How to start a clothing brand?

Discussion in 'First Steps To Starting A Business' started by Era, Sep 21, 2018.

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  1. Era

    Era UKBF Newcomer

    19 2
    Hi, my name is Era, and I am trying to start my own clothing line.
    I have no experience in the field, but I've been reading and learning a lot regarding the topic, but still have some doubts regarding the manufacturing proces.
    I've been visiting few textile manufacturers and wholesalers, though they seemed to not be very helpfull.
    Is there anyone that can help?
    I have the drawings and I know what kind of product I want to have, however, the manufacturing process still is not much clear. How do I get the material with a specific print, or a particular percentage of cotton and wool, for example?
    The only reason why I am doing this is because this is my dream, and I have been drawing since I was a child.. and I know that experience sometimes is required, but I do not have any..
    Anyone that could help, please?

    Thanks a lot to enyone who spends few minutes to help me.
    Posted: Sep 21, 2018 By: Era Member since: Sep 21, 2018
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  2. Mr D

    Mr D UKBF Legend

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    Posted: Sep 21, 2018 By: Mr D Member since: Feb 12, 2017
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  3. Alison Wright

    Alison Wright Full Member

    36 5
    Hi Era

    For fabrics, you need to go out to the tradeshow for your industry. For example, my brand was in the outdoor sector so I used to go to Ispo in Munich. This site has a list of tradeshows You also need to find a pattern cutter to translate your sketches into patterns the manufacturer can use. You will also need to source zips, buttons etc. Having patterns will help to show the manufacturers that you're serious. This resource may help:
    Posted: Oct 3, 2018 By: Alison Wright Member since: Jun 29, 2018
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  4. Chris Ashdown

    Chris Ashdown UKBF Legend

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    New people to the industry think they just have to make a drawing and give it to someone to make up

    Unfortunately as you have found out companies do not have the time to help make you professional there time is already filled up running the company and solving their own problems

    There is a lot more to design than a outline drawing, you need to understand fit, the fabric and fittings, most of which comes in a 2 or 3 years course

    You need to be able to supply to a company details of how the fabric is going to be made what sections etc, the measurements (plans) of each part for each size, where the fabric is available to buy and also any fittings and in the UK its not unusual for a minimum order of 50 to 100 per size unless you are incredibly luck , also a time frame of 3 months is not unusual

    I would suggest you buy some design books and understand the reason for design limitations and the whole process and any regulations regarding the materials etc

    At the end that was the easy part next you have to sell the items at a profit, not just one to your friends but a hundred or more

    Good luck
    Posted: Oct 3, 2018 By: Chris Ashdown Member since: Dec 7, 2003
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  5. parkingandsecurity

    parkingandsecurity UKBF Contributor

    187 25
    It depends what you want .. Many trend-brands are built on screenprint, digiprint or embroidery onto generic clothing. It totally depends what you want to go for. Do you want your artwork on clothes or do you want your artwork on your clothes?
    Posted: Oct 3, 2018 By: parkingandsecurity Member since: Sep 7, 2018
  6. Nochexman

    Nochexman UKBF Legend

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    Posted: Oct 4, 2018 By: Nochexman Member since: Jun 14, 2011

    MY OFFICE IN CHINA Full Member

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    How different will your brand be from the millions already out there?

    A brand is created by its uniqueness and marketing power.

    To create your first sample will require many hours/days/weeks/months of research, sourcing, sampling, countersampling as well as high costs involved.

    After you have finalised your first sample and you are happy with it and it’s still in season/fashion (this can take many months), you have the unenviable task of bringing it to market for exposure to get orders/recognition/sales.

    Millions (literally) have tried and failed, due to not understanding the experience required, costs involved, identifying their target market and reaching that market, as well as timelines needed from a product idea to having the sample ready.

    If you are talented you should consider applying for a designer role at a clothing brand you feel your ideas match and get onto the stepping ladder and see where that takes you.

    You will gain experience and knowledge of how the business works and what challenges face you.

    It’s not for the faint hearted or those who do not have design skills.

    If you are in London, a visit to Camden Lock market will give you ideas as many fashion start ups have started selling their wares in these types of street markets as it attracts a very unique type of trader as well as discerning fashion customer (not to mention some ‘weirdos’ who frequent this area) looking for something ‘different’.

    Research (and a lot of it) is your starting point.

    Good luck with it.
    Posted: Oct 4, 2018 By: MY OFFICE IN CHINA Member since: Nov 16, 2011
  8. Rafael A

    Rafael A UKBF Newcomer

    4 0
    Hi Era,
    I'm not gonna talk about any professional stuff as I'm not one, I am probably in a similar situation as you are, more or less.

    I will be a bit different than the other people which reply to your questions(which I read and understand) .

    Short story : Confidence darling. Research. Conections.

    Long story: Of course it's not easy to open a business, grow it and represent it, but we hear everyday about people which was nothing when they start, so this should keep your dreams alive.
    I'm sorounded by different new brands selling the same type of clothes with just a different name on them, so if you have your ideas, I know exactly how you feel believing you can do better .
    -The part with the website it's a little hard but not impossible as there are websites which help you create it and manage it.(might be considered advertising if I'm naming them so drop me a message if you need some examples)
    -If you have your own designs there are some options to consider.
    You need to find a supplier ( China, turkey, Bangladesh,etc)
    They are happy to deal with the small startups and give them options,samples, etc. Yes, takes time and money, I know, it's true, but this is the way to start.
    It's probably hard to do all this single, but it's all about you.
    You should focus on the website and your products first, then the other details.
    It's very much to talk about this and I definitely missed details, but guess what, better act and just think and think and times goes and your new brand could be something already in that time you lost.
    I hope nobody feels bad because I said all this from a different point.

    All the best,
    I'm happy to see what you think about all this, replying here or by pm .
    Posted: Oct 15, 2018 By: Rafael A Member since: Oct 15, 2018
  9. Ally Maxwell

    Ally Maxwell Guest

    0 0
    A friend of mine started a niche clothing brand with a laptop, a vinyl cutter and some initiative.

    It is quite niche but like most niche genres, has a following who spend money, so despite the fact that she'll never become a world fashion house, she makes a very nice living from it.
    Posted: Oct 15, 2018 By: Ally Maxwell Member since: Jan 1, 1970
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  10. Lee Shepherd

    Lee Shepherd UKBF Newcomer

    1 0
    Hey Era, it's great that you want to follow your dream and launch your own line! but like some of the other guys highlighted there's so many different variables to consider when starting a line especially with no formal training.

    I think the best thing to do is to keep drawing and absorb as much information as you can before you start spending any money. Here's a couple of really good resources to start with that will help you on your journey, Zoe Hong on youtube & a great book called How to start a fashion label by Toby Meadows. Be patient and don't give up!.
    Posted: Oct 18, 2018 By: Lee Shepherd Member since: Oct 18, 2018
  11. Chris Ashdown

    Chris Ashdown UKBF Legend

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    Posted: Oct 18, 2018 By: Chris Ashdown Member since: Dec 7, 2003
  12. anadalia

    anadalia UKBF Newcomer

    31 3
    The best thing is to find a local tailor and partner with him. A good cheap place for fabrics is Dubai, you can find anything you want there. Start small and see how it goes. And train as much as you can.
    Posted: Oct 22, 2018 By: anadalia Member since: Mar 23, 2018
  13. P19Johnson

    P19Johnson UKBF Newcomer

    38 3
    Hi Era, its amazing you have the drive to venture out and begin your own clothing line.

    I might be a little late to this forum, however, I totally agree with what the guys have said above, do your research and make sure your ready for any outcome.

    Abit unrelated but my friend started a shoe shop and the one thing she struggled with is storage organisation. I had her send me the link of the company she used just incase your local to them, as this could help you out when you get up and running:)
    Posted: Oct 22, 2018 By: P19Johnson Member since: Aug 15, 2018
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