Start A Clothing Line
How To Start A Fashion Business.
(115-018-24) Our How to start a fashion business workshop has become extremely popular for our new startup clients.
This intense one to one workshop takes you through the stages of setting up and running a clothing business from scratch, and developing your brand. Step by step.
We can even start the ball rolling for you from day one. Just bring us your ideas and we will get you started.
Each workshop is custom made to your own exact requirements. Bring along a list of questions if you want, and we will do our best to answer them.
Starting a clothing line in London is so easy. This is, after all, the fashion capital of the world. All the talent and facilities are on your doorstep. It doesnt even need to be very expensive.
When we hear what some professional people in the fashion industry say about how to start a clothing line they make it sound so hard and so serious.
In our experience most people are not aiming to be the next Mcqueen, Versace or Stella McCartney. They just have a fashion business idea and want to give it a go in a safe environment. To them, it is meant to be fun, not purgatory.
Topics for our fashion startup workshops include the following topics :-
- Brand values
- Unique Selling Point
- Emotional Selling Point
- Functional purpose
- Brand adjacency
- Pricing structure
- Cash Flow
- Fabric & trim suppliers
- Manufacturing process
- Tech pack
- Size Guide
- Garment labels
- Care labels
- Focus group
- Marketing Mix
- Range Planning Pyramid
- Photoshoots – Editorial & E-Commerce
- Photography & Stylists
- Non Disclousre Agreements
- Contact List
The fashion business experts insist that you must do a massive amount of research into your potential competitors and customers. That you must make sure your branding is in place before launching. That you must have a marketing strategy and business plan . That you have to give up work and employ an army of experts.
All of this costs an arm and a leg before you even start. So you will also need to have your financing in place. We believe that, as long as you have good people around you and advising you, the best way is to just do it.
Financing A Fashion Startup
But where do you get the financing from? Banks are not interested in lending to businesses at all, and certainly not to fashion businesses. They have far easier ways of making money than lending, even to productive businesses.
lets face it, when the price of money (interest rates) is at practically zero, why would anyone bother to lend at all? The laws of supply and demand suggest that when the price of money is low the supply is high. Well, that is certainly not the case today.
So this avenue of funding is only open to individuals who can command a great deal of financial backing. That leaves either government funding, or crowd funding
How To Succeed On A Budget
To succeed on a budget without expert help is virtually impossible. Not only is it virtually impossible, but it is extremely frustrating. The fashion industry is notoriously inept and unreliable.
You will find problems at every turn that you will have no answer to. Your money will just disappear down a black hole and you will have nothing to show for it.
” Capitalism demands the best of every man – his rationality – and rewards him accordingly. It leaves every man free to choose the work he likes, to specialize in it, to trade his product for the product of others, and to go as far on the road of achievement as his ability and ambition will carry him”. AYN RAND
If you have a limited budget you need to spend your money judiciously. You need to know where you can save without affecting quality. And you need to know where to spend. Ideally you would need to employ a mentor who is experienced in all aspects of the fashion industry .
This could be in the form of a fashion industry consultant, who you would employ purely for advice. Or alternatively you could employ an experienced pattern cutter or technician who understands the fashion industry.
As someone who is both a highly experienced pattern cutter and a fashion industry consultant, I am of course more than a little biased. I dont see the point in employing a clothing business consultant who cannot serve other functions. But you do need a very good pattern cutter.
I have forty years experience in the fashion industry, working with some of the very best U.K. designers and clothing companies, alongside complete novice start-up fashion companies.
Our services are aimed mainly at these small startup clothing brands with a limited budget. Most of my clients are virtual or complete novices to the clothing business.
They are would- be clothing entrepreneurs with a passion for clothing, or they have a specific idea for a product that they want to get to market. Sometimes their ideas are specifically fashion related, but sometimes they are more generally clothing related, But often they have no idea where to start and are concerned about how to spend the limited money they have wisely.
It is tempting for a start-up to consider getting the factory to deliver a complete service with patterns, grading, samples and production. But I would say that this is asking for trouble.
Firstly, factory pattern cutters are rarely professional pattern cutters. Secondly, you need a pattern cutter who specialises in the type of styles you want to produce. Thirdly, you need someone to advise you on which factory is suitable for you. And fourthly, the factory needs to be held to account by in independent party. It is really important to have this separation.
While it is possible to save a considerable amount of money by purchasing cut price fabrics from discount suppliers or trimmings, it is not possible to do the same with factories or pattern cutters.
It is not necessary to go to the most expensive factories or pattern cutters to get good quality results, but it would be a big mistake to go to the cheapest. If a factory is cheap, they are cheap for a reason.
Starting A Fashion Business In The U.K.
Today, starting a fashion business in the U.K. is extremely easy. There is an abundance of services targeted at the fashion startup, including consultants, freelancers and one-stop shops.
While starting is easy, being successful requires making the right choices from the start. Most fashion startups are on a budget.
It generally requires a lot of initial capital and extensive knowledge of the product or service you intend to sell. But starting a fashion business is easier than most.
It is possible to start a fashion business on a limited budget, without too much previous experience. The problems really start when you try to find a clothing factory to supply the manufacturing.
Fashion Business Workshops
We provide a number of one day and half day workshops for fashion Business Startups. These are invaluable workshops for both complete novices and more experienced fashion people. Please check The London Pattern Cutter for details. Workshops we offer include :-
- FASHION BUSINESS START-UP ON A BUDGET
- CREATING A TECH PACK
- MAKING AND GRADING YOUR PATTERN
- QUALITY CONTROL
- MAKE YOUR OWN PATTERN
- START A FASHION BRAND
- BECOME A FREELANCER
- BECOME A FASHION DESIGNER
” The study of money, above all other fields in economics, is one in which complexity is used to disguise truth or evade truth, not reveal it”. J.K. GALBRAITH