Looking to start a fashion brand? Ever wonder how brands actually make money when everything seems so expensive to get off the ground? Whilst it might seem daunting, we're here to show you how to do it step by step.
Welcome to the first ever Hook And Eye UK blog post. This space is going to be filled with 'fashion talk'. We've been in the industry for a long time and this blog is here to unveil all the things that the fashion industry don't want you to know.
We'll give you inside tips, tricks and know-how to help design and grow your own fashion brand (big or small).
So here's our guide on how to build a fashion brand like a pro in 2022!
Step 1. Tech Packs
Every garment you want to have made NEEDS a tech pack. This is a must as it acts as a guide for the entire team. Firstly it provides a guide for costing, then it provides a brief for the pattern cutter, sample seamstress and graphic applicators to follow. After this it gives the development team a structure to follow if you need to make any changes, then acts as a instructional visual for the bulk manufacture team to use and finally for you the customer it helps you plan releases, make changes, acts as a contract between you and the producer incase of any mistakes and creates a base to re-order for restocks!
Step 2. Sample & Manufacture
Building a foundation is key! In industry, clothing brands build a collection of silhouettes and then re-use these for future drops. This is a very effective way of running a clothing brand as it means there is an initial outlay of capital that regenerates money for the future. At Hook And Eye UK we have a range of pre-developed cut and sew items that are made to order. They allow you to use the industrial model with a minimal outlay of finance because we have already developed these garments to have the perfect fit saving you all of the development costs! The idea is to use these base shapes and add your choice of colour, fabric and branding then after releasing for sale, determining the best selling items and releasing those items again and again for future drops with tweaks on colour, fabric and graphic. Working in this way is the most cost effective as it saves time and money on developing products. Brands will usually add a low percentage of new garments with future releases but they can only do this as they have generated the capital form the 'best sellers'.
Best selling items, also known as 'Hero' products form the base of the turning capital. Selling these items is what frees up capital to do a few more experimental pieces.
Ego is what usually stops new brand owners from using pre-developed garments as they think that this is like wholesale items but it couldn't be further away. The pre-developed items are cut and sew - meaning they are made to order for you, they are not items in stock, they come with your own branded back neck label and can also have your branded care label in them as well!
The best brands ALL rely on 'bread and butter' items, the teeshirts, hoodies and joggers of the world hold a firm place in all of our hearts and we all have at least a few of each of them in our wardrobes. Although saying that the Hook And Eye UK pre-developed range consists of much more than those three items, go take a look!! We have swimwear, underwear, shirts, dresses, high waisted trousers, leggings, shorts and even bags in our 70+ item range.
Step 3. Photoshoot
A good photoshoot is key. Don't skip on this step (not everyone with a smartphone is a photographer). Using a professional photographer in a photography studio is worth it as it sets the tone of your brand. What is the point in working so hard to get your collection ready if you show it to the world in low res with dodgy lighting. Now don't get us wrong there is definitely a place for quick iPhone shoots in the studio but that place is on your social platforms where people want to see the brand as personable, believable and human. However e-commerce (the pics of your garments on your website) needs to be crips and clear so potential customers can see exactly what they are buying. E-commerce images are meant to get the client as close to being able to feel the product as the image can give them! Hook And Eye UK offer photoshoots for all products whether they are made by use or not so if you need some help get in contact!
Step 4. Website
So now you have your samples, your garments are being manufactured in bulk, you've done your photoshoot and you need something to sell everything on before everything lands. You don't need to spend a small fortune on a website!! Hook And Eye UK offer packages but so does every Tom, Dick and Harry. The packages we offer cover the basics as we believe that's all you need when starting your brand. So many website developers sell fancy coding that goes over your head to overcharge. At Hook And Eye UK we build websites on platforms such as Shopify etc. We make sure your website runs properly / you know how to edit it yourself so you don't have to keep coming back to us and paying every time and that you have everything you need to sell!! It's a simple formula but it works!
Step 5. Socials
Who runs the world? TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest. The basic formula is very simple. Continuity. Posting regularly builds your following. Never give up posting and eventually you will find what works for your brand and you will grown your audience.
There's our 5 point guide on how to start your own fashion brand in the UK. No go out there and smash it!
Hook And Eye UK