider making functional pieces. There is enough clothing waste in the world be mindful when creating your garments. Trends come and go but offer something that can stick with your consumers. It will also make it easier to align your brand with platforms, publications and market segments.

Do Be Smart About Sample Making

 

Companies like us exist that can cut the cost of your sample making, sourcing and manufacturing significantly. Make sure you shop around before Shelling out your budget on sample making.

Don’t Settle for the $1000/Sample Price

Be willing to find competitively priced sample makers. Also consider 3D sample making which saves resources and provides a visual representation of your product.
You can even have advanced sewing students help to create your samples… get creative and don’t settle!

Do Plan for Partnerships

You will go farther if you partner with the right people!

There are numerous platforms that can help get your brand into the hands of the right consumer. Part of your research should be how these platforms fit with your brand identity. Subscription services are awesome and help to get your product in front of the right folks! Blogs are even better! But knowing which ones are best for you is most important.

Don’t Be Lazy About Product Placement

Getting in touch with buyers is a great thing. But social media and social commerce gives your opportunities at your fingertips. Building organic followings and giving your products out to the right people can help boosts your sales tremendously. But don’t get too caught up in the influencer hype, choose the right people.  
Set aside a budget for gratis items and make a calendar of events and opportunities for brand placements. Be sharp, be savvy but don’t be cheap! Thinking about this in your initial strategy will save you from shelling out excess money later.

Do Create Unique Online Experiences

Don’t just throw up a catalogue full of items for your online shoppers. Anticipate how your customers will want to shop (refer to your qualitative research) and create unique categories, content and information to better serve your customers.
Your research will tell you exactly what your customer needs when shopping online.  An online presence is a must, so make it great and don’t waste our time with your subpar websites that are like every other one.

Don’t Neglect Mobile Apps

An app is an awesome way to extend customer service and to engage with your customers. You can get reviews, ratings, facilitate exclusive releases and remind your best customers when their favorite products arrive. You can even style them via an app. The possibilities are limitless!
Not having a mobile strategy of some kind will definitely cost you sales.