If you are thinking about launching your own streetwear brand, but the fact that you do not have fashion experience is preventing you from doing so, this article may give you the push you need to go for it.
How to get started
First things first—you most likely have more than one fashion business idea, but pick one and focus on it. What is your niche? Hoodies? T-shirts? Dresses? Socks? Belts? Ties?
Develop your clothing brand
Your brand identity is how potential customers will know what you stand for and who you are. This is important because people will support brands they identify with and fashion is how people express themselves. Who do you want to wear your clothes? Are you going to produce sustainable fashion? What makes your clothing brand unique? What is the most important part of your customer’s experience?
Answering these questions is how you build the core of your brand. This is how you create your name, your logo, and your design.
Choose your business structure
Sole proprietorship or LLC? Incorporate or register a partnership? Are you going to hire an experienced business attorney to help you? If you choose sole proprietorship, you are the sole owner of the business and are responsible for the assets and liabilities accrued by the business. It’s the easiest to set up. LLC, or Limited Liability Company provides the limited liability features that corporations offer. Once you’ve figured out your business’s legal structure, it’s time for paperwork. A license or permit is necessary for your new business.
Your start-up costs
Between your business cards, website, license and permit fees, rental fees for a work location, advertising costs, and sewing and design tools, the money you are spending starts to add up. You’ll want to make sure you have enough to cover all of your expenses.
Setting your prices
If you set your prices 30% – 50% higher than your expenses, you will ensure a profit. Make sure you are not using cheap materials and selling it for a fancy price. Your potential customers are going to notice this.
Don’t forget about marketing psychology
You can influence people’s behaviors and decisions to benefit you and your brand. How are you going to create your campaign ads? Will you emphasize a sense of community by asking potential customers to be a part of something? Will you market your brand as a source of credible information and relate to yourself as a pro? Will you tailor your ads to your audience and use language they will identify with? Will you imply that other buyers are buying your items quickly and it’s best to order now before they are sold out? Will you offer exclusive products to appeal to buyers who seek status and uniqueness? Or will you focus on the functional qualities of your product by demonstrating with photographs?
Need help launching your t-shirt line?
TeePublic and Printful are websites where you can print your t-shirts. TeePublic, founded by Adam Schwarz and Josh Abramson has 15 years of experience producing high-quality prints on high-quality products. Artists on TeePublic earn the highest pay than any other print-on demand site. All you have to do is upload one art file to enable every product available on the site. When you use Printful, you connect your online store to it and add your products. When someone purchases an item from your store, your order is automatically imported for fulfillment to their in-house or partner facility. Then the finished product ships to your buyer(s) all under your brand. Does it get any more convenient?
If they can do it, so can you:
Though Virgil Abloh graduated with a master’s degree in architecture, he quickly rose to success in the fashion world (It’s true. He did it without a fashion degree). After interning at Fendi in Rome with Kanye West, he became the creative director of West’s creative agency, Donda. His first big project with West was his art direction for West’s joint album with Jay-Z that catapulted him into the hip-hop circle. He went on to open a boutique called Pyrex Vision which was highly controversial. One year later, he founded his label Off-White, where the grey area between and black and white is defined.
Wilson graduated from UCalgary with an undergraduate degree in economics. He always read obsessively outside his area of study. This helped him notice the three things that wound up creating Lululemon. Yoga was growing quickly in the mid-1990s, 60% of university graduates were women, and there was a lot being said about breast cancer. His goal was to create clothing that made women feel good and look good. Presently, the brand generates a revenue of 3.29 billion.
Pro tip: the way you market your brand is what’s going to make or break you.
Do you think you need fashion experience to launch your own streetwear brand? Let us know down in the comments.
This article originally published on GREY Journal.