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patr's Avatar
Join Date: May 2015
Gender: homme
Posts: 3
Start up Clothing Line ... Concept to Production Companies ... are they Legit?
Transforming ideas into actual pieces of clothing

*I sincerely hope this thread can stay as is and not be merged. I couldn't find any pre-existing, suitable threads to post this in, so here I go:

Hi there. I have several great ideas for pieces of clothing, concepts for collections, desire to use certain fabrics, colors, finishes, little details, etc.. and I can envision some very exciting, unique stuff. For starters, I'd basically be re-creating traditional clothing items with a few unique twists. More complex stuff can come later.

However, I have no experience in the fashion/clothing industry. The only thing I have are those ideas and concepts stuck inside my head! I've been so frustrated and anxious because I've been wanting to act on them for a while now (~2 years) and money was severely holding me back. I'm so confident in the ideas, I want to see them become a reality and start my own brand now that my money situation is a little better. But how?

I’ve been doing plenty research over the last few months and I came across several companies/groups/individuals who offer a variety of services to help in areas like: pattern making, grading, samples, fabric sourcing, etc… Or as some places describe it: “from initial concept until final product. we handle all phases of production” and everything in between. Some of them seem pretty credible, have 15-20+ years worth of experience in the industry and have supposedly worked with some noteworthy brands/labels.

^ Does anyone know the type of places I'm talking about? Could it be a good place to start for someone like myself? I compiled a list after finding some very appealing and credible ones in London and Milan (Italy is where I'd ideally like to have everything made) and I hope to travel there and learn & work with them to produce my clothing. All while I hopefully learn about the industry, since I plan to eventually be more involved than just a brain with ideas. (PS: Would 'creative director' be appropriate to use as a title for now?)

Some of these companies offer all necessary services “in-house” with their factory, whereas others are small groups or 1 individual with expertise in pattern making & grading & sewing & prototyping, but have connections with manufacturers to produce the bigger amounts.

Speaking of learning about the industry, unfortunately my city is extremely un-resourceful and totally detached from the fashion/clothing industry. However, I was recently recommended 2 books/guides to read. Just from skimming through the first one, it seems like there's an insane amount of helpful info that covers just about everything. I don't want to seem like I'm promoting it, especially cause I'm new, so I won't post a link unless I'm allowed. But I hope to absorb and learn a ton of info from there.

Anyways, can I genuinely benefit by working with one of these types of places I described? Or are they mostly trying to seek money from naive newcomers like myself? I read that I shouldn’t be paranoid about having my ideas stolen by factories. Does this still ring true for the types of groups & individuals I’ve mentioned?

Thanks in advance!

Last edited by patr; 19-05-2015 at 09:26 PM.
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BetteT's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Palm Springs
Gender: femme
Posts: 21,417
Welcome to the Fashion Spot!!

As you noted, there is a wealth of information already here, in various threads about how to start a line. Financing and backers, production, sourcing, sellers reps, showrooms, etc.

I don't know if there is anything about those companies that you mentioned, who do it all from concept to production, but there might be ... so be sure to read through the applicable threads. In any case, you will find very important information that anyone wanting to start a line needs to know. Start here ... and go on to all the links listed on the first post of this thread, to learn more:

I'll leave this thread, as you requested, but I want to change the title to reflect your most pressing question .... but you should ask your other topic specific questions in the other threads.

** It's All in the Details! **

Last edited by BetteT; 21-05-2015 at 10:50 AM.
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Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Krakow, Poland
Gender: femme
Posts: 1
Hi Patr.

Having some experience working with the concept-production companies I can say it's a safe path. The business seem to be profitable and although they do make clothing, the company profile/goals etc is completely different than that of the fashion designer.

Before you decide to work with any particular firm you might want to meet them/their representative in person. Old fashioned, but works. You will have to communicate a lot if you decide to work together, so having a good chemistry is definitely a pro. You want them to be flexible, enthusiastic and on top of things at all times. Ask them about their resources, time schedules and perspectives. Do they work on large sorts? How long does it take them to realize an order (once they have a pattern)? You want to know all these stuff, as eventually you will have to adjust to your manufacturer and/or clients.

You also have to consider your budget. Made in Italy label looks great, but it can get pretty pricey. I would suggest choosing a country which you can travel to easily, at least twice during the process (original meeting/fitting/quality check up). These days you can source anything/everything quite easily (fabrics, add ons), I think in the beginning your main goal is to make connections and establish a good working pace/system. From my experience, it's easier with smaller companies (they "love" you more, meaning they respect you and always have time for you).

Good luck!

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