Every fashion designer that specialises in ready-to-wear outfits knows that fashion collections are an important part of the business. Having the right collections can do a world of good for your business by attracting new and existing customers to come and have a taste of what your brand has to offer.
How To Create A Fashion Collection – Step By Step
Firstly, before you start making a fashion collection, you need to know how you want your collection to feel and what the current trends are. You also need to have a theme for your collection, something that inspired the collection, be it nature, culture, a place, etc. You must also have skills and training in design.
In a previous post, we looked at the top 4 things to consider before designing your fashion collection. Click the link to read up on it.
Once you have these, you can move on to the following steps;
1. Draw Your Ideas to Sketches
You need to bring that concept in your head to an understandable format through sketching or a storyboard with figure drawing and illustrations. This means that if you cannot afford to hire a fashion illustrator, you need to learn how to illustrate because the tailor needs to see what you want your clothing to look like.
2. Startup Cost and Quantity
Now that you have your ideas down on paper, you need to find out how much will you need to start a collection. You need to ask yourself, “How much will it cost me to get this idea to life?” You need to work through costing details and your budget estimate.
You need to look at the cost of goods and your retail and wholesale price for the clothing items. You need to find out how many units you need to sell in a month to make the money you want to make and how many units you will be able to sell in a season or a particular period of time.
3. Design Development Stage
This is where your production phase starts off.
Now, you need to break down your collection into technical packs that you can send to your manufacturer or that you can show to a tailor. From the tech packs, the tailor will know how many pieces of that outfit to make and how many sizes will be needed.
A tach pack clearly outlines the details of your garment for the factory or tailor to know what exactly it is they are making. It will tell them what colours to attach to the hand tag, the brand and the care labels. It tells them everything about the garment you want them to make.
On the sketches, you have to specify where you want buttons, how many inches you want the hands to be, and so on. Since you already have your size guide, you will know how many inches a size small will need for their arms, waist, hips, legs, and length.
4. Sample Fitting
This is where the real work begins. Here, you have to check that your fit, fabric and finish is on point. You have to spend extra time fitting your outfits on different models to ensure the sizing reflects your customer’s body types.
5. Content, Marketing and Communications
Now, you have tested your outfits on models and you know they fit, the fabric is perfect and the finishing work is done. From this stage, you can start selling your outfits to your customers, family, and friends.
Since your collection samples are ready, you can start to create content to use in marketing and communicating your brand. If you are starting small, you might want to consider preorders approach at this point. Attract your customers by creating a compelling story using fashion campaigns, digital marketing processes, and so on.
6. Sizing and Measurement Guide
It is important for you to fit your clothes on live models that fall within your target market. Ensure you capture that right fit for the customer from the beginning and then use this sizing or measurement guide to define what your measurement guide will be.
7. Sourcing Fabrics and Textiles
From your budget and the sample outfits you have created, you will know how much your budget can take, sizing and sizes to produce and so you can now decide on how much of each production material you need to source. Everything you or your tailor will need, from thread to zips, buttons, lining, air stay etc will need to be bought in this step.
8. Final Production
After you have gone through all the above steps, you should be ready for more production and orders. Here, you have to follow up with your tailors very closely. Even if you outsource production to a production house, you still need to follow up closely with them to avoid embarrassment.
This is the stage where you sink in all the money you have budgeted for the collection and you put items out for sale. You need to make sure that everyone is doing what they should be doing and following the schedule and idea you have in mind.
9. Final Pricing and Branding
When you are done producing the collection, it is time to put together how much it cost you to do everything you needed to do to get that collection ready. The amount it cost you for tailoring, sourcing fabrics, getting other materials and branding should be considered.
The thing called branding that you are adding to the cost of everything is the value of your company. This is the point you ask yourself what your markup point is. Are you going to markup your prices after you have calculated your cost of production, tailoring, fabrics, and materials and double, triple or multiply it by whatever figure you are thinking?
It is up to you to decide what you value your company at and what you want your market point to be. This also depends on the quality of your products and your target market.
At this stage, remember to take inventory, arrange items according to the order of looks, name them, add final draping, and attach all labels. Then it is time to ship them off to your retail store.
10. Start Selling
It is time to sell. It is time to give yourself targets. Ask things like, How many pieces am I going to sell in one week? When should I sell it? How long will I sell it for?
Remember, when you are working on your budget, you have to know how much money it will cost you to make a certain amount of clothing items and how long it will take you to sell a certain amount to make the money you desire to make. Then you start calculating it as profit.
At this stage, you have to consider your market and the type of consignment store you want your items to be in. You need to decide if you will be selling through pop-ups, different retail outlets, online, at events, or somewhere else. You need to decide on the platform you will use to sell your items.
11. Expansion, Funding and Investment Readiness
While doing business you need to look at expansion, investments, funding opportunities, and partnerships if you want to remain relevant. Now that you have created a fashion collection, you need to position yourself well for investments and expansion.
There you go, 11 steps to help you create that fabulous fashion collection you have been dreaming of.