Step-by-Step Process for Building Clothing Brand from Scratch
Building clothing brand in the USA can be an exciting and rewarding endeavor. And there are many enthusiast who want to start a clothing line in the USA. But, coming from a different background they want to know what it takes to start this venture and make it a success. Being a fashion tech pack designer and clothing manufacturer I come across 5 to 6 people every day. They come to us with their dream of starting a clothing brand but have no information about how it works. In fact, they want consultation on steps and processes to follow. It,s been a long pending discussion ignored for quite a time. Today, I am going to give you the most awaited answers for the question of “How to Start a Clothing Line“. To help you navigate the process, here’s a step-by-step guide to get you started:
Here are some vital steps that you should follow for fashion brand building. I am going to give you the points first and discuss them in detail. So let’s start with the steps.
Develop Your Brand Concept:
What makes your brand unique and distinct from other brands. Here you need to define and find your Unique Selling Point. Begin by defining your brand identity, target market, and unique selling proposition. Identify your niche and understand the market trends and consumer preferences that align with your vision. This seems trivial initially but going forward this is how people are going to know and remember you. So, take this seriously and work on it with utmost dedication.
Create a Business Plan:
Starting any business involves cost and when you start something you have no aid or investment. So whatever you invest it will be from your pocket and savings. So, take a wise decision and make sure whatever you spent its worth it. I have seen people who have done bare minimum investment and made a fortune out of it. I am sure there must be people around you as well. Outline your business goals, strategies, and financial projections in a comprehensive business plan. This will serve as a roadmap for your clothing brand’s success and help you secure funding if needed.
Conduct Market Research:
Knowing what people want is imporatnt. No matter how much saturated the market is there is always some void. The trick is to find out that and build your brand around it. So, to make your brand a success, you must know what people want and what the current market is offering and at what cost. To do so, you need to dive deep in to market research. You can gain some insight in to target audience, your competors, pricing and how they supply. Try to understand the consumer preference and the emerging trends. also figureout the potential gap in the market that your brand can fill. This is an ongoing process starting from the begining.
Register Your Business:
Now that you have done somuch, it is time to give a shape to your business. This you can do by giving a leagal structure for your clothing brand. And register it with the appropreate federal authorities. Get necessary licences and permits to operate legally. You should begin with treadmarking your brand name and logo for protectation. Many people after doing everything ask me to change their brand name and logo. This they do right before apparel production. This is a costly affair and you end up paying a lot extra. So, my advise is to do it in the begining.
Know your Collection Line-Sheet:
It is important to realize what you see when you think of a brand. Do you want to build a collection line sheet and showcase it in a show? or You want to take things on a continuous and regular basis with the aim to build your business. Pick a line that fits your concept as well as investment capacity. Because accept that you can not offer anything and everything. The point often overlooked by new apparel brands is they try to come up with a complete collection. A mix collection for men’s wear, women’s wear, and kidswear. If you are doing this stop there. You got one style from each segment are you serious?
Plan Your Collection Linesheet :
What should be the size of your collection, and how many styles you want to prepre to lunch initially. This is a very imporatnt question to figureout because this directly affect your budget. You need to make sure you have a decent number of styles in your collection. At the same time this should also suits your budget. You can refer to my blog post “How to Give Your Style Idea a Shape“. Here I have explained in detail how you should make your collection. You can convey your vision to a technical designer by following those steps.
Decide Your Collection Styles and Size:
Once you know your concept next step is to decide what styles you want to keep in your collection line sheet. For example for a sportswear line tracksuit, pants, windbreaker, tank tops, sports bra, etc. In other words, is your collection going to focus on one style or on a complete set of all sportswear apparel? Also, figure out the number of styles you and to add for each of the style categories. It is always good to have fewer categories but more styles in each of the categories. This is how you should plan your collection line sheet. Especially when you are starting your clothing line and with no external finance or investment stick to one or two categories. Gradually you can increase the categories. Please follow the steps to put together your clothing line-sheet before hiring a clothing designer.
Design and Develop Your Clothing Line:
Once you have prepared your clothing line sheet with style details the next step is design and tech pack. Here you have to hire a tech pack designer to design your fashion design sketches and tech packs. You need to work with a freelance fashion designer and get your collection with unique style appeal. You should have the tech packs and spec sheet ready before you approach a manufacturer. You have now completed the first phase in the process of building a clothing brand. Once you are ready with all the above information, consult a technical clothing designer. You need tech packs and a spec sheet for your collection before you approach the clothing manufacturer. You can get a consultation and prepare your collection line sheet and tech packs to take your collection to a clothing manufacturer. Keep tuned for my next post for further guidance.
Decide and Gather Information on Standard Size :
Measurements are everything for standard quality apparel and brand reputation. There are different standard measurements followed across geographical areas of the world. For example, in European size, the USA itself has two different standard sizes. Asian and South East Asian standard size. Now it is up to you to follow your standard measurements. This also depends on your business location, and the crowd you are selling to. You can pick your standard measurement through your competitor brand’s website. So any brand that fits your choice of styles would be a good choice. You can also consult a technical clothing designer to give you this. Please note that standard measurement is not the spec sheet. Technical designer prepares spec sheet using standard measurement. Spec sheets are different for every single style and unique for each style.
Once youar tech packs are ready, you can approach a manufacturer to develop sample. You need samples and prototypes to make sure you tet the right quality and fit of your garments as designed. Sample development is an expencive process and any alteration in the sampling process can cost a fortune. So make sure your tech pack and spec sheet are correct and confirmed by you so that you do not have to change in between. Do confirm the cost of producing sample. If you confirm your order with the factory for the bulk production, the factory should develop sample for free. But if you are not sure if you want to do bulk production, the sample development is chargable.
Source Suppliers and Materials:
Ideally, It is the responsibility of a cloting manufacturer to source materials. But if you have a plan to source materials and supply to the vendor, connect with fabric and trim vendors etc,. Source quality suppliers that align with your brand’s aesthetic and quality standards. Identify reliable manufacturers for your clothing line. Establish strong relationships to ensure consistent production.
Plan Production and Manufacturing:
Determine the most suitable production method for your clothing brand. Intorospect which method is right , whether in-house or outsourcing to manufacturers. Consider factors like cost, quality control, and production capacity. Create a production timeline and track progress closely. During production it is important to keep in touch with the clothing manufacturer. Hire a freelance QA or an agency to make sure the production pices are of high quality.
Decide Production Quantity / Style / Color:
Now it is time for you to access your budget and what investment you are ready to do for your business. In other words, what would be the volume you have thought of producing? Because the first thing that a manufacturer would as is the quantity you want to produce for each style. And if you are not prepared with that number you should not contact them. Furthermore, if you are not prepared with your tech packs and spec sheet they will not entertain you as well.
Set Up Sales and Distribution Channels:
Decide on your sales strategy, whether through an e-commerce website, brick-and-mortar stores, or a combination of both. Explore partnerships with retailers or consider selling directly to consumers through online marketplaces. Establish a compelling online presence through a professional website, social media platforms, and engaging content. Use digital marketing strategies like SEO, social media advertising, and influencer collaborations to increase brand visibility.
Launch and Promote Your Clothing Brand:
Plan a captivating brand launch event or online campaign to generate buzz and attract customers. Implement marketing tactics such as email marketing, PR efforts, collaborations, and strategic partnerships to promote your brand effectively. Continuously evaluate the performance of your clothing brand, analyze customer feedback, and adapt your strategies accordingly. Stay updated on industry trends, consumer demands, and market dynamics to remain competitive.
You have now completed the first phase in the process of building a clothing brand. Once you are ready with all the above information, consult a technical clothing designer. You need tech packs and a spec sheet for your collection before you approach the clothing manufacturer. You can get a consultation and prepare your collection line sheet and tech packs to take your collection to a clothing manufacturer. Keep tuned for my next post for further guidance. Remember, starting a clothing brand requires dedication, perseverance, and a strong understanding of the industry. By following these steps and staying committed to your vision, you can pave the way for a successful clothing brand in the USA. Good luck!