In our previous blog “Starting Your Own Fashion Brand” post we outlined some of the requirements for starting your fashion brand. Now we are going to delve into the various stages that will take you from a fledgling designer to a recognised fashion brand.
So, where do we start? Well we have already identified you have the talent, enthusiasm and drive to be a fashion designer, now we need to put some meat on the bones and formulate your plan. The first, obvious step, is to create your concept, but what exactly is a concept?
“Fashion refers to a prevailing or preferred manner of dress, adornment, behavior, or way of life adopted by society or by any culture or subculture at a given time”.
The first thing to do is to decide which sector you are going to be in. Are you going to focus on mens or ladies fashion and are you going to include a childrens range? are you looking to specialise in formal wear, evening wear, swimwear, lingerie, etc? Is your collection going to be ready to wear (pret a porter) or haute couture (high fashion)? Once you have decided on your chosen sector your planning is already starting to take shape and some formal structure is being established.
Your concept needs to be unique to you, though this does not always mean a completely new idea, it might be your take on an established design style. It might be that you develop a specific signature or brand value such as hand stitching, that is inherent in all the collections you produce. Concepts should incorporate your USP(s) (unique selling points) and differentiate you from your competition. Think to yourself “why will people want to wear my designs?”. You are a consumer yourself and you will have your own style and brand preferences so you should have an idea about why you buy certain designer collections.
You also need to consider your target audience (customers/clients). Who are you designing for? What is the essence? Do you have a brand message? Will your brand be able to grow along development lines?
A good idea is to take a look at the competition (competitor analysis comes later in the series) to see where they started from and how they have developed their brands. Louis Vuitton, for example, started life in 1854 making quality leather products such as trunks and luggage and today their range extends to clothing, accessories and of course luxury handbags.
We would suggest that you get a pen and paper (or laptop) out and start to formulate some ideas based on our initial outline. Hopefully by the time we have posted our next blog you will have your concept in mind.
Good luck everyone.
Grace and Garbo