THE REAL COST OF STARTING A FASHION LINE
Oh boy, here we go:
- a freakin breakdown of the costs to create a fashion collection -
Honestly, this is the real stuff.
When I learned this trade, the investment was around 60 000 to 70 000 euros. It was worth it, because I was learning something that I could on my turn teach others (did not know that then, but now I am so grateful for it).
And I never stop investing! I went on a one year trip worth 10 000 euros, but priceless experience, because I discovered online working (and so much more!)
Recently again I put in another 6000 euros in myself to improve even more in whatever I do.
REALITY CHECK: you got to be willing to go for it BIG TIME and if not ... just forget about it. If you already feel your stomach crumbling to a big ball of combined fears to spend some money ... then keep scraping your ice cream jar my friends, because I am not going to lie, it is going to get even more scary!
So for the badasses out there: keep reading!
The others... keep reading too, as I am writing this down now anyway ... .
A few blogs posts ago I already told you what makes your brand unique (you). But now I thought about giving you insight on some numbers. I know, we rather close our eyes for money going out (coming in -- > always welcome!) but the truth is the truth, so better deal with it.
Let`s base our price on a start-up collection of 10 styles (garments). This is a solid number and gives some space to experiment.
You can calculate a rough estimate of 1000 USD to 1200 USD per style.
That makes 10 times 1000 USD OR 1200 USD = 10 000 to 12 000 USD
** BLINK BLINK**
So, where is this coming from?
STAGE 1: ME
Yes, me, your designer. I am not a cheap ass (well, at least not anymore) that`s true.
I have to admit, in the past when I started (and even not so long ago) I was trying to be as cheap as possible, understanding that startups who just started have to cut costs here and there. So I had to cut in creativity and research. But you know what? That is NOT how it is done. You can simply not cut on ideas and creation.
Your collection is THE PRODUCT you are going to sell, it is SO crucial and has been worked on till the bone.
---> Scarcity now, brings scarcity later... never forget.
Do not compromise in creativity people! It is the worst you can do.
Because creativity and ideas are PRICELESS!
Because they are unique, no one else will come up with this. The outcome will never ever look the same when your girl-friend creates her fashion line.
So, when you choose your designer, you are not paying them for the hours they put in. Because that does not make sense. You pay for their style, their ideas, advise, knowledge, their input, the years they spend learning this trade. Because with this product you want to stand out, so mediocracy won`t make the cut.
YOUR UNIQUE PERSONAL IDEAS AND THE DESIGNERS INPUT is what you have been looking for. Creating is in each of us, but has been developed in different areas of life.
And yes, you do need help from someone who developed his creativity in that field.
What do you have to pay attention for when choosing a designer?
When choosing your designer, make sure they are going to do the research for your collection. Ask them how much time they take for it? Someone who starts sketching out of nowhere, is not doing a really good job (and I did it once to because I was afraid to tell my clients that it would cost them more, obviously not helping anyone).
The designer has to work with you on the story, research materials, make mood boards, sketch the hell out of that pencil and integrate you in the process so you can learn (if you want that of course!).
As a designer I need a researched and educated starting point to draw this collection. Some images here and there and 2 sentences is simply not enough. It has to be way more! As a reference: when creating a collection of myself: I researched for one month at least and printed out 500 to a 1000 images for inspiration and creation.
So what does the designer do:
stage 1: research/mood board/fabric research/color chart/story
stage 2: sketching, swift sketching to bring the story created to life.
stage 3: technical drawings (black-white & color)
stage 4: tech-packs for samples
TOTAL VALUE: 4000 to 5000 USD
Thats`s right folks, almost half of your budget to make this collection.
STAGE 2: MANUFACTURING
What manufacturer is aligning with your vision?
This is the first question you have to ask yourself when looking for a factory. Again, try not to focus too much on their rate. Not saying you have to go for the most expensive one out there. But we all know the saying: you get what you pay for.
Are you a believer in sustainability? (I always use this example, because I sure am a believer of it!) Then go for a manufacturer who supports that too!
You want to work with ecological fabrics who embody pure life, you have a vision of world improvement ... then why would you work with a factory who profits from 16 hours of low wage labour?? Do they have to ship it from all across the globe so you can receive it? Do they do packaging? Do they do drop shipping? All stuff that has to fit in your idea.
Think about this!
Your vision is not only there on paper, it is in everything that you do! It is what you radiate, what you believe and what you support, SO ACT ON IT in every single detail and do not cut corners.
So what does the manufacturer do:
stage 1: creating a pattern based on the tech pack (most manufacturers work like that, or at least the ones I work with. I heard from some clients that they still want patterns, but then you have to ask this to a pattern designer).
stage 2: make a sample based on the tech pack and send you the sample
---> you as a client fit the sample on a fitting model (should be the same person every time for every fit!)
stage 5: re-make the sample based on the changes you want to make, after a fitting, resend it to you so you can fit again. This repeats till you agree to the sample.
stage 6: produce an agreed amount of garments, in other words: your collection baby!
This whole process cost is variable depending on the materials, details, simplicity or difficulty of the design, the amount and the quality of the garments.
Remember that the manufacturer has to source all the trimmings, zippers, materials, ship, buttons, tags, labels, etc. Somebody has to run around for this! If it is not you, they will or an agent will do it.
TOTAL VALUE: 2000 to 6000 USD
My end point here is actually very simple: do never ever cut corners on YOUR ideas.
Because then you are cutting corners on yourself. And if you do not think you are worth it, others won`t either and it will radiate through your brand.
Set yourself the question: what is this change worth to me? And then you have an answer.
Go over the motivation why you want to start this fashion line. You want to tell your story and you want to what you always dreamed of.
Never stop growing, it will radiate, I promise.
An interesting insight from a colleague blogger on how to start an Online Boutique! Check it out!
E L Z E
your fashion creator