Mistakes to Avoid When Starting a New Fashion Line

Launching a start-up is a daunting task filled with challenges for any entrepreneur, but maybe none more so than those in the fashion industry. Here are a few common mistakes to avoid before creating your brand to help keep the odds more in your favor:

Not having the knowledge.

  • There is a wide range of different fashion schools out there, many of them are only two years long. These will help you understand the basics of every position within the fashion industry – not for you to become an expert in everything – but so that you can hire the right kind of people to help actualize your vision when the time comes.
  • If you don’t want to go to school, there are many different online resources from Youtube to Docstoc and webinars to seminars. Read trade magazines and books. One book in particular worth your time is “Fashion For Profit” by Frances Harder.

Failure to set a brand identity & target demographic.

  • What’s your brand’s story? How are you unique? How does your name and logo tie back into your brand integrity? Who is your target audience? Consider their gender, age range, where they live, how much money they make. Fashion is about lifestyle as much as it is about clothing. What kind of lifestyle does your brand represent?

Producing or purchasing excessive product.

  • Don’t bite off more than you can chew. Start off with creating ten pieces and bring those to your local retailers. You’d be surprised how many stores are willing to carry your line on consignment: if it sells, you get paid. If it doesn’t, you take it back and keep working on it until it’s just right. Become a local up-and-comer in your town or city. Become successful locally before you try to take over the fashion world.

Trying to grow too quickly.

Don’t spend money on advertising or to be in certain popular showrooms until your line is legitimately sought-after. Above and beyond your fabrics, colors and patterns, what matters most is how well you and your team hustle your brand within the industry. Get your pieces into magazines, get celebrities to wear them (or anyone in the public eye). Point being, push your line / brand as hard as you can so it can grow organically, otherwise you just risk wasting lots of money prematurely.

Keep these common mistakes in mind as you formulate your fashion line / strategy and you will have a much better chance at taking the industry by storm.

Cassie Betts, Founder and CEO of District2.Co, highlights common rookie mistakes made when creating a new fashion line, including being impatient with growth and failing to identify a target market.