When starting a business, you first need to look at the demand. When it comes to clothes, it is never-ending. However, it is also an extremely competitive sector, so you will need to be able to distinguish yourself from other brands that already exist, and the new ones coming into the market. Here are a few things that you will need to do, before you are ready to launch your first collection.
Plan Your Branding Carefully
The art of branding is particularly important in the fashion industry. The truth is, many boutiques share more or less the same models of clothes. The difference between one that sells more than the other is branding. It is even more important for designers themselves. If you think of fashion brands, you will immediately think of the luxury lines, such as Dior, Versace and Gucci. If you ever visited their stores, you already would know that their clothes are out of the ordinary, to say the least; not something you could wear to go to work. But if you see the way they brand their products in advertisement and through entertainment stars, you understand how powerful a name can become.
That is where you need to start. Choose your name carefully. If you intend to become a major fashion designer, it is best to turn your name into a brand itself, as most do. Then, choose a font to write it in a special way, or better yet, have an artist draw it. Keep it clean and easily readable. If you want to add another visual element to it, make sure it doesn’t lower the value of the name. When it is complete, print your first batch of personalized labels by Wunderlabel. It will be your reward for a job well done, and you will be able to attach them right away, once you have completed your first collection.
Online Store and Wholesale Distribution
If your goal is to be highly exclusive, then you should start by building an online store, which will become the only sales point for anyone looking to buy your clothes. If you do so, you will have to invest heavily in online marketing and make sure that your SEO strategy is optimal. Otherwise, your business will never grow. This is a riskier bet, but exclusivity does have a price. And if your goal is to join the ranks of the “Chanels” of the world, then it is the right solution for you.
If you would rather see your brand grow rapidly and be available to as many consumers as possible, then you need to look for wholesale distribution. Most clothing companies prefer that route. There are even some that launched their own store and closed them later on, to go back entirely to this distribution route. The advantage with wholesale is that the pieces you sell will not be coming back to you later on, as the exchange is final. However, be prepared to start with consignment, in order to prove that your clothes will attract consumers. In this strategy, you at least get to go inside store, but whichever pieces of clothes are not sold will come back to you, unpaid.
Participate in Events
In business, no matter which field you are working in, you need to gain as much visibility as you can. Sometimes, to do so, you can participate in a variety of events. In fashion, the first one that comes to mind is naturally fashion shows. Local events can include them, so do a search online to find out where you can apply.
If what you aim for is to be part of the luxury world, then you will have to aim higher. The best solution is to takes part in fashion weeks, in main cities. That would be London, Paris and Milan in Europe. It will be impossible to join the main stages, unless you know someone that can fit you in, but there are always secondary venues in these events, which you should try to infiltrate. This is certainly the best visibility you can get, as people that attend these shows are either big fashion fans, or brands looking for new designers.
Advertise on Social Media
This is the easiest way to start selling, directly from your website. You can use Instagram, Facebook or any other social media that you prefer. People enjoy videos, so try to record one of your fashion show, and piece some shots together on a short reel (less than 30 seconds). Link it to your e-boutique and focus on the public you believe is right for you. You may start with people living close by (inside the country you live in), to reduce the shipping costs. Keep in mind that some people may send back the clothes, as all manufacturers let them do so, nowadays.