Start your own clothing line....
A clothing brand also not just about being as good as your best design but the business you need to create around it. Well, assuming you are well aware of this and have the ultimate passion for clothing, style, or design with some sense of business or marketing, let’s dive in.
It’s not easy to start a clothing brand or clothing line. Many people see it as an easy-to-start business opportunity to get in.
Even if that’s true, the success rate for a new clothing brand is not much high.
It has been noticed that to run a clothing brand successfully, you need to have a lot of passion and interest in clothing.
A clothing brand also not just about being as good as your best design but the business you need to create around it.
Well, assuming you are well aware of this and have the ultimate passion for clothing, style, or design with some sense of business or marketing, let’s dive in.
So how you can build a clothing brand from scratch in 2021?
Well, first of all, it requires mastering various aspects of this business such as design, product quality, manufacturing, marketing, retailing and more.
Identify What Market Needs
Fashion, merchandising or clothing is a highly competitive and populated market. There are just too many players on the table.
Not just there is an abundance of small fishes trying to survive but also sharks of the industry occupy a large portion of the sea.
That doesn’t mean it doesn’t need another clothing brand or fashion brand. It doesn’t also reduce the potential of the market.
But the fact becomes more evident, that you need to press the right buttons to get in. You cannot be just another clothing brand competing with anyone and everyone in the same league.
Finding Your Own Turf
The idea is not to play the game everyone is playing. Create or find your own game and beat others at it.
Any successful fashion brand or clothing line doesn’t succeed on the credibility of the idea or the vanity of the designer.
It happens when you work on the niche where the demand exists. You need to find opportunities living in the disguise of ignorance, problems, and requirements.
See what more can be done? Is there something you can offer that doesn’t exist already?
Do you come up with something that really people need or love?
Find a niche that still needs top players and see how you can deliver upto the expectations.
Look Who’s Your Target Audience
Another crucial and clarifying step to begin with building your own clothing brand is identifying your target audience.
This step alone helps you get utter clarity on how you approach almost everything.
The target audience gives you perspective on :
- What kind/ style of clothes do you want to focus on?
- How to position yourself in the market?
- How to approach your customers?
- What price bracket will you be putting your products in?
And much more.
You have to consider the targeted market of that particular product you are out to sell. What are their sensibilities on pricing? What are their preferences on style?
Even if you are great with the design and other strategies, with the market or the potential customer, there is no use.
Creating A Business Plan
Why Do You Need A Business Plan For Your Clothing Brand?
The business plan helps you steer in the right direction to kickstart your business and heading it towards success.
Three distinct steps required or you can say, these are the reasons behind crafting a business planfor your fashion brand.
- Opening Your Clothing Brand
- Expanding the Business
- Forming partnership, Alliances, or Deals
How You Will Define Your Brand?
Your business needs to have a clear brand identity that specifically must resonate with your target customers.
If you have that, you can know what your leanings are.
However, still you need to be confident, articulating, and communicating enough about the values and objectives you emit as a brand.
You need to know how to communicate with your target audience.
So introspect on your brand identity, and find the best way to define it, so your business has clarity on what they stand for.
Also, you must have many ideas related to starting a clothing brand, so test those ideas on the brand identity you want to establish for your business.
Deciding What Clothing Products To Sell
Specialization or niche market is the new norm of 21st-century business, especially after the e-commerce boom.
When you can sell your products almost around the world to any person, every universal buyer has better choices to make.
So, you cannot be just another clothing brand or seller in the market.
You cannot just sell every clothing item like a clothing store. You have to have some premium selections or choice in style or kind of clothes to sell.
There must be a particular clothing product or set of products you should sell or at least to start with. It is because :
- It will help you focus more on the quality of the item,
- Better quality of the design
- More efficient inventory management.
- Easy brand positioning in the market
- Quicker penetration in the market
- Specialization helps you stand out in the competition
You have to be careful with what clothing option you want to move forward with.
Here are some micro-niches in fashion/clothing line to begin with or to focus on:
Selecting The Business Model For Your Clothing Line
While starting your own clothing line, the initial phase includes you taking a lot of decisions, very critical decisions for the future of your business.
It can dramatically change the outcomes for your business, so better select after analyzing all the pros and cons.
If you look at the most common routes you have in case of choosing a clothing line business model, here you are left with :
- Print-On Demand
- Private Label
- Custom Cut & Sew
Print-On-Demand Clothing Line
The easiest option you can go for is starting a print-on-demand clothing line brand. It basically involves branding blank existing clothing products and apparel.
You will get your logo printed on high-quality clothing products such as T-shirts, hoodies, etc
The Print-on-demand clothing business appears to be an attractive business model for people with low-budget investment.
The biggest advantage of this business is the requirement of low investment and fully-automated operations.
However, there is a drawback with this particular business model, and that is low-profit margins.
Another drawback can be the lack of quality assessment in the case of getting wholesale clothing.
This business model is surely quite efficient and fast in production which makes small print orders quite simple to fulfill.
Time to establish the Business: Few Days
Cost : $0-$500
Difficulty Level: Very Low
- Easiest Business Model Option For Clothing Line
- No Cost For Setup
- Ideal for low-investment business owners
- Versatile options
- High-quality products
- Limitation in print product selection
- Quality control issue
- No volume discounts
Private Label Clothing Line
A private label clothing line or Wholesale clothing line is quite like a print-on-demand clothing line, except there is more involvement, more personalization, and higher margins.
You offer clothing products that are high in quality and more customized. It also offers a wider range of options for customers.
Here you need to buy blank / unbranded clothing products which further go for customization such as prints, tags, labels, etc.
And since you will be purchasing bulk inventory upfront, it becomes essential for you to have a warehouse as well.
When you purchase all the inventory items in bulk, you are surely going to get higher margins to price your products better.
It also gives you more control over the product as compared to the print-on-demand clothing line option.
A private label clothing line gives you more opportunity to expand and grow as brand over a period of time.
Time to establish the Business: Some Weeks
Costs : $2,500+
- Discounts on volume purchase
- Higher margins
- Potential to increase in perceived value
- Only able to print simple images/design
- Not cost-effective for a much broader variety in clothes.
- Minimum order begins from 10 units per size/color
- Shipping and inventory management is on you only.
Custom Cut & Sew
The very simple way to put down what is a custom cut & sew clothing line, is you are going to do everything here.
And this starts from the very designing to manufacturing and shipping the end product to your
There are many processes involved in this process of clothing line where you can also automate or outsource some work but not without investment.
This route is not easy and can be really intense. It surely needs a certain cash flow to survive in the market.
You can outsource manufacturing but must be able to find one who is ready to go for smaller runs with you.
There is a lot of testing for quality required in the process to reach your final product before you get it out.
Time to establish the Business : 3 months – 1 year
- 100% customized product
- Increased margins
- Increased perceived value from customers.
- High startup cost
- Takes time to launch
- Difficult and complex
- Multiple processes to manage
Understanding The Target Market Trends
One of the important pieces of advice a business expert will give you is to watch the trends closely.
You need to give attention to the highlights, trends, and brands respective to your target market.
The idea is to choose something you are good at and start acknowledging it as a potential business.
More closely you understand the market, and the target customers, their struggles, preferences, problems, aspirations, and expectations, the more likely you to create an effective high-profit selling product.
Adapting To Market Trends
You need to adapt to the trends in the market, personalize them and make it work for your target customers.
Fashion and clothing are a lot about adapting to the changes in preferences of your ideal customer. This varies from one type of clothing to another.
Filling The Gaps
There is everything for everything or as that seems to appear but an aspiring fashion business person would look for the gaps in the industry.
You will always find a gap to fill, something to do new, some room for improvement, or some level of disappointment in a brand or industry.
Well, That’s it! Hop on, and that can be a potential market to capture.
Social Media Is Your Game
The brand is more than just your logo and design. It is about connecting to your prospective customers.
The idea is to build a lifestyle around the products you offer under your brand. Social media is the best tool to extend your personality into your product or content.
You can bring brand identity to every piece of content on your social media. Also, to ace social media, you need to be consistent.
Make sure you have a high and constant frequency of publishing. Have a unique flair in your content and increase the interaction with your potential customers.
The best you do is to make it interesting, and not boring