All about Starting your Own Label /Line ... See post #1 for related threads.

Discussion in 'Careers, Education & the Business of Fashion' started by kaliptika, Dec 10, 2004.

  1. markese91

    markese91 New Member

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    I say I'm her PR but really I'm like her consultant that not only consults but does :/ Creative Direction/Styling/PR/Website Design/Everything besides design(although I may be doing a bit of that) is me...
     
  2. F0F0

    F0F0 New Member

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    I would like to highly recommend the following books:

    * How to set up & run a Fashion Label (Toby Meadows, Lawrence King Publishing, 2009)
    * Fashion Entrepreneur (Sandra Burke, 2008)

    And if you are in London I think the author of the first book I mentioned works/teaches at the London College of Fashion. And last time I checked he was giving an open-to-the-public short course there on this very same subject.
     
    #222 F0F0, Mar 9, 2011
    Last edited by moderator BEME: Mar 9, 2011
  3. *classic gal*

    *classic gal* New Member

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    I am an aspiring designer. I have tons of sketches and I know how to sew, but not professionally. I was looking for some help to get started. I am not sure how to go about selling my designs to stores. Do I have just samples made up, or do I need to have a whole inventory before I go. Also, how does pricing work. If I want to sell my dresses at 200, then the store has to jack it up like double right? I am going to meet with some sample makers, should I have material with me or do they supply it?
    Please help :-)
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  4. BetteT

    BetteT Mod Squad Team Leader

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    Welcome to the Fashion Spot!

    I would think that all you need is samples to see the buyers. But if they want to order some pieces, you must be ready for production ... and be able to give them a reasonable time line.

    But, as a new designer, more likely you will work with a couple of very small, local boutiques at first ... and they will most likely want to buy what you bring in rather than order them. So, if you have 3 designs, in 4 sizes each ... 12 pieces ... they will buy what they think they can sell ... some of them, maybe. Or you could work out a consignment agreement ... that you leave your pieces in the store, and if the sell them they pay you for them ...not the best way, be it can help you get some traction sometimes. One of these two ways is probably the way you will need to go ... untill you are in full production.

    Your samples will need to be made in the same fabric you choose for your line ... because it is what you buyers will expect, if they order from you. So, I believe that you will have to provide your own fabric for your samples. Make sure it's a fabric that you can get a lot more of ... in case you do go into production with any particular design.

    Mark ups seem to be about 2.2 to about 3.0. So using that formula, you will know what you have to do to make it profitable for both you and the store. For example, if your costs plus any profit you hope to make add up to $200, then you know that you must sell to stores whose price points are usually $440 to $600 ... or they won't be able to afford your pieces. So you can't sell to an affordable juniors shop whose pieces sell for around $50 to $100 ... they would not be a potential buyer for you. So, your options are to: reduce your costs significantly ... or take your line to higher priced store. Of course ... your line must match the quality and style of that store in addition to your prices.

    Make sure you have looked at all of the threads in the first post of this thread. As you can see, we have some specific topics moved to other threads .. so you are likely to gleen more information there.

    In particular, you should check these threads out ... there are good tidbits of information buried in these:
    Selling my Line to Buyers/Boutique Owners
    All About Showrooms and Sales Reps
    Basics About Production and Factory Manufacturing
    Cost of Production


    Here's another thread the might be of interest to you:
    Making Samples ... What Fabrics to Use?
     
  5. kikiss

    kikiss New Member

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  6. seamnoir

    seamnoir New Member

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    Costing is driving me crazy! I don't think I've been able to get production costs low enough for decent wholesale pricing. I've tried to stay at a 40% profit margin. However, via literature, I haven't found wholesale price averages. What constitutes viable wholesale pricing? (Number-wise)

    Also, is there anyway to ensure that a store stays within your suggested retail value? I'm trying to keep my line affordable and arbitrary pricing amongst retailers would defeat the purpose of my brand.
     
  7. andeplus

    andeplus New Member

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    hi,

    I'm a designer/student based out of the Washington DC area. I have done some searching and there doesn't seem to be a thriving scene here for those individuals who have not graduated but still want to work towards building a line (thats not just your average streetwear brand I might add). I think the next step in my process of getting a solid company started is finding a creative partner who I can collaborate, invest, and essentially build something substantial with. Although, the DC area is major area of the country, it isn't like New York or LA where there are swarms of people with ideas and talent that one could work with. Can anyone help? Proferrably on the east coast. I'm basically looking to connect with someone who is in the same boat as me as far as school and doesn't have an established brand or affiliation lined up....
     
  8. Menace

    Menace New Member

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    What size dress form should I get? What size(s) do you have?

    I will be buying a dress form to start creating some of my vision (womenswear) and I don't make clothes for me so I want to know what the "sample size" or "industry standard" is? My professor tells me that a size 8 (on the Wolf dress forms) is about standard, but I'm thinking that's a bit on the bigger size when it comes to sample sizes? I'm looking to buy a PGM or Wolf dress form to start. I'm thinking maybe a size 4 would be good to start, but I'm wondering if I should go up to a size 6? Thanks.

    What sizes do you guys have?

    Thanks :flower: :heart:
     
    #228 Menace, Aug 25, 2012
    Last edited by moderator : Aug 25, 2012
  9. *Jibrielle*

    *Jibrielle* New Member

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    ^

    I use size 8 Wolf Forms for my garments and they fit the models just fine (Sometimes depending on the model we have to do alterations). I used to use a size 6 (Royal Form) but the fit wasn't as good as the Wolf Forms. Start by using a size 8 and eventually get a size 6? Or try using the ones at your school and see what works for you and the type of models you use. :smile:
     
  10. Menace

    Menace New Member

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    ^ Thank you for the reply :smile: :flower:
     
  11. Mariann

    Mariann Member

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    If some one brings out a jewellery range, how many pieces would you like to see in their range. Like how many earrings, rings, bracelets and necklaces?
    I have been looking at Nicole Trunfio's range and she has a few earrings and few rings, I think there are less than 9 bracelets, not sure. Would you class this as good quantity?

    And how often would you expect a designer to change their collection, twice in the year?
     
  12. BetteT

    BetteT Mod Squad Team Leader

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    You really have to know your customer.

    If you are going to sell wholesale to buyers from retail stores, they usually will only start with a few pieces to see if your line will even sell ... so you probably don't need a wide range, at first.

    If you are selling on line or out of your own shop, you will need a wide variety to keep your customer engaged and coming back to you.

    Of course ... you keep adding new things all the time ... either way. And you have to be ready to produce more, very quickly, so your production sources need to be in place and ready to produce for you.

    A suggestion: Consider starting with only one type of jewelry at first ... say, bracelets, or earrings ... something like that. Then, after they become successful, then add the next thing. This should keep your costs down, while you build a name for yourself.
     
    #232 BetteT, Apr 20, 2013
    Last edited by moderator Natasa: Apr 20, 2013
  13. Mariann

    Mariann Member

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    When it comes to luxury lingerie, what kind of market do you think that should be targeted at?
     
  14. BetteT

    BetteT Mod Squad Team Leader

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    Rich women? :wink: And luxury stores where they shop ..... like Neiman.
     
  15. Mariann

    Mariann Member

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    Thanks BetteT. I didn't actually get a notification for this so I didn't know I got a reply. I have actually never heard of Neiman but I will do a check on it. I agree about target marketing in terms of targeting women that shop at luxury stores.

    Any ideas of what other luxury stores?
    When it comes to Rich women- is there a specific way they can be targeted?
     
  16. BetteT

    BetteT Mod Squad Team Leader

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    You don't target the actual consumer ... you target the buyers for the high end stores and they buy your line, wholesale, to re-sell it retail.

    Neiman Marcus is a luxury department store chain based in Dallas ... which caters to the luxury buyer. Also Saks Fifth Avenue, and Bergdorf Goodman ... both based in NYC. And Nordstrom ... based in Seattle is also considered a luxury goods department store, to a point. Don't know about European stores ... but I know there are some there, too.

    They have buyers who make the decisions about what lines these stores carry ... and it's often done during fashion week in the big cities ... NY, Milan, London, Paris. So, having a presence and a show in a major fashion week is probably a good idea. You won't be able to reach these stores until you are at that level of design and production or have won some major award like the CFDA.


    In high income communities, like Beverly Hills or the Upper East Side in NYC, etc. ... there are smaller stores that buy luxury lines wholesale. So you can go after these too. Rather than approaching these smaller stores, I think that your best bet would to be to hire a sales rep or showroom from whom the retail stores actually buy inventory. It's similar to an model getting an agent ... they have to want to carry your line because they think it's good enough for their buyers" stores.

    There is a thread about showrooms and buyers, tradeshows, and selling your line to buyers, if you want more information. See all the links in the first post of this thread ... they are listed there.
     
    #236 BetteT, Oct 9, 2013
    Last edited by moderator Natasa: Oct 9, 2013
  17. Mariann

    Mariann Member

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    What about if you are new and need to sell directly to the customers first? You should have a good idea of the market you are targeting like what your customers are interested in, etc. I am gathering some market research any ways and was wondering what specifics anyone could give about the luxury lingerie market?
     
  18. BetteT

    BetteT Mod Squad Team Leader

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    If you have rich friends ... you can start there ... and if they love your stuff, ask them to share the info with their friends ... and you might just get a little buzz going ... sort of like a secret new designer. . That's about the only way you'll be able to get to rich women ... without doing through the usual channels.


    Trying to sell directly to the rich customer is backwards ... and there's probably a reason it usually doesn't work that way. It's much harder than you think to get to them.


    I honestly do not think that the typical high end customer would buy from you on line .... unless they know you or your line, have worn it before and feel like they can buy it without actually touching it and trying it on. So, that is not a realistic option to introduce a high end line to wealthy clients or their stylists.


    So, if you don't want to sell to buyers for established, high end stores, that pretty much means you would have to open your own shop in a "rich" neighborhood. Then you would need to advertise and promote the heck out of it ... to get them interested and to encourage them to come in to checkout your line. Were talking hundreds of thousands of dollars here to get it up and running, so hopefully your are either rich yourself, or have a rich benefactor or investor who sees your vision. :wink:

    The promotional part would look something like this:

    Invite, fashion editors, fashion stylists and socialites to private showings in your beautiful new shop, prior to your official opening, to get some buzz going. That requires knowing who to reach out to ... and how to do it ... you have to reach their representatives (managers, publicists, assistants, etc.). You would hire a PR company to do set all of this up and contact the right people.

    Then you would hold a huge, highly publicized Grand Opening Party at your shop (cocktails, food, entertainment, gorgeous décor, the whole thing). This is not a time to scrimp. The first impression of your shop and your line can make or break you ... so it has to be spectacular enough to make your shop more appealing look better than all the other lingerie shops and department stores in the city. And you line must meet those expectations too ... just blow them away.

    You would need to hire an event planner to make this Grand Opening spectacular enough to impress the jaded, wealthy customer. You should have at least one big celeb or more (most likely you will have to pay them to attend) and as many of the community's well know socialites as possible. If you can attract the press, they will publish photos and article in local magazines and newspapers. Your invitations will by managed by your PR company ... they have the know how and the connections to get this done.

    Then, after you open, to keep the buzz going, and to ensure that you have a stead flow of new customers you will pay for regular advertising in your city ... your shop's name needs to be everywhere wealthy women are. Maybe a billboards in a couple of strategic places, one near your shop and maybe one in another prestigious shopping area. You would need to have professional photo shoots, and use those photos to place ads in high end local magazines and in the society pages of the newspapers. You would sponsor high end charity/museum/hospital fund raising events (which are usually attended by wealthy donors) which will get your name in the programs. Just a few basic things you will need to do to get the word out .....

    Or ... you can sell your line to buyers who already have rich customers. And build you name from there, opening a shop later, when your name is a household word.


    Here's a thread with some information that might help ... although it's more about selling to buyers, not directly to the customer. And, in fact, someone posted what a buyer is looking for in a luxury line in that thread on the first page. But it's relevant because it's what the customer would be looking for, too. If you are interested here's that first page: http://forums.thefashionspot.com/f90/selling-my-line-buyers-boutique-owners-30506.html
     
    #238 BetteT, Oct 10, 2013
    Last edited by moderator Natasa: Oct 10, 2013
  19. Mariann

    Mariann Member

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    I know for a fact, sorry if I sound naive, but I know designers who sell directly to customers, it's hard to sell wholesale unless you are more established, even some manufacturers want you to become more established before they work with you.

    I know market places like esty work but what about if you want to cut the commission costs out and sell directly to customers via your own website. This is where you need the marketing skills, especially social media, etc.

    Is there a thread on marketing please?
     
  20. BetteT

    BetteT Mod Squad Team Leader

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    Yes ... just use your search function with the keyword "marketing" and you'll fond it.
     

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