Starting a fashion line requires proper planning. Here are 10 things to note for starters.
As a starter, there is no need to go into all kinds of clothing at once. This should also be considered when on a budget. You need to discover your niche and tap into it fully. Mai Atafo, Creative Director of Weddings by Mai, only began his wedding line which makes wedding dresses as well as suits for men, when he had gained enough momentum to do so. Styling Omowumi Akinnifesi was the concern for him at the beginning. That decision launched his career fully.
While it is good to learn one or two things from established designers, there is still a need to avoid outright imitation. Creativity should be deeply invested in at this stage. You don’t want to release designs that look exactly like those of notable brands; you definitely want your designs to stand out like those of Soares Gregory’s Pablo Soares Kollection regardless of the inspiration from foreign designers.
This and marketing are somewhat intertwined. To make it big in the industry, you have to connect and get acquainted with the right people. In this business, the competition is not even your enemy. Mai Atafo, Yomi Casual started with styling celebrities. Attend fashion shows, intern with big brands, offer to style celebrities for free.
The notable Mudi Africa was the first fashion designer to erect seven billboards in Lagos state. His investment in advertisement has profited him. No one is saying start off like Mudi. The world is fast becoming digital. If you can afford a professional marketer, employ one. Also, create social media pages for your label and constantly upload pictures of your designs. You can also reach out to celebrities through this platform.
Get a good location. Your place of work must be easily accessible by potential and existing customers. Mudi Africa chooses to retain Anthony in Lagos as its head office because it is strategic and central.
To build a strong clientele, you need to treat your customers with respect and dignity. Go out of your way to be nice to them. They will always remember that.
- Fashion Foresight
This is needed to sustain attention. Trends are seasonal in this industry. Stay up-to-date with seasonal trends and wow your clients. This will attract more customers.
While this doesn’t apply to all designers, you might want to go for a course to properly learn the work. This causes improvement generally in your business. Yomi Casual actually studied Fashion Designing and Clothing Technology.
Your brand name can be your real name or something catchy. Mai Atafo designs under his name. You need to register your brand to avoid copyright issues. Also, have a logo that reflects your brand nature.
Always set a target. This will help you count your losses well. Assess yourself creatively, professionally and financially over a period of time.