Planning a Development Timeline as an Emerging Designer

MakersValley Blog | Planning a Development Timeline as an Emerging Designer
Amulya Agrawal

Amulya Agrawal

Launching a private label fashion line can be overwhelming, with having to research, design, create a brand identity, manufacture, and reach customers. However, by creating a timeline and mapping out milestones, you will make the process more manageable. The fashion industry is a fast-paced industry and timing determines much of your success. Luckily, we’ve compiled a list of factors to consider to ensure your line launches on time and in style.

fashion-season

Choosing a Fashion Season

With fashion trends evolving every season, timing greatly determines whether or not you attract customers. We recommend that you start planning at least one year in advance and set deadlines every month for each task. Top, high-end brands like Gucci start planning months, and even years in advance of launching a new line.

Once you select your launch date, work backwards and plan the last date by when your factory will need to complete final shipping, production, sampling, and sourcing.

product-developmentPrivate Label Product Development

After you send your private label designs and tech pack to your manufacturer, make sure to regularly check in with them and ask for updates. Be sure to collect updates from each production facility regarding development stages and shipping.

Most manufacturers have to fulfill a lot of different orders for many designers and brands, so we recommend planning at least 4 to 6 months for prototyping, sampling, and production. While it may only take your manufacturer a few weeks or days to produce your products, there will likely be changes that you will want to make after receiving each prototype or sample. Our best tip for product development is to start early to ensure that your product comes out the best it can be.

marketing-line

Marketing

Now that you have created your apparel and chosen a fashion season, you’re ready to start selling your line. How you plan to reach your target market affects how early or late you position marketing on your development timeline, but, like the other milestones, it’s best to start early. Whether you are planning on selling wholesale in high-end stores or on a personal brand website, a social media presence is crucial.

We recommend scheduling any photoshoots, wholesale appointments, or meetings on your timeline at least 2 to 3 months in advance, using your professionally manufactured product sample as the sales piece. If you are planning on networking with fashion professionals to land your line in wholesale, start even earlier – building meaningful relationships can take years.

On your timeline, also mark down your plans for creating a lookbook, applying for trade show booths, and promoting your emerging line on social media platforms. If you decide to be active on platforms like Instagram and Facebook, posting regularly, tagging and reaching out to influencers, and gaining followers are key to reaching a wider audience.

launching-line-timeline

Launching Your High-End Private Label

The first time you launch your line will dictate your customers’ first impressions. Remember that producing your first collection will likely take longer than subsequent seasons. Overtime, as you get used to the flow, you will have better estimates on the timing of each milestone on your timeline. Creating a development timeline can be extremely crucial to your line’s success, as it’s better to have a well-prepared and quality private label luxury fashion line, instead of rushing with a basic product to meet an unrealistic deadline.

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