That’s it, it’s decided, you want to start a clothing brand. To ensure your fame in the vast fashion world, it is better to respect certain essential steps to create your own clothing brand. In the world of clothing, there are many brands. Some will be known and some less, some survive and thrives while some others fall apart in a short time. To ensure a certain strength to its brand, the important thing is to know how to lay strong foundations.
The creation of a clothing brand therefore requires a lot of knowledge in various sectors. Good preparation is thus essential to your success. Ready-to-wear is divided into many subdomains. Your ability to detect trends, create new collections, manage your production and communicate around your creations, will be critical to your success.
The objective of this article is to present the basic and fundamentals on how to launch a clothing brand. While it is important to start properly, it might be interesting to think further ahead in a second time. In order to properly develop your clothing brand, many other subjects such as importations, stock management, tax management or even logistic will appear.
THE DIFFERENT STEPS TO START YOUR CLOTHING BRAND
One of the main mistake that young fashion entrepreneurs do, is to imagine that their product would please everyone without going through a real market analysis. The first main questions that you would like yourself should be :
- Textile and fashion market Analysis
- The identity of the clothing brand
- Human and material needs
- Business plan and financing
- Secure your brand name
APPREHEND THE TEXTILE MARKET
It is necessary to know the market before you start creating your clothing brand.
The first step is to carry out a market study that will validate or not your creative project and that will subsequently position itself on the market.
The project takes shape, you know where to lead it, you have laid out the road to follow. Then launch a market research, to check the validity of your idea in “real life”.
Observe the competition, buying habits and tastes of your target in terms of clothing, exchange with creators, discuss with friends and family, multiply meetings … Be curious and very observant, multiply the documentary researches and the field studies. Here are the main obvious points about the textile industry that you have to check and study
- The market: size, growth, cycle, profitability …
- Competition: direct or indirect, market share, growth and annual figures …
- Suppliers and distribution: who are they? how do they work?
- The regulations applicable to the product marketed.
The market study has the advantage of breaking down all prejudices and beliefs, to reveal if the real worth of the clothing project to be launched.
Position yourself on the textile market
Sportswear, chic, luxury, casual … what kind of clothes do you want to create? Who are you going to present them to? Who will be your clientele? Before drawing the models that will fury, it is appropriate to draw the lines of the project, and to distinguish the outlines.
A well-defined positioning is essential to create your first clothing collection, and especially to build the identity of the brand. Your positioning puts you on the market, allows you to identify your competitors.
THE IDENTITY OF THE CLOTHING BRAND
Having apprehended and understood the fashion market, it is necessary to define all the elements that will contribute to the identity of your fashion brand.
The name of the brand is also very important. It must be original but always consistent with the clothes you want to create but also with your future customers. A catchy name will be more likely to mark people’s minds than a banal name. Furthermore, the name depends a lot on your positioning.
The competitors are many, how to distinguish? Once the positioning is well defined, it is wise to look at the competition: operation, proposed ranges, communication strategy … and you, what are you going to tell?
The identity of the brand is what it evokes for the customer. A catchy name, an unforgettable logo, a graphic charter that tells a whole universe … Don’t forgot to secure your name and logo.
HUMAN AND MATERIAL NEEDS
Human and material needs are often ignored or botched before the creation of a society. However it is more important to be able to apprehend them, to accept their necessity as well as to quantify them.
The creation of a clothing brand can hardly be done alone. The human factor will be part of the financing plan that you will have to prepare later to evaluate your capital and your financing need.
Do not forget the presence of photographers, developers for your site, community managers, marketing managers, who will also cost you money but who are essential for to start your garment brand.
Material needs can be divided into two sub-categories:
- Fabrics, sewing materials such as logo, tags, … should be chosen carefully. The care of your garment manufacturer is paramount. It is therefore advisable to learn about the quality of textiles and materials. It is better to take your time to choose your clothing manufacturer, than to directly sign a commercial contract one.
- The workshop might be important mostly if you need to create your prototypes yourself. It can also become the office for the team. But it might not be necessary, and you might also prefer to outsource the samples of your clothes. Keep in mind that often, you will need to secure a production with a manufacturer if you want to make samples.
The cost of the two sub-categories is very different. These costs must be indicated in the financing plan.
THE BUSINESS PLAN AND FINANCING
The importance of the business plan
Writing the business plan is an essential step before starting a business.
Your idea has its place, and the brand is more than promising: it’s time to start, starting with the nerve of war: the financial question. The business plan or “financing plan” is the first “official” act of creating your brand. It must demonstrate that the project is viable in the long term.
All the elements established previously will be used to build the business plan. This one makes things clear and encrypted. It presents the people involved in the adventure and their role, walking clothes, the market, the competition …
The business model must prove the brand’s ability to create value, and its profitability. It is necessary to take into account the sources of income, and the points of expenditure, as well as all the actors of the chain, from the design of the garment to its sale and its manufacture. This is the time to consider wages, and brand pricing policy.
In summary, the business plan has 3 main goals, it must allow you to:
- validate the financial viability of your project,
- assess the financing needs,
- project yourself at the beginning of your activity.
It will allow you to be credible to investors and must not be slopped under any circumstances. The accompaniment by a professional is advised to put all the chances on his side.
The financing plan has a strong predictive value: we must be able to rely on it later to check the financial health of its brand. It forecasts the revenues that will be generated, after how much time, it estimates the expenses, the breakeven, the working capital requirements, the basic investments … It is estimated that a forecast must be able to give its figures on 3 to 5 years.
The project is now encrypted, it’s time to find funding. Put first your savings, not too big on the launch of the first collections. In addition to personal, raise funds from investors, banks, or find grants from dedicated organizations: there, the business plan will speak for itself and prove the seriousness of your brand, its profitability and prospects evolution, over time.
The creation of a clothing brand requires a large initial capital. The creation of the first models, the communication around the launch of the brand, the production, the sale, the staff, all this has a certain cost. So before you even start, it is necessary not only to develop a financing plan, but also to have raised the necessary funds for the creation of your clothing brand.