How to Launch Your Fashion Collection: Tips From TEG’s Specialists
If your dream is to be noticed as a clothing designer, then you’ll want to have an edge in this competitive industry. Set yourself up for success by learning the fundamentals of launching your fashion collection.
As leaders in fashion development and production, we are sharing our insider secrets on how to define, design, produce, and market your fashion collection from start to finish.
What Is a Fashion Collection?
A fashion collection is a curated series of garments and accessories that can be worn together. Yours may consist of traditional pieces, such as tops, bottoms, and outerwear, or focus on a single product available in multiple colorways.
Whether you’re an aspiring clothing designer or a seasoned creator, it’s never a bad idea to brush up on the basics. Let’s start with the differences between “fashion line” and “fashion collection.” These two familiar terms are sometimes used interchangeably but don’t actually mean the same thing.
A fashion line encompasses the individual collections created by a brand for a specific category, whereas a fashion collection is the group of clothing created for a specific season and housed within a line. There can be multiple fashion lines which may be broken down based on categories, such as gender, lifestyle, or price point. These can include several different fashion collections per year per line.
For example, “Brand X” has three fashion lines for women – luxury womenswear, ready to wear, and activewear. Within the three categories will be individual collections released according to the upcoming seasons. Ready to wear may have a collection released for spring/summer, fall/winter, resort, and pre-fall. The same is true of the luxury and activewear lines, give or take additional collections depending on the line’s needs.
An independent label or boutique brand may decide to stick to the two major seasons, spring/summer and fall/winter. This allows you to stay trendy and relevant without overspending on extras that may not yet be in your budget. Ultimately, this decision depends on the buying patterns and preferences of your audience along with your ability to design and produce multiple fashion collections. Remember, quality is always better than quantity.
Now that we’ve sorted out the differences, let’s take a more in-depth look at what defines a fashion collection. Within these seasonal groups, it’s common to have coordinating separates that can be mixed and matched. The items therein will reflect the season and provide wearable options for your target audience.
A complete fashion collection may take upwards of 18 months from start to finish, patience and perseverance are key. So is a knack for predicting trends since your collection will need to be designed and produced several seasons in advance. Our in-house project manager is here to assist you in creating your calendar and timeline. They will also answer any questions you have on scheduling, logistics, and generalities.
How to Design a Fashion Collection
Holding the title of “head clothing designer” for your label means you’ll want to learn all there is to know about how to design a fashion collection. It’s helpful to first understand how garments are constructed so that when you meet with our patternmaker to discuss your designs, you’ll both be on the same page.
Having this basic understanding also helps with fabrication issues that may arise from your designs. Perhaps your collection hinges on a few standout pieces with unique details, but you later discover that these cannot be made based on the engineering of the garment.
You’ll also need to have a working knowledge of fabrics and finishes in order to create a functional collection. Once you have a grasp on materials, our sourcing manager will be able to help you secure the best fabric and trim vendors for your collection.
You can choose to create a small, medium, or large collection depending on your budget and audience. Small collections are somewhere around 10 to 12 pieces, medium around 18 to 20, and large around 25 to 35. This is where the discipline of self-editing comes into play. Being able to identify which pieces in your collection are strongest and most practical in terms of style, wearability, and cohesiveness will allow you to narrow down your fashion collection to a reasonable size that caters to your audience.
We provide samples created by our in-house team, fittings and adjustments, duplicates, and costings which include three production volume levels. The latter makes it convenient for labels of varying sizes to produce the quantities they need with concise fees for pre-production and production. From start to finish, TEG is here to guide you on your way to designing, producing, and launching a high-end collection.
Creating a Successful Fashion Collection Will Take…
Creating a successful fashion collection is about more than just working with a reputable fashion development and production house like TEG. It not only takes surface knowledge, such as terminology, garment construction, and fashion production comprehension but also a strong sense of creativity and a flair for business and marketing.
Developing a clear vision and committing to it is one of the very first steps to creating a successful fashion collection. Cultivating your brand and the signature that sets you apart from the competition is what draws in your customer base.
We discussed the ability to self-edit your collections, but it doesn’t stop there. You must decide whether you want to sell your fashion collection direct to consumer or have your collection picked up and sold commercially.
In direct-to-consumer collections that are sold without the “middleman” or retailer, you tend to have more creative freedom and authority when it comes to the style of your creations. This method allows you to express your brand in whatever way you see fit, so long as you are appealing to your customer base and making a profit.
In commercial collections that are picked up by retailers, you may need to be flexible when it comes to designing your collection. This method focuses more on appealing to the retailers demographic while still maintaining a fresh look and feel. For your fashion collection to succeed in the commercial retail realm, it’s important to note that harmonious collections perform best.
Our Top Three Fashion Collection Tips
Supporting and educating clothing designers is our passion. Nothing makes us happier than seeing new brands spread their wings and established labels please their loyal fans. To serve you even further, we’ve included our top three tips for designing a successful fashion collection.
Know Your Customer
We really can’t stress the significance of knowing your customer enough. They are your bread and butter. They’re the people who help you to succeed in the fashion industry, therefore it’s of the utmost importance that you are designing for them.
Now, this doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your vision, creativity, or brand signature, it simply means you must find your tribe, and hone in on what they will look forward to wearing.
Coinciding with knowing your customer is creating the brand signature that sets your fashion collection apart from the rest. What you pick will depend heavily on the demographic you market to.
You might choose to incorporate a certain color, a custom pattern, or a special material – think Gucci’s stripe, Burberry’s check pattern, or Evisu’s seagull.
Whatever it is you decide, be sure that you have done your research on trends. Look to the major runway shows, competitor lookbooks, and social media feeds, as well as message boards and relevant social media fashion influencers that will speak to your audience.
Quality is Key
One of our best and most important fashion collection tips pertains to quality. As a clothing designer, you must create a level of quality that is consistent across every single collection you release.
The success of many brands in the fashion industry, of which there is hefty competition, hinges on quality control. You’re going to want a flawless fit, top-notch materials, a keen sense for creating unique or useful details, and the ability to do those things again and again.
As an independent label considering a relationship with TEG, it’s likely that your model customer prefers slow fashion over fast fashion. Where their garments are made, how their garments are made, and who makes their garments are all factors in setting your brand apart, as well as in operating morally and ethically.
You’ll be happy to know that we provide the highest quality in the industry. We craft garments based on artisanal practices and perform every aspect of our in-house development and high-end production in our Los Angeles and San Francisco studios.
Utilize Social Media
Creating a successful fashion collection doesn’t end once the finished product has been delivered. Throughout this design process and period, it’s crucial that you are communicating with your target audience. One of the very best ways to do this is online.
Create a website or a fashion collection book, often known as a lookbook, and then create accounts across social media (Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, etc.). Begin promoting your fashion collection as early as possible. Capture your audience by sharing your behind the scenes process. Showcase preliminary sketches, videos of fittings, and other little tidbits about your upcoming collection that will keep your audience interested.
Instagram is one of the best places for fashion collections to be seen. You can sell direct to consumer from your feed with a commercial account, and increase your chances of exposure through cross-posting. When curating your feed, be sure that it supports your brand’s signature style throughout.
Last Words of Advice
By the end of this article, your head will probably be buzzing with creative ideas for your upcoming collection. We’ve covered fashion collection tips ranging from knowing garment construction basics to utilizing social media as a marketing platform. But it doesn’t stop there.
Get organized, create your checklist, and try to think like your customers and/or retail buyers would when designing your collection. If you’re not seeing instant results, remember this industry advice: new customers will need to be exposed to your brand at least seven times before making their first purchase. Like most of life’s undertakings, creating a fashion collection is not a race to the finish but a journey to success.
We’d love to help you along the next step of your journey if you are interested in finding out more about working with TEG or have any questions get in touch.