The market for fashion today is in billions and we have something for everyone out there. If you want to make a career out of it and establish your own fashion brand then it is time to act upon it but how?
Courage and good planning can take you places but how should you really begin? Here are some tips by Ms Simrita Dhillon, Founder, SANDA and an expert in international branding, that may help you get a clearer picture and guide you better.
Find Your Niche & Create Plan
The first step for those who are interested in creating your fashion brand is to decide which segment you want to play in. Is it womenswear that attracts you, or is it menswear? Have a clear vision of the category you want to play in each. Do you want to create an accessory brand or an apparel brand? Indian wear or western wear? Drill down and pick up a lane. Focus is very important.
Ms. Dhillon shared an example of creating an accessory brand. Here is what she said:
- Find a catchy name
- Register the name/ get the domain name for the website/ Instagram page etc.
- Incorporate your company, bank accounts etc.
- If you decide to have a partner in the business, ensure that you have your contracts in writing.
- Do research to see the market size.
- Find out who the competitors are and do a SWOT analysis. What are they doing right, what are they not doing right?
- Solve a problem or a pain-point, why is there a need for your product in the market, how is it different from the other players, what is the USP.
- Establish Brand colours and a brand identity, logo design, bring the concept to life.
- Decide whether you are direct to consumer brand or a wholesale brand…i.e would you prefer to sell directly online and on e-commerce, or will you also like to sell to mono-brand stores.
Creating a fashion brand needs substantial investment. So, you must have the money and be ready to invest. Keep a capital of Rs 10-15 lakhs aside. Try not to borrow from a bank, but from my family or friends. You could give them shares in your company, or agree to pay back with interest in a few years.
Manage your overheads. Cash flow management is extremely. If you don’t manage your overheads properly, then you will burn the capital fast, and raising more money is essentially very difficult.
Find suppliers /vendors for your fabrics etc. Ensure they give you good rates, let them you are starting out, see if they can give you some credit period as well. Your fabric selection must be unique, and a trade secret, so you cannot go to the run-of-the-mill fabric vendors.
Ensure you find a factory to create your samples and negotiate terms with them as well. Ensure you find the right players who want to see you grow and win.
Meet Buyers/ Retailers/ Pop-ups
Take your first sample collection to the buyers of multi-brand stores, and make a pitch. See if they will place an order. Create an attractive brand presentation. Create a sound pricing and margin structure.
It is also advisable to participate in pop-ups in your city. This will give you a feedback on your designs and also on the pricing. You can tweek the same, once you have the feedback.
Marketing is key these days. Learn the nuances of social media marketing and give gifts to influencers, ask them to write about your brand as well. Ensure you have created a sound PR and marketing strategy and execute it well.
"If you can execute these 5 step processes, you will be able to bring your brand to life. Be committed to your new brand for 3 years. It takes 3 years to create a business/ brand. Don’t expect overnight success, for it is a myth," Ms. Dhillon added.
Wish you good luck with creating a fashion brand. Stay tuned to HerZindagi to know more about career-making.