Looking to start a fashion brand? You can do it in a few key steps.
I'm going to let you in on how to start a fashion brand in the UK in the most cost effective and time saving way. The fashion industry is full of smoke and mirrors and I'm going to unveil them all, so that you can start a clothing line in the UK without breaking the bank!
1.Decide your market.
The very first step is to decide the market for your startup clothing brand. Take out a pen and paper and scribble down some notes...
Just ask yourself what type of clothing you want to design and sell.
Streetwear, loungewear, athleisure, and comfortwear are massive right now. We've been battling through a pandemic, and more and more people are working from home, so most people want to feel at ease in their clothing. The market for comfortable clothing is booming right now, so that could be a good place to start.
Next ask yourself, who do I want to make clothing for? Are you focusing on women, menswear, unisex etc?
Hook and Eye UK specialise in all of these categories, so we've got your back if you're ready to start designing your clothes.
2. Pick your inspiration.
Pick your favourite clothing brands in your decided market. Look at what works for them, the type of designs they create, the kind of imagery they use to display their designs, the type of people that follow them and their pricing range and aim for something similar. One of the best ways of successfully starting a fashion brand is to reverse-engineer the successful strategies of other brands. Look at what's working for them, and do something similar yet with your unique twist.
If you want to take your strategy to the next level, it might be worth speaking with a fashion brand consultant. If you want expert strategic guidance to start your brand, Hook and Eye UK can help you - just click here for more info on our fashion brand consultancy service.
3. Build your foundation.
So many startup clothing brands miss this step and end up paying out soooo much more than they need to. Build your first range of clothing samples to have as many of your preferred base shapes as possible and then keep using the same shapes for future drops while adding a few new items each time.
Here's an example:
Every clothing brand in the fashion industry does this and it's the secret to their success as it saves spending loads on sample development for every range.
4. Create mood boards for each shape.
Decide the shapes you like and create a mood board with a collection of imagery for each shape. Make sure to add some text to highlight the features you like for your clothing brand. Don't forget its so much cheaper to produce items with 'cool' shapes than it is to add loads of graphics/zips/trims to make your design look unique. A really good tool to make your clothing brand mood boards is Adobe Fresco - just click here.
5. Get your tech packs done.
Your tech pacs are VITAL for starting a clothing line. They act as like a recipe for the production of your clothing samples and bulk manufacture. No good manufacturer will work without a good tech pack! Also tech packs act as a sort of contract, if you have any problems with your sampling and you find that the manufacturer has diverted from your tech packs you have the right to argue the construction and request re-making!
If you're not sure how to create a tech pack, don't fret. We make it easy for you - just click here to book a tech pack design session.
When sampling your clothing collection it's a brilliant idea to test as many fabrics as possible. For example if you have two hoodies that are the same shape but different colours you could sample them in two different fabrics.
This will give you options for your faves from the get go! We can help with your samples - just click here for more info on sampling!
5. Test your samples.
Plan a week of testing before the arrival of your clothing samples! You want to get your samples on as many different bodies as possible, get people to move in them and note down their comments. Then work out 'average reviews' to inform your decisions!
6. Sample imagery.
Don't spend loads on this but it's a great idea to get as much imagery of your samples as possible so you can leak it out and create interest in the collection before it's even released. Be clear that the imagery is of samples and final garments may change slightly but telling your 'brand story' through imagery and text is a really strong form of marketing.
7. Order bulk clothing production.
Pick your strongest samples by reviewing the best comments from the people you have had try them on and the reaction to the leaked imagery you have posted on socials etc and then order those items in bulk. More units always = a cheaper unit price so order as many as you can. Don't forget that you are going to have to give quite a few away for promo! We can help you with bulk manufacture - just click here!
To successfully start a fashion brand in the UK (in a cost-effective way) there are a few key steps to follow, from initial planning through to bulk manufacture. Get these right and you will save yourself so much time and money. If you get stuck, and have questions around how to start a clothing brand efficiently, Hook and Eye UK are always happy to answer questions. We pride ourselves on helping startup fashion and streetwear brands to thrive, and are always transparent - so if you ask us something we will always give you advice that is right for you, (not just advice that suits lining our pockets).
Love, Hook and Eye UK x