How To Start Up My Own Clothing Brand

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How To Start Up My Own Clothing Brand

How To Start Up My Own Clothing Brand

After earning a fashion degree, many budding designers launch into the real world with the same question that has long plagued all designers: now what?

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While fashion school can teach you pattern grading, sewing, and drawing, it doesn’t prepare graduates for what it’s like to actually start your own fashion brand.

Successful fashion designer and entrepreneur Sarah Donofrio uses real-world experience to complete the journey. What she’s learned over the past two decades is that taking your dream launch idea and bringing it into the crazy world of fashion requires a specific skill set, a generous dose of creativity, and savvy business sense.

In this guide, learn how to start a clothing brand from scratch, from education and design to manufacturing and marketing, with tips for selling clothing from a seasoned professional.

Sarah has lived and worked in two countries and her experience spans design, manufacturing, education and physical retail. In 2016 she was a contestant

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Since that moment of fame, Sarah has launched her own clothing line and e-commerce store, she has won numerous awards and has been featured in several publications and retail stores. Discover the secrets to her success with these 12 steps to developing your own clothing brand.

Designers like Vivienne Westwood and Dapper Dan were self-taught but found huge success in the fashion world. They started their careers before the Internet. Today we live in an age of access where learning how to rebuild an engine or sew a t-shirt is as simple as watching a YouTube video.

You can skip school and launch your own clothing line, but a classroom, online, or formal education has its benefits: Learn the latest industry standards, access resources and equipment, make connections, and get feedback from professionals.

How To Start Up My Own Clothing Brand

Sarah owes much of her success to learning vocational skills in a classroom setting, and much of her education was acquired working in corporate retail. “I wanted to work for myself, but I felt it was important to gain experience.”

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It took me a long time to feel confident enough to fill a store with my clothes. Sarah Donofrio, stylist and entrepreneur

Sarah is a great mentor, having spent several years learning the ropes from other brands and designers. “It took me a long time to believe that I could fill a store with my clothes,” she says. “I think I need time to grow and gain advice and experience.”

Many organizations offer fashion design and small business programs in various formats. Schools like Parsons in New York and Central Saint Martins in the UK are world-renowned for their fashion programs.

If you have more motivation than funds or time, fast track and online courses are on the rise for fashion industry aspirants. Check out local community colleges for virtual or part-time formats that fit your schedule and budget, or consider learning through sites like MasterClass (which has a fashion design course taught by Marc Jacobs himself ), Maker’s Row Academy or Udemy.

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To attract investors, your clothing line may need a business plan that describes your target market, brand identity and sales strategy.

As Sara discovered, the worlds of fashion and the world of business overlapped more than she expected.

Starting a clothing store requires the same considerations as starting any business. How much does it cost to start? When should you seek capital for your startup? What external help do you need to address the legal, financial, production and distribution aspects of the company?

How To Start Up My Own Clothing Brand

This guide is for those who want to design and develop their own clothing brand and collections. If you’re interested in the world of fashion but have no interest or skills in design, consider reselling it by buying wholesale or trying dropshipping.

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For those planning a clothing line from scratch, this is the point where you decide what type of business you want to run. This will help you determine how much time, effort and funding you will need.

Once you have a small business idea for your clothing line, you’ll be able to fund it yourself and start it up as you go. Designing and sewing custom clothing yourself means you don’t have to carry tons of inventory. However, to be profitable you will need to invest in equipment and large quantities of fabric upfront. Other costs include shipping materials, fees for launching your website, and marketing budget.

If you’re going to go all out and partner with manufacturers on a production run, you’ll have to incur high upfront costs to meet minimums. A solid business plan and costing exercise will help you determine how much funding you need.

In either case, expect to need several thousand dollars up front. “In fashion, you spend more than just fabric, buttons and labour,” says Sarah. “It costs you shipping, it costs you heat and rent.”

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However, there are several low-budget entry points into the world of fashion, including wholesale, dropshipping, and print-on-demand.

Sarah keeps an eye on trends, but ultimately she only incorporates those that make sense for her clothing brand.

Over the years spent actively developing the brand side of things, she Sarah has learned that while observing trends is extremely important, focus is just as important. Focus on your strengths and be true to your creative sensibilities.

How To Start Up My Own Clothing Brand

Fashion school will teach you the basics of making everything from underwear to evening wear. “The trick is to find what you’re good at and focus on that,” says Sarah.

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Her line has consistency from year to year – invariably the design choices of her pieces – Sarah is always on the lookout for trends. Adapt these trends to your brand, personalizing them and making them work for your customer, she says.

“I’ve always had a good attitude,” Sarah says. “But it’s all about transformation.” Sarah has worked on plus-size collections during her time in the corporate world and said transforming trends means considering the needs of plus-size customers too.

Even though she maintains her strengths, Sara impacts her growth in fashion and what happens in the world around her. “Take the athletes,” she says. “I don’t do tights, I don’t do sports bras, but this cool fabric crop top would look amazing with tights, so this is how I incorporate the trend.”

By maintaining tight production and control of the design, Sara was able to quickly pivot after the global pandemic, adding masks to her signature prints. She sold 1,100 masks in two months and turned those sales into repeat customers.

Im Starting My Own Clothing Brand And I Would Like Help To Get It Out There🙏. Im 18 Years Of Age From The Island Called Trinidad And Im Coming Up With My

Subscribe to fashion newsletters and podcasts to get inspiration for your idea, devour fashion publications, follow fashion influencers and catch trends before they emerge.

In the noisy world of fashion, she sees the possibility of finding niches or filling gaps in the industry like these inspiring startups:

Kerin Rose Gold began designing her own sunglasses before attracting the attention of major celebrities. She now employs other artists as she grows her own brand, A-Morir.

How To Start Up My Own Clothing Brand

A recognizable brand identity is a consistent thread throughout Sarah’s social media accounts, her online store, and her clothing designs.

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She remembers that “brand” doesn’t mean your logo (it’s the name of the brand). Building your fashion brand is an exercise in hiding your values, your mission, what you stand for, your history and more.

Creating brand guidelines will help inform all of your business and branding decisions as you grow. They will dictate the visual direction, website design and marketing campaigns. They should dictate what you’re looking for in a retail partner or new hire.

Use social media to build a lifestyle around your brand: share your inspiration and process, inject your personality, tell your story, and be intentional in every post.

“The key to social media is consistency,” says Sarah. “I think you should post every day, but it should be interesting.” She mixes her content with travel, inspiration, previews of current work, and some interesting stats on her analytics dashboard.

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Sarah is a proponent of the sketchbook as one of the most important tools for a designer. “I take my sketchbook with me everywhere,” she says. “When I draw, I always think, ‘Oh, this little drawing is going to turn into a repeating pattern.’”

She, she wasn’t allowed to bring her sketchbook with her because of competition rules. “She really threw me out of the game,” she says.

In building her own clothing line, Sarah has developed a unique illustration style that resonates with her target market.

How To Start Up My Own Clothing Brand

Buying fabric from people you know can go a long way, says Sarah. Building a network within the industry can help you access contacts of textile agents, wholesalers and factories. When she lived in Toronto,

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