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One of the first steps in the world of fashion is the first collection. This is no small feat and as time goes on, substantiating growth and recognition is one that takes dedication and commitment. Those who are starting out have a lot of work ahead, not only in creating buzz about their brand but also about what is involved in building that brand.
Some who are new to having their own brand will sell their clothing to smaller boutique stores, and others will open their own retail location. That involves a lot of legwork, and long hours, so the question becomes, what do you need to do going forward to build awareness and staying on top of the latest trends. Below we have a few guidelines to help you stay on course, remember these are steps needed to stay out in a crowded marketplace, so take time to do your due0diligence and you may find yourself at the top of the fashion world.
Watch and pay attention to the latest trends
Fashion trends change at an alarming pace and what is in style today is often not tomorrow. As a designer, you need to build contacts and stay on top of what others are doing to identify the next trend and act accordingly to tap into the lucrative market of those who jump on the latest trends.
Design lines that fit your audience
The first collection you release should always be focused on creativity for the audience you are hoping to attract. Remember, you only have one chance to impress, and today’s shoppers are picky, therefore be careful to research your audience and understand what they find most appealing. Do your job right, and you will gain traction with this group of shoppers.
It is not difficult to let costs get out of control, but it is one area that can destroy your business before it even gets off the ground and running. Keep close watch on material costs, production costs and marketing costs. Collectively these can eat up a large portion of your profit and need to be calculated into your pricing.
Understand your market! This is critical for success and selling to the right audience is key to your growth, especially in a day and age when social media is king and those who understand it best succeed over those that lack an understanding of how to market to the younger generation.
Monitor sales, cash flow and inventory!
As most clothing lines showcase their lines in multiple stores, understanding your sales and the cash flow you have on hand is important. Monitor unsold items, collect them and re-distribute to save costs. Maintain an updated inventory of all products and do not commit to orders you are unable to fill.
Relationships are everything in the clothing business. To ensure you have happy customers your retail partners need to have faith in you are a business. Be consistent in how you handle complaints and how you work with your retailers as they have the ultimate power to not stock your clothing line. Keep in touch with customer wants, needs and whenever possible, seek feedback.