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Up-and-coming fashion designers want to do it all, but lack of direction can lead to a failed business. Here are five tips to help designers FOCUS their efforts when starting a fashion business.

Lately I’ve been meeting a bunch of new clients who seem to want to take on the world with their designs.  They do it all – pants, dresses, tops, accessories, fashion shows – you name it.  They seem up for any challenge (sounds like a good thing) but lack direction and any sort of concrete goals for their business (not so good).  This creates a lot of stress and confusion for these designers.

In addition to learning how to be more productive with your time, here are some tips for fashion designers to help you get your focus…

1) Get clear on how you want to sell your product – fashion designers have a million options when it comes to selling your line: home parties, trunk shows, wholesale to boutiques, wholesale to department stores, online, craft shows, street fairs.  Where you plan to sell your line impacts what and how you design.

2) Keep your product assortment narrow. Don’t start out designing a whole collection.   You don’t need to launch a line that includes dresses, pants, tops, jackets, and skirts.  Pick one category – just do dresses, or just do blouses, for instance.  Get known as the go-to line for one thing.

3) If you’re just a starting a clothing line, aim for 10 – 12 pieces in your line.  Don’t try to do too much too soon.

4) You don’t have to re-invent the wheel to have a nice business. Your product can be similar to others but have ONE GREAT IDEA that makes it stand out.

5) When you choose your product niche, do it “backwards.” Don’t decide what you want to design and then go out and look for a customer for it.  Instead, research like crazy to find an unmet need in the market and design your line to fill it.

#5 is absolutely the best advice I can give a new designer. The question is, are you listening?

That’s all for now,

Jane

If you have questions about starting your fashion line, submit your question to me to be featured in Today’s Fashion Brain Question.

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