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3 common mistakes when designing a clothing line

fashion studio with sewing patterns hanging on a rail, a long table and fabric rolls wedged underneath it

There’s a lot to think about when designing your fashion/clothing collection and it’s easy to overlook some simple points that could help you keep your range look coherent, stay on-brand and respect your budget. These are 3 that I see time and time again but if you can get this right, you’re definitely on the right track!

1, Forgetting your USP

Your USP (unique selling point) is the very reason your ideal client will come to you so it’s important to have it in the forefront of your mind and run every piece through the usp audit of:

  • Does it have a unique twist to help you stand out from your competitors?
  • Is it in line with your brand values?
  • Does it solve a problem or nurture a desire?
  • Is it recognisable as coming from your brand?
  • Does it appeal to your ideal customer?

2, Not having a commercially balanced collection

It’s important to think about how your collection is going to sell and what are the current needs of your target market. Do you have commercially accessible, core products that provide foundations for your statement and hero pieces to stand on?

A brand will make sure the items that bring financial gain on a regular basis are as considered as the statement pieces which will promote the brand’s ideal. The two should still have a common thread and being commercially accessible doesn’t mean cheap or boring.

3, High fabric costs and MOQs

The bane of every small clothing business, this really is the number one struggle clients come to me with but by making a few changes, you can still produce an amazing collection.

The thing is to accept that unless you have an enormous budget, quantities aren’t an issue or you’re prepared for a hefty markup, you need to get clever and make some compromises. Buying fabric wholesale will often come with high MOQs (minimum order quantities) so you have to be clever when working around this:

  • Consolidate your fabrics- having lots of fabric options is not going to help you meet your minimums. Try using the same fabric across different styles. Not only will this help with the MOQs, it will also give your collection a cogerent and streamlined look.
  • Don’t develop too many colour options- Minimums are per amount of the same colour of fabric and not only type of fabric so plan your colour palette carefully.
  • Choose your palette from supplier colour cards- The shade may be slightly different to your perfect pantone hue, but it is more cost efficient to choose an existing colour that has already gone through the development process than develop one from scratch. they may even hold stock on certain colours which may not be subject to as high minimums.

Remembering why you’re doing this and who you’re doing it for is key. Working within your budget, being smart about your investments and knowing when to compromise will help you create a coherent and successful collection that fully represents your brand and customer.

If you need any help with range building, sourcing or even full project management, have a look at our services and book in for a discovery call today!

Speak soon, Deedee xx

Photo by Ksenia Chernaya on