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Planning to start your own clothing line business? Here are some amazing tips.

By: Sahil Mittal | Date : 20 Apr 2020 | Category : Fashion & Lifestyle

Date : 2 years ago

The demand for fashion, clothing & apparel is growing at an alarming pace across the world. As per Statista latest report, the global apparel market is expected to reach $1.5 trillion by 2020. If you are one among those aspiring designers who have the thrill to introduce newer designs ideas & aesthetics in the market, then it’s the perfect time to launch your clothing design business.

1615529082start-online-clothing-business.jpg

Maybe you have the passion to design beautiful sketches right from your childhood, have already received major appreciation from friends and family won amazing awards during your college tenure, or maybe you have the caliber to share a part of the trillion-plus dollars floating across the retail industry. Regardless of your entrepreneurial drive, you need to have a basic understanding of the ins and outs of the fashion design business. Today, through this article we bring you an excellent guide on how to start a clothing line this summer 2020.

Not an Expert with Designing Clothes? Not to Worry!

If you have a knack for designing clothes & illustrations, craziness, and dedication to making your brand successful, then nothing can stop you in launching your private label business. Every designer has to face some crucial time in getting his/her brand to reach the market and make it an iconic brand. Here we list out some important tips and guidelines that will surely help to build a successful clothing brand.

1. Choosing a Clothing Line Business Model that works:

After you are finalized with choosing your particular niche, the next an important step will include choosing a definite business model. Here are four different types of business models that exist.

A. Print-on-demand:

This kind of business model is meant for beginners who don’t have sufficient funds for their business to start with. All you need is to imprint designs & logos on blank apparel as chosen by customers. This model work in two definite types, with the first being customer desire-driven imprints and second through an online operator or aggregator business, that upload their designs on the websites and customer make choices out of the listed.

This kind of business model carries a very small margin and is often the choice of the beginners or the ones with very less designing knowledge.

                                     Man-printing-clothing

B. Private label

This business model offer designers much more personalization options and higher margins on its side. Designers get the flexibility to build their brands by adding labels, tags & prints.

In order to maximize profits, designers can purchase blank apparel in bulk and can sell them in online and offline markets. This business model is more profitable in comparison to Print-on -demand model.

                                     private-label-clothing

C. Custom cut-and-sew:

Choice of more than a million design aspirants, this business model demands a lot of proficiency and effort. Right from sketching, fabrics, patterns, and manufacturing designers have to manage on their own. Also, these types of business models are highly capital intensive and it takes a lot of costs to come out with the finished product.

                                    man-sewing-clothes

D. Drop-Shipping

With the advancement in the supply chain technology, this model is in increased demand among sellers. However, sellers don’t have any access to quality control. Since the model doesn’t demand any storage of the products and is directly shipped to customers from wholesalers and manufacturers, many a time the customers are served with bad quality products.

A very risk intensive model, choosing it can end up your career losing faith among your customers. Premium manufactures should be chosen if opting for such kind of business model.

                                    drop-shipping-business

2. Decide your niche

Starting a clothes business requires a thorough understanding of the need in the market. You have to very particular while choosing your clothing segment you are looking to enter. Always start by asking yourself a few questions that will help you arrive at the best decision.

Which are the clothing segments that can have the least number of competitors in the market?

Tip: Always start by considering clothes that have the least competition in the market. Never enter into a market that already has a vast number of competitors already in the market. This won’t help you drive any successful business and you can land into potential losses for your business. You can start by designing kids’ apparel, hats, lingerie, fashion accessories, bags, sports apparel, etc.

What is your target audience for whom you want to design your clothes?

Tip: After deciding your clothing niche, head on to choosing your target audience. This can be explained with a very fine example, if you choosing kids section to move into, then simultaneously decide if you will be designing it for boys or girls. Also, decide what clothing segment you will be starting with. If for girls, then tops, dresses, skirts?

 What are the products you can easily scale your business?

 Tip: Now this is a very important point, always consider clothes with which you can easily scale your business and can move into other clothing segments as well. For e.g. choosing the boys section can help you choose simultaneously to go for girls section in future time. Also, check the latest updates with the apparel industry stats every month. You can check the detailed insider of any industry via McKinsey & Statista.

Always be specific while choosing your clothing niche during your start. Whether you are looking to introduce new designing trends in the market or desire to be a master of different fashion wears, be very precise with your decision. We recommend designers to start with single fashion wear and enter into other niches as they grow.

3. Selecting Clothing Products to Start With:

As we mentioned earlier in our example always scale down your niche to the single fashion category. The apparel market has a large number of product categories, always consider the ones that are highly in demand. Some of the examples include;

  1. Hoodies
  2. Shirts
  3. Pants
  4. Leggings
  5. Dresses
  6. Lingerie
  7. T-shirts
  8. Leggings
  9. Denim
  10. Outerwear
  11. Innerwear
  12. Casual Wear
  13. Sports apparel (Golf, Basketball, Baseball, Soccer, Rugby, Tennis)
  14. Designer Wear

We recommend designers not to apparently choose the verticals that are already among a large number of designers. For the designers who are already into fashion space for long, we recommend them to enter other design niches as well. For e.g. entering into a men’s section can be worth making the decision. Since, the retail industry is almost captured by international brands, joining an Ecommerce Aggregator like UEPAKI can help you enter the retail industry as well. Choose segments that don’t require much investment and design accordingly. About online marketplaces that can help you showcase your designs to a large number of potential audiences, we will name Myntra, UEPAKI, Yepme, Voonik. For Designer wears you can try AzaFashions, PerniaPop-up shop, and exclusive store UEPAKI.

4. Online Ecommerce Marketplaces Vs Individual Websites Vs Brick & Mortar Stores?

A lot of other times, we find the crowd totally confused between both. To understand the same check out our amazing article Ecommerce Websites Vs Online Marketplace to understand the drawbacks and benefits of opting either of two.

The year 2020 marked the starting new digital business era, with many online marketplaces, social media platforms opting for sponsored and paid marketing into their marketing funnel. On the other side, with almost 4.54 billion people active internet users as of January 2020, encompassing 59 percent of the global population, the customer is totally oriented towards businesses showing an online presence. This doesn’t leave any space for the traditional brick and mortar stores.

We recommend sellers to either go for eCommerce websites or no paid promotion platforms.

5. How to build an effective pricing strategy for your clothing line?

With so many competitors in the industry, getting regular leads & customers is a myth. Never target customers with the same spending horizons. This can limit your income from customers in a single-tier group. We recommend dealing with at least Tier-1 & 2 crowds. Also, design apparel keeping in mind the budget of customers and keep a major difference in your designing tone.

While pricing your items always keep in mind to includes all prices incurred in making the final product available. This can include;

  •  Costs incurred in making patterns, tech packs as well as other product development processes.
  •  The cost incurred in making prototypes & samples.
  •  Material costs for fabrics, buttons, zippers, etc.
  •  All transportation and inventory-related costs
  •  Labor cost
  •  Shipping cost if any,
  •  Production cost
  •  Store related costs like employee’s salary, electricity expenses, maintenance costs, etc.
  •  Manufacturing costs

Finalize your final costs adding your profit-margin. Your final costs should be competitive and should be enough for you to scale your business to the next level.

6. Design yourself an online portfolio:

The Digital era has totally revolutionized businesses over the years. With almost 4.54 billion people active internet users as of January 2020, encompassing 59 percent of the global population, the customer today value businesses that exhibit an online presence. As per industry stats, customers today browse online at least 4-5 sellers work before making a final purchase. This makes it highly relevant for designers to design themselves an online portfolio with leading eCommerce Marketplaces or online portfolio websites like Behance, 99 Designs, Design Pickle, or UEPAKI.

7. Promote your business on social channels:

Social media statistics from 2019 show that there are 3.5 billion social media users worldwide, and this number is only growing. That equates to about 45% of the current population (Marsys, 2019). With online players deciding your visibility on the platform as per your paid marketing budget and subscription have created enough problems for the creative and aspiring designers. Join marketplaces that totally believe in no paid promotions and sponsorships.

8. Collaborate with Illustrators and Designers:

With so many aspiring, creative fashion illustrators, and sketch artists in the industry, you can deliver creative designs every time, which is the key demand of every customer. You can also collaborate with other design professionals in the art and in graphic space.

Excellent Tip:

Collaborate with graffiti & doodle artists to create fine design pieces for your customers. This way you can deliver an amazing experience to your customers every time. Also network out with other professionals in the industry, which can award you successful referrals and recommendations.

9. Always deliver on time:

Customers always appreciate promising businesses that are firm about their commitments. In addition, try to deliver before time, as this can benefit you with higher compensation and credits. Besides these, your chances to get quality referrals, reviews, and ratings also increase.

10. Keep yourself updated:

With the market keep getting digitalized, designs too revolutionize every now and then. Always try to keep yourself updated with all the recent trends and happenings in your industry. This can even help you deliver the latest fashion design trends to your customers and businesses.

ADD-ON TIP: 

So, finally concluding it, we advise designers to join online designers’ communities to share your thoughts and ideas with other professionals in your industry. Also, do participate in online competitions held worldwide as this can help mark your presence among top industry experts and celebs. Your chance to rise as a successful freelance fashion designer totally depends upon your dedication and efforts towards your dream career.

If you enjoy reading this article, feel free to reach us out in the comment section below. I will be happy to hear from you.