At Indie Source, we’ve helped hundreds of first-time fashion entrepreneurs launch their dream clothing line. The journey however looks different for everyone, based on fashion experience and customization needs; but we offer solutions for every need, ranging from our super streamlined build-a-brand model, to custom clothing development sessions, to self-led fashion education courses designed to help young brands make solid plans for the future.
Regardless of the path you choose, we’ve identified a few common misconceptions our clients have when trying to start their clothing lines. As industry insiders, we don’t really think of these as well kept secrets, but we’ve seen a surprising amount of people put their dreams on hold, based on what they think it takes to launch a clothing brand.
So before you backburner your goals or enroll in years of schooling, check out these facts about starting a fashion line that may prove you already have everything you need:
1| You don’t actually have to know how to draw to design a clothing line
Fashion sketches and pattern-making may be part of many designer’s toolkits, but they are not a prerequisite. A design session with Indie Source involves reviewing reference samples, fabrics, silhouettes and overall goals for a collection. What we don’t expect from our clients? Walking in with sketches in hand.
If you plan to produce your line through a clothing manufacturer like us, it is actually more beneficial to have our pattern-makers and draftsmen work through the process with you. Manufacturers know what is possible to produce at scale and within your budget, so working as a team allows us to develop quality clothing that meets your specific needs.
So if you’re worried your stick figures will get you laughed out of a design meeting, then it’s time to rethink that mindset, ditch the drawings, and start working with manufacturers who can provide solid clothing design and development services.
2| You don’t have to have every piece planned down to the last detail
If you’ve looked into manufacturing your own clothing line at any kind of scale, you’ve probably encountered a “Tech Pack.” Essentially, a tech pack is a blueprint for producing a piece of clothing, which contains information right from a computer-aided rendering of the garment to precise measurements and materials to be used.
Now, manufacturers do make use of these to produce consistent products. And many established brands can loop in new manufacturers easily by using tech packs to keep products consistent between different factories. But if you’ve never touched a CAD program in your life, let alone worked out the precise slope of the neckline on your line’s athleisure top, it’s not a dealbreaker in getting your clothing line to the manufacturing stage.
Just like we can take or leave fashion sketches, tech packs and patterns can evolve even after you’ve worked out details and set a budget with your clothing manufacturer.
3| You don’t have to go overseas for fast, affordable clothing manufacturing
One of the most common reasons people put their fashion aspirations on hold is that they believe their budget won’t align with their desire to create ethical and sustainable clothing. Looking into the cheapest options can leave you with the idea that you need a lot more capital to afford domestic manufacturing models. But if that’s the case, then you probably haven’t met Indie Source!
We believe in making sustainable fashion manufacturing accessible to new brands. To that end, we have several different options for custom clothing development. As an alternative to the blanks market, check out our build-a-brand model. And if you’re seeking something more customized, head over to our product development page to set up a kick off meeting.
We produce clothing domestically and sustainably for fashion brands of all sizes and budgets.
4| You don’t have to manage your own social marketing
Another common pitfall for new brands is spreading yourself too thin trying to do every job necessary to get your line off the ground. Marketing is crucial to supporting your fashion line, but trying to learn the industry can take valuable time and resources away from your main focus.
We identified this as a stumbling block for many of our clients, so we developed growth marketing services specifically for fashion brands. Developing your marketing strategy alongside your products can make all the difference in establishing an audience when the time comes to launch. Learn more about our growth marketing services here.
Bottom line: Many first-time fashion entrepreneurs approach this endeavor with a lot of misconceptions, but those preconceived notions can cost you time and money investing in skills that you don’t necessarily need in order to move forward with your custom fashion line.
Not every company will be able to fill the gaps in your skillset, but partners like Indie Source can be invaluable to keeping you on the right track.