Fashion is everywhere… there have been countless articles written on the subject by experts, bloggers, stylists and just everyone.  So what makes this article different from any other.  Well you have to read on to see.

Fashion designer brands come and go.  The lasting and staying power of a new designer brand is dictated by how much marketing, press and exposure they have.  Many young designer brands have to be creative; not only with their designs but also with their press and media coverage.  Sounds simple right?  Well the problem is sometimes a designer can spend so much time with the business side of fashion they have no time or little time and energy to dedicate to the creative process and actually designing a garment and collection.  So with a small budget from building a new company, little energy and low resources what does a designer do.  There are certain things that a designer has to think about.

  1. Know your designer brand. Who are you as a designer, what types of materials do I want to use, what area of design am I creating; Ready to Wear, Couture, Sportswear, Swimwear, Menswear or a combination? A designer must be able to know what makes up their personal brand and be able to defend it. This is not to say that your brand can’t change because as the designer evolves their collections will evolve as well however the main brand image will stay the same.  If your aesthetic is simple and elegant then that look will carry through across all of your collections.

 

  1. Allow yourself to grow as a designer. Take additional classes, go to seminars and lectures, learn about new textiles, technology and the science behind colors and fabrics. Stay up to date on current trends within the industry.

 

  1. Take risks, some calculated and others on a whim. Taking risks are not a bad thing. It is actually a good idea to take a risk within your business. All decisions need to be well thought out and options should be weighed. But at times it is good to throw caution to the wind when in your gut, a decision makes sense.  Don’t be so rigid that good opportunities pass you by.  Risks can pay off big!

 

  1. Spend your money wisely. I know this goes without saying but it still needs to be said. As a new designer you will have to choose what shows to enter, what tradeshows to be a part of, classes to pay for and what events to attend.

 

  1. Marketing, marketing, marketing and press. It is important to make a decision when it comes to marketing and exposure. Of course as a designer your finances are geared towards materials. Make sure you budget in marketing avenues.  In the beginning find ways to reduce costs with marketing such as bartering.  Social media is a good avenue however not the only avenue.  Do your research and find ways to market your product within the industry to professionals, press and articles highlighting your collections, brand and you as a designer and within tradeshows and exhibits.

 

  1. Extend your brand to work with other agencies, organizations and firms. Connect and build relationships with industry professionals (not necessarily to sell them anything). Connections within every industry is important and the fashion industry is no different. Not every connection that you make is translated to sales.  Partnerships that “may not make sense” are also a viable option.  It may seem weird initially to partner with a university however this may be good a good opportunity for you to give back to the community and speak to the students, it may allow you the chance to design pieces for graduates or during a show or work with the students in a modeling or intern type capacity.  Be open to unique ideas.

 

  1. Be careful who you choose to link your brand with. Every partnership is not a good partnership. It takes years sometimes to build a great brand but it only takes seconds to tear it down. Only link with companies that focus on the important aspects of business that link and go hand in hand with your brand and what you believe.

 

  1. Get an attorney or at least have one on retainer. This is very important within the world of fashion. At the beginning of your career you may thing that this is an expense that you don’t want or even need however having an attorney at your disposal or one you can call and seek advice from is huge. Other designers or frauds are always on the hunt. They may attempt to steal your design or even your name or even attempt to link you with their name when in fact you never agreed to do so.  As a young designer it is also important for you to have contracts with your clientele in case something goes wrong.  Global designer brands that are exporting and importing definitely need to seek legal counsel on what to do and how to do it in order to ensure that there are no issues when sending garments internationally. There may be laws and taxes that you do not know about.

 

As a new emerging or global designer you will have to make lots of decisions both simple and difficult.  Now is a good time to get your brand in line with the direction that you are going in.  The business of fashion can be a challenging and difficult or an easy and simple process to navigate through.  This is an industry that takes time, dedication and research to move through successfully.  As a new designer this is a good time to learn about the business of fashion so that you are able to grow in the direction that you want to move towards.

 

‘Continue to trend’

Francine