Fashionistas aren’t content to wear other people’s clothing -- they want to make their own.
If you have a passion for fashion, you might also have the hobby of making or altering your clothes. You can make more than a hobby out of your love of making and altering clothes, however: Boutique clothing lines never go out of style. Further, there’s no reason to think you won’t be the next big independent line to come down the pike.
Learn to Design
Learning how to design clothes is something you’ve probably already done to some degree. However, there’s more to a clothing line than just making clothes for yourself. Night school classes or even instructional guides to how to make clothes for people of all sizes will help you to have a true clothing line, not just an interesting wardrobe that you’ve made yourself. Take some time to make clothes for other people. This will ensure that you have experience making clothes for other people as you launch your own line.
Material costs will be your biggest expense as you launch your own clothing line. You need to learn where to get quality materials for not a lot of money. Fortunately, if you live in a larger city you can head down to the garment district to and get fabrics there. Otherwise, you might have to order fabrics through the mail or over the Internet. Either way, remember that the quality of your materials is one of the easiest ways to distinguish yourself from competitors big and small.
When making designs you can use patterns from third parties or you can use ones of your own making. If you use patterns of your own design, you will need to make a prototype before you make a full size run. This will ensure that the clothing looks right before you make several copies. It also allows you to make small adjustments on the garment on a live body to allow you to keep the broader strokes of the design.
Whether you plan to sell your clothes directly to the public or you want to sell them to shops, you’re going to need a model. Look for models in smaller sizes with relatively featureless bodies. You want the clothing to stand out, not the model. The only exception to this is if you have a plus size or big and tall line. In this case, you will absolutely want to find models who fit the specifications of the people you are trying to sell clothing to. Otherwise, you’re more or less looking for a coat hanger with a pulse.
Now that you have a basic idea of what you do as a fashion entrepreneur, you will need to know how to sell your clothes and get the word out. In our next installment in this three-part series we will cover just these topics, giving you a better idea of how to go about starting your own clothing line.