If you are planning on starting a fashion brand but have little to no experience in design construction and garment manufacturing, you might find it hard to know how to get your designs developed and manufactured successfully. Hence, why we decided to outline in this blog, what you need to prepare for, to launch your first collection.
GET TECH PACKS DEVELOPED FOR ALL YOUR DESIGNS
We highly recommend that you take your time to prepare well your design project before you contact manufacturers. First impression counts and many manufacturers will not reply to you or contact you back if they feel like you do not understand the process and are unable to communicate your designs effectively to them. Producing a collection is costly and if a garment manufacturer does not think you are serious about working with them, which can also translate to not having the financial means to manufacture your designs, they will most likely ignore your emails or enquiries.
Most well prepared clients, email manufacturers what we call a Tech Pack. Which is an A4 sheet (see image below) containing the technical sketches and all the important information about your product. It's an essential document for designers and production teams when producing new collections, as it helps clearly communicate every detail about your designs to the manufacturer.
If you are not a fashion designer and/or garment technician, the easiest way to get your tech packs developed is to use garment technicians from recommended websites like Fiverr.com or behance.com who will be able to do so for you for a certain fee. You just need to send them your hand sketches, reference images and a clear description of each design and they will professionally develop them for you within few days.
A tech pack not only shows clearly, key information about your designs but it also shows the manufacturer that you are a potential client that they should take seriously, which will also help develop a good relationship with them from the start.
WORK WITH A DESIGN TEAM TO DEVELOP YOUR FIRST SAMPLES OR WORK WITH A MANUFACTURER THAT HAS A DESIGN TEAM
The number one mistake that fashion starts-ups make is that they do not spend the time and money to ensure their designs are well developed before they move on to the production phase.
Don’t expect to buy an apparel sample and just say to the garment factory “Hey – I want to manufacture 1000 units of these!”It doesn’t work like that. There is an entire process of working through sampling, product development, and so much more before you should even begin to discuss production. It is a lot of work, but let’s put it this way: if you don’t know every single detail and component of how the product is created or work with design team or manufacturer who does, you won’t get what you expected, and that would be an expensive mistake. Most designers take anywhere from 3 months to year to develop a collection, so if you’re serious about bringing your garments into reality, ensure enough time and work is spent on perfecting each product. If you do not have a design team, we can help you with the whole product development process.
A fashion business cannot survive if the garments do not fit well. Simply put, it just won’t sell or you will get a lot of complaints from customers and returns. And it’s really hard to come back from being the brand with the reputation of “makes clothes that don’t fit properly”. Every market is different, and you need to understand their shape and fit expectations.
Refer to our product development page to see how our design team can help you ensure your products have the perfect cut and finishes before you go on to the production phase. With the product development process we follow, we will not only ensure a proper fit, which is very important for the image of your brand but also help you save money in the long run by minimising mistakes during production. During the process we follow we will plan as many fittings sessions as needed with you, utilising a fit model that emulates your ideal customer.
FIND WAYS TO CUT ON COSTS WITHOUT COMPROMISING ON QUALITY
Materials, the number of pattern pieces, and the complexity of sewing the garment all affect and determine costs. As you are working with pattern and sample makers, ask if there are ways to improve the design so you can save on costs when you start producing your collection. Make use of questions like these: “Can the number of pattern pieces be reduced?” “Is there an alternative way to reduce the number of machines required to stitch the garment?” and, “Can the factory source a more cost-effective fabric and/or trims?” Always think about minimizing costs as you work through your apparel design, and keep track of every change and how they effect costs.