Creating a Fashion Line - Advice and Tips

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					BUSINESS OF FASHION
CREATING A LINE

1

Research "You can only make it if it sells" = Consumer demand is the driving force of the apparel industry Consumer research - info about consumer characteristics/behavior - psychological, social, financial considerations Product research - info about preferred porduct desgin/characteristics Market analysis - infor about general market trends - long-range forecasting - sociological, psychological, political and global trends both nonas well as industry specific. i.e. read the Popcorn report - predicted cocooning. but long-range anything is hard in fasion - short-range forecasting - includes determining desired % of sales growth for the company. consumer needs in response to current events / economy use sales figures from current selling season figures to make merch. decisions. study of shat the competition is doing predicting changes in retailing Target Customer Each apparel line must have clear customer description gender, age range, lifestyle, location, price zone. Fasion Trend Research - reading trade publications, shopping the market, attending textile trade shows - fashion trend forecasting services - Pat Tunsky in NY - computer software programs can assist w/ consumer-driven forecasting Consumer Outlook!Works w/ POS data to spot and report trends 2 Design Design team works w/ planning and prod. to plan calendar dates of deliverables Sales volume and sellthrough at retail level of current/past lines are important indicators used to plan next line. Pieces that sell well are often carried over. Designer responsible for selecting fabrics, trims, linings for each design and specifing details suchas buttons and top stitching. All details included in spec sheet. 3 Design Dev. and Style Selection Initial cost estimate for mass production of each style must be determined. Cost of materials based on number of yards of fabric required to make prototype. Cost of labor based on time estimate multiplied by hourly labor wage. Some manufactures employ target costing Make design and then cost engineers/product technician figure out how to get it made at pre-determined cost Final costing done by production / cost engineer b/c requires knowledge of prod. techniques and facilities. Labor costs, materials cost, production costs and estimated costs for unknown factors. Once final line is determined, make samples (sometimes can't afford to make all) for reps to start selling Also line brochure or LookBook is made Placing orders and cancellations Not all style that are presented in line will be produced by factories Only styles with a sufficient number of orders placed by retailers. At the time the retailers place orders, their order is tentative. Also, sometimes fabric needed is unavailable from textile manufacturer. or there are production problems or issues relating to country that factories are in. When the order can't be filled, the retailer may accept alternate style or cancel the order. terms: As orders are placed, delivery dates and payment terms are arranged b/t apparel co. and retailer. If apparel co. does not meet terms - may be required to tade a reduced payment for shipment. or the retailer may be allowed to cancel order. One of the reasons, overseas factories can be dangerous - transportation delays.

BUSINESS OF FASHION
CREATING A LINE

4 Marketing Integral part of all stages from researh through production 1. Identifying target market 2. Developing marketing mix the 4 Ps - the product or service - pricing strategy - promotional strategy - place strategy (where the products are to be sold) Big decision for apparel marketers: exclusive corporate showroom w/ co. reps or used established multiling sales representatives. Usually say co. must produce over $1m in sales at mart to open a showroom. Showroom = - greater image control - huge capital invesmest - staff can devote 100% of time to line Multi-line Rep= - no initial cap investment - est. reps know local accounts -buyers exposed to related, but noncompeting, lines in same - commissions and promo expenses - must find right fit - don’t have image control - rep may not devote adequate time to line

Distribution policies: Open - sell to any retailer who meets basic characteristics Selected - have detailed criteria that stores must meet (going for image, look) Most advertising services outsourced to ad agencies Coop advertising - share cost with retailer Catalogs, direct mail, visual merch. tools, trunk shows, videos, press kits. 5 Production and Distribution Factoring - manage accounts receivable in the apparel industyr. Mergers and bankruptcies in the 80's caused consolidation of factoring firms = more competitive rates than in the 80's. Still tend to charge higher interest rates than regular bank loan or line of credit Before production can begin, final arrangements must be approved by co's factoring firm. Cut Order- specifies number of items in each color and size that will be included in production run. includes date when goods must be delivered to retailer. ***production is scheduled from end (retailer's delivery date) to beginning (date when fabric must be ordered) Apparel Manus usually can't afford to wait until all orders are in to begin production so must make assumptions - early production of proven seller - use of pre-line selling - use of early-season lines to predict sales - use of test markets - use of past sales figures Grading - each individual piece of pattern is remade in each of the specified order sizes. Then, arranged into master cutting plan called production marker. These tasks are increasingly being computerized (CGMM), really increases speed and accuracy. 6 Sourcing Decisions & Production Centers Where and how goods will be manufactured is one of most important decisions to be made Offshore Domestic vs. Must consider labor, fabric, quality control, equipment requirements, plant capacities Also trade barriers, tariffs, quotas. Domestic apparel production is mostly in NY, CA and the southern states.

BUSINESS OF FASHION
CREATING A LINE

7 Production Processes & Quality Assurance Since labor is a main cost, particularly in US, specialized equipment has been developed to speed production and increase accuracy. Finishing - laundering, garmetn finishes, dyeing, and packaging.

8 Distribution & Retailing What is a company's marketing channel? Distribution strategy? - Open, Select, Mass Does a company ship from production facility or a DC (distr. Center)? UPC - Universal Product Code - on product labels and shipping cartons smooths entire process front to back EDI - electronic data interchange for transmission of invoices, advance shipping notices ASN, and other forms. These programs help manage inventory Vendor-managed inventory is next big thing


				
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Robyn Ward Robyn Ward VP gloss.com
About I am docstoc's VP of Business Development. I worked at several NYC-based, VC-backed new ventures before signing on to help build docstoc into the largest repository of high-quality, professional content available anywhere in the world!