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29-10-2009
  181
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daniellat's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Mexico
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Quote:
Originally Posted by west63 View Post
very very basic outline for you.
1.sketch
2.patternmaker
3.fabric(for simplest look for one that you can buy bulk later on)
4.sales samples (oh and fittings)
5.show to stores/boutiques
5.get orders
7.get patterns marked and graded
8.send markers, patterns, samples and fabric to factory
If only it was a easy as that, i mean its very well structured but its insane how much work, time and MONEY it takes to go through all the 8 steps. And then it doesnt get any easier, from ym own experience, the creative process and making samples, visiting clients was the fun part, then getting orders in time, dealing with seamstresses and lack of materials...that was the biggest challenge.

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29-10-2009
  182
scenester
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: las cruces nm usa
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Posts: 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by daniellat View Post
If only it was a easy as that, i mean its very well structured but its insane how much work, time and MONEY it takes to go through all the 8 steps. And then it doesnt get any easier, from ym own experience, the creative process and making samples, visiting clients was the fun part, then getting orders in time, dealing with seamstresses and lack of materials...that was the biggest challenge.
You could shorten it a bit and reduce a lot of frustration by putting fabric first. I've edited west63's post like so:
Quote:
Originally Posted by west63
1.fabric(for simplest look for one that you can buy bulk later on)
2.sketch
3.patternmaker
4.sales samples (oh and fittings)
5.show to stores/boutiques
5.get orders
7.get patterns marked and graded
8.send markers, patterns, samples and fabric to factory
You put fabric first so you don't waste your time sketching for a fabric you end up not being able to find or that costs too much or you can't get continuity. If you find it after designing (which took some time), you can be over a barrel time wise and committed to the style and be forced to commit to minimums that are risky (higher costs).

It's tragic how many people think a designer's job is sitting dreamily, sketching cute designs all day.

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Last edited by kathleen fasanel; 29-10-2009 at 05:34 PM. Reason: rationale for putting fabric first
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29-10-2009
  183
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It's also tragic how much negativity people are fed with when inquiring about things like this. Yeah it's difficult, and people do need to be aware of this, but everything is difficult at first, especially if you're starting your own business...I just wish there was a little more encouragement instead of these constant and repetitive "reality checks".


I can see how people could get discouraged before they even begin.

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29-10-2009
  184
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Join Date: Jan 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sav_ View Post
It's also tragic how much negativity people are fed with when inquiring about things like this. Yeah it's difficult, and people do need to be aware of this, but everything is difficult at first, especially if you're starting your own business...I just wish there was a little more encouragement instead of these constant and repetitive "reality checks".


I can see how people could get discouraged before they even begin.
Ditto....

Anyways, I'm currently attending school for medical technology/premed and I don't it's really for me. I'm attempting to start a clothing company as a part time job, starting with tshirts and moving on with bigger things if that ever becomes successful in a few months. (still staying in school though, just in case things dont work out)

I have a start up budget around $500-$1000, I was wondering if I should first set up a website to gain a following and "hype" a few weeks before actually start selling the shirts? I mean, I don't want to sell on ebay or amazon.

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29-10-2009
  185
scenester
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
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T-shirts aren't really clothing design. That's not a value judgment but a practical one (speaking of negativity). You'll likely need to buy shirts ("blanks") and go through the hoops of screen printing instead of worrying about making patterns, grading and sewn production runs. Your start up goals are different from what's considered the traditional apparel industry per se.

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Last edited by daniellat; 30-10-2009 at 03:30 AM. Reason: off topic discussion
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29-10-2009
  186
trendsetter
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kathleen fasanel View Post
T-shirts aren't really clothing design. That's not a value judgment but a practical one (speaking of negativity). You'll likely need to buy shirts ("blanks") and go through the hoops of screen printing instead of worrying about making patterns, grading and sewn production runs. Your start up goals are different from what's considered the traditional apparel industry per se.
I was originally planning on starting a "clothing design" but where I live it's practically impossible to find any workshops where I could properly work. And more importantly, there's no market for me if I was to do so. The city I live in is not conservative by any means, but definitely not fashion savvy. I mean, we have Banana Republic and that's about as "luxurious" this city is going to get. Haha.


Thanks again.


Last edited by daniellat; 30-10-2009 at 03:30 AM. Reason: response to an edited post
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30-10-2009
  187
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kathleen fasanel View Post

It's tragic how many people think a designer's job is sitting dreamily, sketching cute designs all day.
Its not really the design process what ive found challenging but dealing with people. From Human Resources to Customer Service, at school i was taught to design and innovate but not to deal with the business of it. Its different marketing yourself so a company can hire you than marketing your own business. Its been great and the line is going well but its been quite a journey too.

I partenered with my boyfriend who is very business savy but didnt have a clue of what the clothing business is about and since we started from zero we practically had to do it all ourselves, i had to teach him all from cutting fabric to buying materials, and ive learned a lot from him too because i was so immersed in the design process that i didnt know how to administrate a real business.

Were both in school i forgot to add, im not done with fashion school and hes not done with business school and had no monetary support from our parents to start the line a few months ago. So yeah, its not impossible, but it would have been very appreciated if i was taught about the donts of the business and the difficulties i could face more than just the pretty side of it.

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30-10-2009
  188
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leeroi View Post
I was originally planning on starting a "clothing design" but where I live it's practically impossible to find any workshops where I could properly work. And more importantly, there's no market for me if I was to do so. The city I live in is not conservative by any means, but definitely not fashion savvy. I mean, we have Banana Republic and that's about as "luxurious" this city is going to get. Haha.


Thanks again.
That sort of happened to me too, i spend my vacations where my parents live which is practically fashion siberia and go to school somewhere else. not quite fashion siberia but not quite the opposite so i sell everything through the internet, it all started with me doing jacket i thought was so hip but unwearable where i live so i sold it online and it has a hit, so imade more sizes and added a few other jackets. I dont have many different pieces but the ones i have are selling well. The point is that if you want to start with a tshirt line i say do it, this way you can get money, get publicity in your town and once the business grows then you can expand it to whatever you want which is what im doing, id like to have a cocktail attire line but i think the jackets are about enough right now.

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30-10-2009
  189
scenester
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daniellat View Post
at school i was taught to design and innovate but not to deal with the business of it.
I'm not convinced design school is necessary to be an entrepreneur. I mean, I went but I ended up in production (happily). MOST of the successful (not necessarily big names) designers I know, didn't go to design school. I realize people are disappointed design schools don't entrepreneurship well if at all but if you knew the reasons why, you could work around it.
Quote:
So yeah, its not impossible, but it would have been very appreciated if i was taught about the donts of the business and the difficulties i could face more than just the pretty side of it.
Speaking as someone who makes a living helping people like you (read: vested interest) but sincerely, a lot of people in your position don't follow our advice. Even if it's free. They want what they want, pie in the sky, not what they need. There's a lot of good advice out there for people who are serious, my site is the number one resource on the web for people like you. I also wrote the most highly rated book in the industry on how to start a clothing line (the entrepreneur's guide to sewn product manufacturing). I also have a private forum because people aren't going to share information that constitutes competitive advantage where just anyone can pick up on it. Unfortunately, if it's public, you get a lot of starry-eyed PR fans clogging the board with questions on how to become a star. They don't understand how hard a job it is like you do.

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30-10-2009
  190
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i wouldnt recommend people not to go to fashion school, from my own experience i learned SO MUCH about the design and production process that it gave me the tools to start my own business myself, even making every garment. The school i was in however, i felt gave me everything it had to offer and at my 6th semester i changed schools, now im in a school that is more business oriented. I think its the best decision i could make, so i now have the best of both worlds, i could learn production in one and business in the other. I started the line a couple months before going to the new school thats why i had so many doubts about the business, but now that im more business oriented i feel im so ahead of my class.

Maybe some people are just so talented they didnt need school, but im not really one of those, i needed the kind of guidance school gives you. And if anything bad happens to my line or whatever i could always have a degree and experience to back me up. Its true that in this business a degree isnt as necesary as talent or experience, but you never know what could happen.


Last edited by daniellat; 30-10-2009 at 01:54 PM.
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12-11-2009
  191
windowshopping
 
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Hi Guys,

I am looking for a group of 10 like-minded people all located within Australia to combine forces and launch a clothing brand with… Here is the reasoning behind my idea… I have been in the fashion game for a while now… and have been working on my clothing brand since 2002… which is over 7 years… over these 7 years I have learnt heaps about the industry, read a lot of books and made tons of mistakes and also spent/lost a lot of money on things that were not necessary… However this is the learning curve in every industry…. Currently I have 3 different clothing brands all specialising in the streetwear industry (which I believe is by far the biggest market in the fashion industry… take a look at diesel, g-star etc… it’s a massive market)

The purpose of this awesome idea and creating a large group is this…

1) All the large major brands that you see out there in retail stores today have been around for a long-time… they didn’t just start out a few years ago and all of a sudden became a world-wide success… as with anything, these things take time… nothing happens overnight… no matter how good your brand name is, or how good your clothing designs are… the reason why these big name brands such as diesel, g-star etc… have become so big is because they have been in the clothing industry for years… and over those years they have developed a large group of industry contacts, sales agents and large sales distribution chain… you cannot do this overnight or over a period of 1-2 years… its impossible… and whoever tells you that you can… hasn’t got any idea what he is talking about…

Lets look at some examples;

Diesel – founded in 1978 by Renzo Russo
Billabong – founded in 1973 by Gordon and Rena Merchant
G-Star – founded in 1989
Abercrombie & Fitch – founded in 1982

Now as you can see from the list above the majority of these brands have been around for a minimum of around 30 years… now I don’t know how you feel, but I really don’t want to be working on my label for 30 years until I reach success… by that age I am going to be over 50 and the best years of my life will be pretty much over… (lol, just kidding)… but you get my drift…

Now don’t get me wrong… there is a few brands that have exploded sort of overnight for example Ed Hardy, Von Dutch etc… but your chances of starting a label and exploding overnight such as these is almost 1 in 1,000,000%.... also keep in mind that the person that started the Ed Hardy label had been working in the industry for years and use to work for Diesel & Von Dutch and therefore knew a lot of industry contacts and also contributed a lot to his success….


Okay now for anyone who doesn’t know how much many can be made in the apparel industry here are some figures;

DIESEL
Employees: over 1,500+

2001 Annual Turnover: Diesel’s annual turnover is 360 million euros (US$ 320M and a lot of lira) (back then this was approx $600 million in Australian Dollars)
Source: http://www.brandchannel.com/features_profile.asp?pr_id=49


2003 Annual Turnover: turnover of almost $750 million (approx $1 billion Australian Dollars)
Source: http://www.cnn.com/2003/WORLD/europe/10/15/globaloffice.diesel/index.html


2004 Annual Turnover: Italian casualwear and jeanswear company Diesel SpA reported it achieved sales of €1 billion (approx 1.6 billion Australian Dollars)

The company informed that profits accounted for 17 percent of sales in 2004
*Okay now this is important – unlike Billabong etc, Diesel is a private company owned by only 1 person “Renzo Russo”… this means that if 17% of sales accounted for profit, he would have been left with an annual profit of $272 million dollars in Australian dollars all for himself, just 1 person.

Source: http://www.fibre2fashion.com/news/company-news/diesel-jeans/newsdetails.aspx?news_id=6217


Billabong
2009 Annual Turnover: $1.364 Billion Dollars ($1,364,600,000)
Net Income: $123 Million Dollars ($123,000,000)
Source: http://www.answers.com/topic/billabong-international-ltd



G-Star
Annual Turnover: G-STAR has a turnover of €200 million (approx $350 million Australian Dollars)
This is from an old article… they are making much more than this now
Source: http://www.a3forecastsolutions.com/suc_g-star.html



Abercrombie & Fitch
Employees: 83,000

2009 Annual Turnover: $3.540 Billion Dollars ($3,540,300,000)
Source: http://www.answers.com/topic/billabong-international-ltd



As you can see from the figures above… the fashion industry is a big market, especially the street/urban sector…

Now this is the reason why I chose to go for a group of 10 people… I initially thought of going with a group of 6 people, then 15 people, and decided that a group of 10 would be the ultimate for the following reasons;

1) 15 people will be too hard to manage
2) 6 people although easier to manage… the disadvantages are;
i) As you may well know, in any type of business, there is always some start-up costs involved… now I want to keep our costs as minimal as possible for each member in the group… but at the very least… just to get the ball kicking this is what they would equate to… and lets also say that we don’t register the trademark until the brand is in atleast 15 different retails stores and has made atleast $5,000…
*First batch of 50 t-shirts (including t-shirt & screenprinting) = 50 @ $10 each = $500
*Screenprinting Silk Screen Setup - $50 approx
*Satin Labels (1,000pcs) = $70-$80
*Swing Tags (1,000pcs) = $100

As you can see this has already came to a total of around $730 just to get the ball rolling… and always remember that there will always be a few hidden expenses… Lets just say it comes to around $1,000 to start it all… this cost divided between 10 people is a lot less money for each of us as opposed to dividing it by only 6 people….

3) Imagine 10 people working on the brand for 2hrs each day… this equates to over 20hrs per day… more than probably any of us could work solidly on the brand in a week… and imagine if we all just did 2hrs per day first thing every morning, 7 days a week… that’s 140hrs per week!!!!

As you can see a lot more can be achieved with 10 people rather than 6 people

4) Finally keep in mind the main purpose of this group is not just about making money… hey if the brand that we launch makes money than it would hurt either…. and I believe it will, how can it not with 10 people working on it??.… but being honest, the purpose of this group is to share our knowledge, industry contacts & workforce and combine it all together too fast track the entire process… like I said I don’t want to be working on my labels for 30 years until I achieve success.. I want to fast track it as much as possible… I bet if you took all these brands I mentioned above away from their original owners, and left them with nothing… I bet they could launch another brand & have it up and running within 1/10th of the time than anybody else or a newbie… due to all the industry knowledge and contacts that they have… This is the main goal & purpose of creating this group…

I actually heard from a reliable source, that all these big brands such as Diesel, Billabong, Quicksilver etc… get their tee’s manufactured, screenprinted, labeled, tagged, bagged, shipped and imported into Australia for under $1… this is simply because when they go to a manufacturer in China… they place an order for 1 million pieces of the exact same t-shirt… whereas every other brand may only manufacture around 500-1,000pcs of the same shirt design, and they are doing over 1 million… and that’s why they get the shirts made up and tagged, bagged etc.. ready for retail sale for under $1…. That is the purpose of this group…

Okay, so these are some of the characteristics that I would like to see in the people that would like to join this group;

Required Characteristics;
i) Owning your own clothing brand must be your dream – just exactly like Australian idol, and that chef cooking show etc… these people’s long-life dreams are to become singers & chefs… they think about it everyday.. and even before they go to sleep…. If you don’t have a passion towards starting your own clothing brand and it is not your dream… then please don’t apply to join this group….
ii) You need to be able to commit to atleast 2hrs per day, 5 days a week on working on the brand… this really isn’t much if you think about it, I am not asking for much…. But if you are the type of person that loves partying, going out… and doesn’t have any discipline and cant commit to 2hrs per day… then please don’t waste any of our time… this brand will not become a world-wide success by working only 10min per day on it….
iii) Must know the basics of how to use a computer… if you don’t know how to use email, excel, word, very basic graphic design etc… than it is just going to be too hard for us to have to assist you all the time with certain tasks…

If you have a dream of owning your own clothing label… and enjoy going out & seeing people wearing your own clothing brand as opposed to other major mainstream brands such as diesel, industrie, g-star etc… and would like to join the group that I am trying to create then please email me at ckhyips@gmail.com

You don’t need to write a massive email just simply let me know that you are keen, and I will get back to you… and based on what I think and what you can offer I will accept you as a member of the group… Once the group has an initial few members we will decide as a team who can join the group…

Anyway for anyone that is interested here is what I can offer to the group
i) As I said I have been in the fashion game for over 7 years… and have a few different labels… during this time I have read so many books, made so many mistakes, and have learnt heaps!!!…
ii) Industry Contacts – I have all the contacts from;
*t-shirts manufacturers - based in China, Fiji, QLD, Sydney & Melbourne… I even know the exact manufacturer in melbourne where travisty, mossimo, lee, st lenny, globe, kid chasey manufacture all their tees
*fabric suppliers
*t-shirt, caps etc – stock service suppliers within australia… no manufacturing required
*screenprinters, embroiderers
*laundry services
*label makers – I know the best manufacturer of “embroidered & satin labels”… I have used them many times and the work is always 100% perfect… they are based in china and make 1,000 labels for you, shipped to your door for only $60 US

iii) I use to screenprint all my t-shirts myself and still have all the equipment so I know exactly how the screenprinting industry works

iv) MASSIVE SALES CONTACT DATABASE – I have an excel database which contains the contact details including fax, emails, phone numbers etc… to over “1,000 Sales Agents based in Australia”, “2,600 retail stores based in Australia”, plus international sales agents and retail stores

v) I have advanced computer skills – including website design, graphic design etc…. so basically I can have the entire website & current seasons catalogue created and ready to send in “pdf” format to retail stores & sales agents in under a week….

vi) Have a professional Nikon D60 digital camera, which I just purchased recently for over $1,000 for all photoshooting purposes

Plus others that I cant think of right now….


*For those of you that may be thinking how are we going to control the running over this brand over 10 people… it is actually quite simple… each task will be broken down to individuals…. Any purchases that need to be made will be first emailed to everyone within the group and only once everyone agrees on the purchase, will the purchase will be allowed to be made… all expenses and income will go in & out of only 1 bank account…. etc.. Exactly the same way Abercombie & Fitch controls 83,000 employees… we will create a system to control the group of 10….

Sorry for such a big post…. But I am really excited…. Like I said if you’re keen and want to join us in this massive future brand, and trust me it will be massive, then email me at ckhyips@gmail.com

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12-11-2009
  192
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Join Date: Dec 2005
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I think it's great you laid this all out, it's an inspirational road map but I'm not sure it's a go and I won't insult your intelligence by presuming you don't know that already. Laying it all out is a useful way of thinking through the process. My key question is, what do you want to do, really? You wrote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by allvogue View Post
Finally keep in mind the main purpose of this group is not just about making money... this group is to share our knowledge, industry contacts & workforce and combine it all together too fast track the entire process... I bet if you took all these brands I mentioned from their original owners, and left them with nothing… I bet they could launch another brand & have it up and running within 1/10th of the time than anybody else or a newbie... This is the main goal & purpose of creating this group
In this context, it seems you want a nurturing support group, an incubator or sorts. That's a laudable goal, one I strive towards daily. How does one go about that? I don't have the answer -and I've been working on it for five years. This is not sour grapes or a passive aggressive way of suggesting you can't do something I haven't. I truly want to know. Here's my thinking, you already have three brands you say are doing well; why not infuse the group into building those into formidable entities? It's always easier to add on than to build anew.

You don't define what you want people to bring to the table beyond $73-$100, 10-14 hours of weekly labor and computing skills that most young people who habituate forums would have. Arguably, if you want to incubate, the primary need is passion and commitment -which is something you did mention so key on that. If you have passion, it can carry you through everything else.

It is common for people to mention the direct costs attributable to scale as a matter of competitive advantage. Consider:
Quote:
... all these big brands ...get their tee’s manufactured, screenprinted, labeled, tagged, bagged, shipped and imported into Australia for under $1… this is simply because when they go to a manufacturer in China...
But there are considerable costs to effect a $1 direct cost, what you call "hidden" costs. Specifically, these are (minimally) transaction costs and overhead. These are usually much higher than direct costs which you admitedly hope to surmount with institutional knowledge acquired through group members. But if members are newbies themselves, how can they bring this capital into the enterprise? The singular advantage established brands have is that they acquire the means to buy institutional knowledge (usually via salaries), values that are then transmitted to everyone else. Which brings me to sales. It's one thing to have the money to affect a $1 direct cost purchase and another thing entirely to have the means to place it and sell it.

Returning to the matter of direct costs, people do the math. They see the product at retail -say $30, subtract the dollar and think the balance is pure profit or nearly so less those pesky hidden costs you mention. The problem is, sales do not equal profit. In most healthy successful companies, actual profit is closer to 1 or 2 percent. If that. This means that while your direct product cost is $1, you'll have to spend or abdicate an additional $27 or $28 per shirt. For a tiny company without economies of scale, 1 to 2 percent is dirt. It's a different game altogether.

Fact: smaller companies are more profitable than large ones mostly because their transaction costs are lower. With fewer owners (presumably not a public company such that all your examples are), there's better return for each owner. I'm not saying you should not aspire to be a big brand but I am saying you're better off using a small business model (and goals) until you are solidified and can leverage the cache of your brand into something better.

And speaking of "better" (depending on how you define your values), all of your examples of big brands are actually owned by somebody else. They were acquired by other larger entities into a stable of other brands they own. These larger firms bought these labels and brought in their own institutional knowledge to take them to another level to become the examples worth mentioning.

Again, if this is the model you aspire to, that is a personal decision. My advice to people who want to do this is to (usually) aspire to become acquired. Become a company that someone wants to buy. That's where the money is. At that point you can roll into the larger firm who buys you out and acquire yet more knowledge of workings on that level or you can bow out to start all over again. Personally, that is more attractive to me. I'd rather be a serial entrepreneur and start a new company and begin the process anew.

Lastly, in formulating your plan, keep a wary eye on confirmation bias...

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17-11-2009
  193
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I highly recommend The Fashion Designer Survival Guide by Mary Gehlhar to anyone considering the idea of starting their own fashion/clothing company. Lots of great advice from the author and many fashion designers, and lots of resources.

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27-01-2010
  194
windowshopping
 
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If you were a startup fashion brand(need your opinion)..
..style and pricewise something like H&M, how would you approach the marketing / brand development and public relations thing?

Lets start with PR:

As a startup, you will have a hard time gettin coverage in all major publications because there already are too many brands like you so what do you do to get your name out there?

Marketing/ Branding:

From a sales perspective you already arent so expensive since you are in the H&M range and that will most likely take away from its exclusitivy (and attract a different type of buyers) but still, you are new so how do you attract people (condition wise)? Would you consider guerilla marketing (street teams,etc) as the method to reach out to people? What effect could this have on your brand?

FYI: i´ve worked at an agency for several years where we did whatever we wanted to and as of recent, i decided for a "change of scenery" and went to a startup but still very corporate structured label and things are just sooo different so i want to know how you would approach this thing..

Your 0.02$ please.

Thanks a lot you guys!

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19-04-2010
  195
rising star
 
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having your own fashion label... waiste of a life!
I've done fashion for 2 & 1/2 years, like my tracksuits cost $30 to make (like any color I want, embroidered patches, and silver nailheads = really cool sets!), so I sell at $50 a set, I make $20...
(a tracksuit sells for $100 in stores, 60 top 40 bottom)


now, even if I sell to 150 stores across (for spring/summer, lets say) each store only buys like 6 sets (mixed colors, cuts, etc.) so thats only $18,000 a season BEFORE tax (and if u make all the sales yourself without a rep, which is what dom rebel does)


For all that hustlin' its only, thats only $23,400 a year!
holy ****...

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