Founding your own brand and successfully running it is a challenge. As I’ve been inside a fashion industry for more than 10 years for know I’ve seen many designers giving up on their goals and expiring. So today, taking into account my experience, I’ve decided to share it in several advices, covering main points that a young designer has to work on in order to survive in fashion.
- You should concentrate on the quality of your product. If you’re creating something really worthy, buyers and media will notice, whichever country you are from. Thanks to social networks there are numerous opportunities to reach global public – but you shouldn’t blame anyone but yourself if what you produce is badly manufactured or based on stolen ideas.
- You have to define your target audience very precisely. Knowing that your client is a ‘middle-aged, modern and successful woman, who loves fashion’ is not enough. You have to understand which magazines she reads, which opinion-makers she follows, at which shops she does her groceries and which sport she does.
- You have to know who your competitors are. Not whom you admire or who you look like, but in between which brands your clothes will hang in the boutique. Your price category, your niche, your ‘neighbors’ at offline or online shops – that’s what matters. If you won’t figure that out, you’ll never know which buyers will you need to invite to your showroom.
- There’s no better ‘school of life’ than to work for a successful, already established fashion brand. So if you get that kind of experience, it will give you a chance to see how the system works and practice.
- I realize that not everyone has the opportunity to intern for or to work in a fashion brand, so my next advice is to get as much information as possible from open sources. Keep in touch with everything what’s going on in the fashion industry – read books, subscribe for Business of Fashion, follow Instagrams of brands, buyers, boutiques and influencers you like. We live at amazing time when there is a ton of free information at your arm’s length – so use it as much as possible!
- If you’ve already reached some success – do not relax. That one dress that everyone loved this season will be of no interest for anybody in a year, or even in a season. I’ve seen so many brands focusing on one trendy product and losing this fashion game because of it. Fashion is rapidly changing, so always think one step forward, create something new and constantly develop.
- Fix the production part and the logistics part. For all the boutiques the most desirable brands are the ones that deliver their collections the earliest as they always sell the best. When I’ve talked to the 10 Corso Como buyers about clothes that are the bestsellers they mentioned a number of brands, among which was Margiela. And not only because Margiela makes a cool product – but because this brand is always the first one to supply clients with new collections. So if you get an order from a boutique and suddenly figure out you don’t know how and where to produce it and how to deliver it, this will cause delays, and delays are unacceptable in the industry.
Photos courtesy of Monica Arcé Garcia, Drapers.online