In all of known economic history the segment that has produced the most billionaires has been no other than the fashion and the apparel industry. Its power exceeds that of the tech world, the financial corporations and the entertainment conglomerates, and stands above all as the ultimate stamp on global trends. However with all the prestige, fame, riches and glory come the unprecedented risks that one must be aware of prior to launching their global empire. Our team at Apparelmark put together a short list of some of the key things to consider prior to taking on the fashion world.
5 Questions To Ask Before You Launch a Fashion Brand
For many of us having our own name on a label or see someone on the street wearing our product would truly be an unforgettable experience that could be possible with a successful fashion business. Before you go out and take on the exciting world of apparel design our team at Apparelmark put together the following 5 questions to ask yourself prior to starting out:
1) Do you have an original design or want to knock off an existing style?
Depending on your vision for the brand it is important to note if you want to consult the services of a professional fashion designer to create proprietary designs for your label or take a risk by getting a apparel manufacturer to knock off an existing style. Both options are viable depending on your immediate goals and both have their pros and cons.
2) Do you have fabric picked out?
The most important step after confirming your design ideas is to obtain the right fabric for your idea. Fabric is the most important part of any garment and should be considered as the focal point of any design or knock off work. Understanding the technical and functional properties of fabric takes years of experience and we highly recommend securing the fabric selection with an industry professional before any other work is done on your end.
The forms that designers produce are flexible, so long as the results serve the need.Frank Chimero
3) Do you have a reliable manufacturer partner secured for the production process?
A critical part of getting your product made correctly and professionally is having a strong manufacturing partner assigned to the project. Consider the options of developing your products locally (North America) vs Internationally (Global) as both have specific Pro’s and Con’s associated with their options. We highly recommend securing a manufacturer who is also familiar with securing your chosen fabric and has a strong development background to ensure your proto types are made to spec.
4) Have you estimated all the costs and secured the funding necessary for production + development?
While the apparel industry does carry some of the biggest margins in the retail world it is incredibly important to budget your finances correctly , especially going into your first major production run. Things like designer fees, sampling fees, development expenses, courier fees, duties, custom fees, trims and fabric fees, freight fees & taxes must all be accounted for when budgeting for a proper style release. Our team at Apparelmark recommends that clients obtain an estimate of all the fees associated with their proposed style/brand prior to start prototyping or even prospecting for fabric.
5) Do you have a solid distribution channel and marketing platform?
Getting the right design, manufacturing and secure funding may be important steps towards creating a successful fashion label the way you want to present it to the world would be the final key step in the process. Whether it be an E-Commerce site, a Kickstarter campaign, collaboration with an existing merchant or simply selling it on Amazon we recommend that you create a strong marketing campaign to coincide with your sales channels to ensure your products are noticed and well received.