Starting a Clothing Line: One Puzzle Piece at a Time

MakersValley Blog | Starting a Clothing Line: One Puzzle Piece at a Time
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Whenever someone thinks of fashion design, the first thing that comes to mind is glamour and sparkle. In reality, there’s more to it than that.

Fashion, like any source of culture, is a big jigsaw puzzle. You just need to put all the pieces together to get something great.

The Reality Behind Creating Your Own Clothing Line from Scratch

Starting a Clothing Line_One Puzzle Piece at a Time_1 Creating a new clothing line is a bit like putting together a large, sometimes complicated, puzzle. We start at the edges to establish a model that will guide the rest. Then, we put together the rest of the puzzle, piece by piece, but if even one is missing, we will never see the completed picture.

The same thing happens in fashion. To get to the sparkly outfit in your closet, first it needs to go through design, development, sampling, production, and delivery.

Start by Creating a Custom Clothing Pattern or Fashion Design Rendering

Starting a Clothing Line_One Puzzle Piece at a Time_2 Your first step to completing the fashion design puzzle is to get your ideas down on paper, and turn your sketch into a pattern and design prototype or a professional design rendering. If you don't have the technical experience required to make a pattern and prototype, that's ok. There are plenty of freelance patternmakers out there who can help you stitch together a clear, practical pattern, complete with tech pack. There are also several fashion design tools like Techpacker, SmartDesigner, and others that can help you build the fashion design blueprint you need to work with a professional apparel factory.

Most experienced garment factories prefer to work with fashion designers who have a professional level design rendering and/or a ready-to-go fashion design pattern and prototype. These factories get hundreds of requests to produce garments with fashion labels each year, so they do not have the time to create fashion designs from the ground up if the fashion designer cannot supply them with a prototype or techpack.

However, some professional manufacturers do offer fashion designers the chance to use products from their own existing white label factory design catalog as a base for their clothing line. This is a great options for fashion designers who do not yet have technical fashion design experience, for established fashion brands that do not want to reinvent the wheel on product design, or for fashion retailers who want to stock their shelves with their own custom apparel label instead of wholesale products that anyone can source, and that deliver smaller profit margins.

Find a Manufacturer for Your Clothing Design

Starting a Clothing Line_One Puzzle Piece at a Time_3This part of the puzzle could be tricky. Why? Because you need to find a manufacturing partner to help you turn that awesome idea into a tangible product that you can sell in your online store or retail boutique.

Finding the right manufacturer is a make it or break it decision, but once you have it figured out, all of the pieces will fit together and you will have completed the puzzle and have your unique fashion collection. If you're just starting out, we recommend looking for a fashion manufacturer that will allow you to produce your clothing line with low minimum order requirements. This will help you to source your inventory more sustainably and to avoid wasting the money you've decided to invest into building your clothing line.

When it comes to this part of the puzzle, there are a lot of factors to weigh, but ultimately, your decisions will come down to which customers you want to serve, what values your clothing brand will prioritize, and how you plan to stock your inventory throughout the year.

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