MakersValley: Life in the Valley

7 Things to Include in Your Pitch to Fashion Investors

Written by Yash Bansal | 6/22/21 7:00 PM

If you have ever watched the ABC reality series, Shark Tank, you may have noticed how cutthroat and intense pitching to investors can be, regardless of the quality of the product being presented. While every situation in life won’t have the same high drama of a reality show, pitching to a potential investor can still be a daunting and high-stakes task. Fashion designers should regularly practice and update their pitch with some key elements to impress potential investors and win the funding they need to finance the production and marketing of their fashion label.

What Investors Look for in a Pitch

Investors hear pitches regularly, so it is inherently challenging to stand out. Some elements of a pitch that are expected by essentially all investors include:

  • A pitch deck (more on this later)
  • The problem you are trying to solve
  • Your unique selling point that solves the above problem
  • Dedication and determination
  • Knowledge of your product and industry
  • Marketing strategy

Once you identify the above for yourself, you’ll need to outline these elements in an effective way to impress investors.

The 7 Parts of a Clear and Concise Pitch

When you reach out to investors, do so in a written form like email or in person. All of the following elements that you need apply in both cases, although when it comes to emails, you may want to avoid being too wordy. It would be best to try and arrange an in-person or phone meeting to truly display confidence in your pitch. Here are the 7 parts of that pitch that you’ll need to have ready for a meeting:

  1. Hand Out Pitch Deck - Offering a pitch deck to an investor helps them follow along with your pitch visually. It is critical that this deck is professionally made, nice to look at, contains pertinent information, and is easy to read. For fashion designers, the pitch deck is a good place to showcase the designs of which you are most proud.
  2. The Hook - In an email, this would be your subject line. When speaking on the phone or in person, this is what you say to draw your investors in. You could ask them a question that leads to the problem you’re aiming to solve or say a statement that leads into the brief story you want to tell. Keep a tone of confidence and determination throughout the pitch. It is a good idea to practice it many times before speaking to investors.
  3. The Story - Speak briefly about how your idea came to you and be sure to get into what problem you want to solve as well as your unique selling point. Focus on the vision and your differentiating factors. Throughout the presentation, keep the focus on what benefits your products provide. During this stage, designers should show off their knowledge of their product and the industry.
  4. Details on Unique Selling Point - Whether it is that your products use a certain type of fabric or are aiming to fulfill the needs of a certain demographic, it is crucial to give adequate details on your unique selling point. This is also where you should bring up any competitors you have and mention what makes you stand above them and what you do differently.
  5. Current Revenue and Profits - Any investor will want to see if you have made money on your products yet. The reality is, if you haven’t reached a breakeven or point of profit, it likely will be very difficult to convince an investor to hop on board.
  6. Marketing Strategy - After getting through why your designs are unique and how your business has performed so far, you will have to show the investor how and when you plan to grow the business. Have a well-thought-out strategy planned depending on your primary goal, whether that’s to promote certain designs, reach more buyers and customers, or something else.
  7. Closing - Having a memorable slogan can help you to stand out. What’s most important is that you sum up the key points from your pitch and make it clear what you are asking for from the investor and set the stage for negotiation.

Innovations happen every day and pitching the next big thing in an industry as populated as the fashion world will continue to be challenging. However, if designers follow the above guidelines when preparing a pitch, and really think about each aspect of it in depth, it can increase the chance that an investor will choose to invest in your business.