How To Start A Clothing Business: Everything You Need To Know
Updated: Aug 13, 2022, 8:32pm
Table of Contents
1. find your niche, 2. know your audience, 3. create a marketing plan, 4. name your brand and create brand assets, 5. register your business, 6. design and source your products, 7. price your products, 8. distribute your products, 9. market your clothing brand, bottom line, frequently asked questions.
If you have a passion for fashion, starting a clothing business might be a great way to turn your skills and creativity into a career. It’s more accessible than ever for new business owners to sell their wares online and turn a profit. There are a variety of ways to sell clothes, from finding collaborators and wholesalers to providing great items for excited customers. Here’s what you need to know about how to start a clothing business from start to finish.
Here’s how to start a clothing business in nine steps:
The fashion industry is massive, consisting of a myriad of different brands–all with very different styles and niches. It’s important to identify your niche and stick to it. This will help you to create a product line that resonates with your target market and build a solid brand. Remember that as appealing as it may be to try to be everything to everyone, the best brands have a very defined niche and they stay in said niche.
Here are a few examples of highly successful clothing brands that operate in different niches:
- Wrangler (casual)
- Adidas (athletic)
- H&M (trendy)
- Ralph Lauren (classic)
Picking a niche means playing to your strengths. If you’re a strong seamster, you’ll spend most of your time designing and constructing pieces. If you’re a visual artist, you might create art that can be printed on T-shirts or other clothing items.
Early on, it’s important to figure out your ideal customer. When you’re working towards establishing your business, fashion makes things both easier and harder at the same time. You can easily imagine who would wear your clothes, but you also have to find where they congregate (in brick-and-mortar stores and online) and how to reach them.
Here are a few questions to consider when determining your audience:
- Who are they?
- What are their favorite clothing brands?
- Do they identify with certain brands?
- Where do they shop?
- How often do they shop?
- Do they care about trends?
- What is their price point?
- What influences their buying decisions?
By answering these questions, you will get a better understanding of your target audience. This enables you to more strategically build your brand, develop products they’ll want, and distribute products so they’re easily discoverable by the people who will buy them.
After defining your niche and identifying your audience, the next step is to put together a marketing plan. While it sounds like a lot of work–it doesn’t have to be very comprehensive. But you do need to detail which channels you plan to use to sell your products (e.g., direct, Amazon, Etsy, boutiques, big box stores, etc…) as well as how you plan to market your businesses so that you get sales.
Here’s are the must-haves when creating a new business marketing plan:
- Market and competition
- Distribution channels
- Marketing strategy
- Marketing and advertising channels (e.g., social media, PPC ads)
- Marketing budget
A marketing plan essentially establishes how you will market your clothing line, and with that, can greatly guide how you go about product distribution and advertising strategies, which will impact your sales. Learn more about how to write a marketing plan .
If you don’t already have a business name in mind, it’s time to choose one. Clothing business names can vary wildly. For example, Under Armor, ASOS, Banana Republic, L.L. Bean, American Apparel, TopShop, Brooks Brothers, Dickies, Deus Ex Machina, Vardagen, Life is Good, or Salt Life. In short, your clothing business can be named just about anything you want it to be.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind when naming your clothing business:
- Make sure that it is easy to pronounce and spell
- Choose a catchy or memorable name
- Consider how it translates into other languages
- Check if it is available as a domain name (e.g., yourbusinessname.com)
Once you have a business name, choose a slogan (optional), a brand color scheme, and create your logo. If you’re looking for an easy and affordable way to create your own logo, try using Canva, which is a free drag-and-drop design tool that has dozens of prebuilt logos you can customize. Alternatively, you can get a logo professionally designed for as little as $5 on Fiverr.
After choosing a brand name and putting together your brand assets, the next step is to register your business with your state. It’s not a fun step, but it is a necessary step–even for brand new clothing businesses as you will need an Employer Identification Number (EIN) to accept payments for your products. And to get an EIN, you need to register as a business. Additionally, it also enables you to get wholesale pricing and work with retailers.
The process of registering your business will vary depending on your state, but you will register it with your state’s Secretary of State. Small businesses typically opt to register as a Limited Liability Corporation (LLC) which costs around $100 on average but can be as little as $40 and over $250. If you’re not sure which is right for you, learn more about what an LLC is and how to set up an LLC .
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Chances are you already know how you’re going to design and source your products. However, if you’re on the fence or open to ideas, there are three main ways:
- Buy products from wholesalers
- Design your own and have them manufactured
- Design and sew your own in-house
Of course, which you choose will depend on how you plan to sell your products. For example, if you’re planning to curate collections of clothing to sell online, say directly via your website or on Amazon, you could opt to purchase products from wholesalers or drop shippers. This is a great way to keep upfront costs low–especially if you are dropshipping products. However, it also means your products are not as unique and therefore might require more marketing.
Pricing products in fashion is largely determined by two key variables. First, the cost of goods sold (e.g., labor expenses and cost of materials) and second, by the niche you’ve chosen to target. For example, the average clothing line uses what is called the keystone markup strategy , where the price is calculated by taking the cost of production and doubling it. Though, it may be increased as much as 5x, depending on your niche (e.g., high-end clothing brands).
Here are a few key costs to include when pricing your products:
- Cost of materials
- Marketing and advertising
If you’re stepping into the luxury brand space, your products should be priced accordingly. Items that require a lot of attention, care and time in their creation should have premium prices.
On the other hand, a clothing company focused on high volume can have items with lower price points. Encouraging consumers to buy more means adding deals and flash sales to further incentivize purchases.
Clothing businesses have a number of distribution options available, from selling directly via their own website and selling on third-party sites such as Amazon and Etsy, to selling in-store, through local retailers, or national big box retailers. To maximize your exposure and increase your sales, it’s generally best to plan to distribute and sell your products via multiple channels.
Even if you do not plan to sell products directly or online, you still need to have a website. This helps build your brand and if you’re planning to approach retailers, it gives them a way to check your product catalogs and lookbooks. Learn more about how to make a website or check out the best e-commerce platforms that enable you to easily create an online store where you can sell your products directly to customers.
No matter how you plan to sell the bulk of your products, you should have your own website.
If you’re not ready to sell from your own website, you can look into Etsy or other highly ranked e-commerce platforms to lessen your workload. The less time you have to spend troubleshooting a website, the more time you have to work on designing clothing.
Last but not least, you need to market your clothing brand so that it can be discovered by your target market. There are a number of ways to market a clothing business, but ultimately you want to choose marketing channels that reach your particular target market. In other words, be where your target customers are.
Here are some of the most popular marketing channels and strategies for clothing brands:
- Organic social media marketing (e.g., Pinterest, Instagram)
- Paid social media advertising (e.g., Facebook Ads, YouTube Ads)
- Paid search advertising (e.g., Google Ads)
- Forums (e.g., Reddit)
- Content marketing
- Influencer marketing
- Paid placements
- Banner ads (e.g., Google Adsense)
- E-commerce ads (e.g., Amazon Ads, Etsy Ads)
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Email marketing
- Local events
When choosing the right marketing strategies and channels for your clothing business, remember to always keep your brand in mind. Consider if it stays on brand and if it’s likely to be a good use of your marketing budget. Just like choosing distribution channels, you will also want to use multiple marketing channels for maximum exposure.
Starting a clothing business is a great way to merge creative passion and business sense. It also gives you the opportunity to see your artistic work on people on the street, while turning your passions into a profitable business. On top of that, it’s more affordable than ever to start a clothing line, so you don’t need a huge investment to get started.
How much does it cost to start a clothing line?
Like any business of any size, the startup costs will depend on how large you want the business to start out. A small clothing business will need about $500, a medium-sized line between $1,000 and $5,000, and a large line might need up to $50,000.
Are clothing businesses typically profitable?
With hard work and devotion, it can be. Estimates state that profits can be anywhere from 4% to 13% . There will likely be many changes because fashion cycles through trends so quickly.
Do I need a business plan to start a clothing business?
While you don’t exactly need a business plan to start a clothing business, it’s a good idea to create one. The reason being is having a strong business plan will help you stay true to your original vision. Planning out your suppliers, goals and general growth plan will set you up for success in the future.
Where can I get products for my online store?
You can get products for your online store from a variety of sources, including wholesalers, manufacturers and distributors. Another good place to find clothes are thrift stores and garage and yard sales, where you can find gently used clothing and sometimes clothes that have never been worn. Popular aggregators of manufacturers include Alibaba and DHgate. Many store owners use sites like Faire or Abound for wholesale products.
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How to Start a Clothing Line: The Ultimate 12-Step Guide
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Maybe you’ve been sketching designs since you were a kid, have been making your own award-winning Halloween costumes for decades, and have already sold out of the custom T-shirts you’re making out of your garage. Or maybe you’re just intensely entrepreneurial (and obsessed with style) and want a piece of the trillion-plus dollars floating around the retail industry. Regardless of your drive, knowing how to start a clothing line is very different from just wanting to start a clothing line.
Luckily, many scrappy clothing entrepreneurs before you have launched their lines to great success, and they’re willing to share their tips with you.
We’ve interviewed a few of those business owners to put together this guide on how to start your own clothing line, from product idea generation to funding your business through a small-business loan (and some words of much-needed wisdom to power you through your pursuit).
How to start a clothing line
With the competition, complexities and even intimidation associated with the fashion industry, you may be concerned that as an entrepreneur with no experience, you won't be able to start our own clothing line.
When it comes down to it, however, unlike, say, becoming a doctor, starting a clothing line doesn’t necessarily require special training or a degree. In fact, most of the designers we spoke with had no formal experience in the fashion industry before starting their businesses.
That said, you do need to completely dedicate your time and energy into launching your clothing brand.
Bianca Dabney is the founder of BIDA, a sustainable, minimalistic streetwear line. Her modeling and acting career instilled in her a love for the fashion industry and an understanding of how garments are presented and marketed. Still, she says:
"The most challenging part of starting my own business was actually gaining the confidence and self-assurance that I could and should start it."
Like many of us, Dabney knew college was the clear path laid out before her. "I was raised thinking that going to school and working a corporate job was really the only option, and I was nervous to finally let go of that mentality and see that there were other paths," she says.
She founded her business without any formal training and used her experiences working as an actress and model in the industry instead:
"I’m also a self-taught designer, so finding the resources to create the brand was rewarding yet challenging. Self-motivation, determination and my passion helped me to become an expert in my field."
Like Dabney, you might find that the hardest part of the process, at least psychologically, is committing yourself to actually starting your clothing line. But if you understand that the process will require long hours, impeccable organizational skills and a potentially steep learning curve, you’re fully capable of teaching yourself how to do it — no fashion MFA required.
1. Write a business plan
It’s always useful to write and implement a business plan at the start of your venture. This plan will act as a roadmap outlining how you’ll reach your goals over the next couple of years. But also know that your business plan isn’t necessarily set in stone.
“Before launching BIDA, I created a business plan that included brand, sales strategy and marketing elements,” Dabney says.
“However, I’ve had to make changes and adjustments based on my customers and the environment. Running a business is an ongoing evolution. It’s important to have a clear plan of action, but it’s equally important to be flexible and be able to adapt.”
That adaptability is especially important in the retail business, which undergoes trend changes all the time.
“It’s both a very exciting time in fashion and a very unpredictable time,” says Ariel Mehrban, founder of True Vision LA, a streetwear clothing line based in Los Angeles.
“The market is seeing new influences every day, and there are always new technologies and new ways for customers to find products. I don’t think anyone knows where it will settle, or if it will ever stabilize. All in all, I think the best strategy for a fashion startup is to stay nimble and adaptable.”
As Mehrban suggests, the constant turnover in the fashion industry can be both a blessing and a curse — and keeping up with the market might mean tweaking your original plan. But having the strong foundation of a business plan can make navigating those changes feel a lot less overwhelming.
2. Find your niche
After you've created your business plan, the next step to learning how to start a clothing line will be to find your niche in the market and in the industry.
Generally, the most successful businesses identify a problem within the market and then design a product expressly to fix that problem. This being said, you don’t necessarily need to dive too deeply into researching the market at this stage. It’s likely that an idea for a unique clothing item will reveal itself as you’re living your everyday life.
Jordan Sack is the founder and CEO of Tillinger, a technical apparel line that specializes in men’s golf-inspired shirts. The idea for his streamlined, sweat-wicking shirts arose when he was interning in Manhattan one summer after college:
“I looked forward to summer Fridays because I finally got to wear short sleeves — but that was still your typical, thick, cotton knit polo shirt. And on the weekends, I would always play golf with my friends and loved wearing the uniform of technical performance polo shirts. But you couldn't really wear those to work because they were brightly colored, heavily logoed and just plain ugly. The idea for creating my own golf shirts didn't arise as an ‘aha!’ moment, but I gradually became more and more interested in making an everyday, work-appropriate polo that had the properties of your typical golf shirt.”
Here’s another approach: If you’re intent upon designing something but you don’t quite know what that “something” is, start by identifying the audience you’d be passionate about serving — whether that’s your peers or a demographic that’s currently underserved in mainstream retail — and think about what they need from their clothing.
For example, Sherri Dombi is the founder of Bee Yourself Apparel, an adaptive clothing line whose design features allow elderly folks to easily dress themselves.
“First you need to have a passion for what you are doing,” Dombi says. “Mine was helping a friend’s dad dress like he used to but allow him to dress independently.”
3. Understand your market
Once you’ve hit upon your business idea, now you need to truly understand the consumer you’re designing for. Your designs, fabric choices, sourcing and production budget and retail outlets all have to cater to your target demographic’s spending behaviors, lifestyle and aesthetic preferences — so don’t get started on any of the above before diving deep into understanding your base.
Part of that research should involve competitor research: studying the companies whose product, marketing and branding strategies you admire, and whose target demographics you share.
“The first step is really to just absorb information,” says Mehrban.
“You need to learn everything that your would-be competitors already know. Part of that time should be spent studying how they are engaging with their customers. What is the value they are offering their customers? It’s usually something much deeper than the garments themselves.
Luckily, this research doesn’t necessarily need to involve special skills or resources: If you have an internet connection and social media profiles, you can garner valuable information about your customers and how to design toward and market your product to them.
“The great thing about our time is that we have access to almost the entire world with social media and various web-based platforms,” says Mehrban.
“If you’re passionate about design, chances are you have a product that people will appreciate. The tough part is finding those people. I don’t subscribe to the ‘build it and they will come’ myth. The short answer? Scour the web. Find the areas that your customers frequent and get your product in front of them.”
Dabney echoes the value of using social media and basic analytic tools to define your audience’s behaviors and needs:
“To pin down my target demographic and their spending behaviors, I executed a pre-launch campaign, which I then analyzed through Google Analytics. Online marketing, such as Facebook and Instagram ads, allows for target demographic analysis, too.”
In addition to their aesthetic preferences and lifestyle, you’ll want to understand how and where your audience spends on clothing, too. That way, you can plan whether to open a brick-and-mortar store, sell on an e-commerce platform, or both. Even if that physical location is a two- or three-year goal, incorporate plans for its launch in your initial business plan.
4. Register your clothing business
Now that you've done the necessary background research about your product, target demographic and even startup costs, you'll want to take care of the appropriate paperwork before diving into the actual production of your clothing line.
To this end, there are a handful of tasks you'll want to accomplish:
Choose a business entity type: First, you'll want to select your business entity type — sole proprietorship, LLC, S corp, etc. There are pros and cons to every type, so you'll want to think about which best suits your plans and goals. If you're planning on starting small, you might opt for a sole proprietorship and then create an LLC or corporation at a later time.
Register your business: Depending on the entity type you choose, you may have to officially register your business with the state where you'll be operating. Even if you're not required to register with the state, you might decide to file a DBA, or doing business as, to officially register your chosen business name.
Get business licenses and permits: At the very least, you'll likely need a general business operating license to officially start your clothing line business. If you're going to be operating from your home and starting your clothing line online, you may need specific permits — like a sales tax license and home occupation permit — as well. You'll want to consult your state and local governing agency to ensure that you have all of the proper licenses and permits.
Get an employer identification number: Part of starting a clothing line, or any business for that matter, is registering for and paying business taxes. Therefore, you'll want to apply for an EIN with the IRS. Although an EIN isn't required for all businesses, getting one can help you file your taxes, open for a business bank account , as well as access business financing.
5. Design and source the clothes for your line
After you've gone through all of the steps necessary to make your business official, it's time to get into the meat of learning how to start a clothing line: designing your clothing and sourcing your material.
This can be the most challenging part of the process for many entrepreneurs starting a clothing line, especially those who haven’t worked in the fashion industry before. Here’s how the designers we interviewed went about the process.
Finding the right materials
You might have a clear idea of what kinds of materials you want to create your products with, or you might need to do some exploring first.
Before formulating his polo shirts’ polyester-and-lycra blend, Tillinger’s Jordan Sack conducted his own, self-directed research into the production process:
“I bought a lot of competitor golf shirts and studied the materials they used. Then, I reached out to old friends who worked in the industry and bought them dinner in exchange for their time. It was a lot of serendipitous moments all coming together. One friend led me to a pattern maker, who led me to a grader/marker who knew a cutter. The friend also had a connection to a sample factory in the Garment District. It was pretty scrappy. There's not an easy-to-follow online tutorial. You just have to be resourceful.”
And then, of course, there’s the cost question. A major challenge every designer will face is reconciling the cost and the quality of your materials, though Mehrban says that this decision will be highly individual to every designer’s budget and values.
For their part, Mehrban says, “We’ve found that compromising on quality just doesn’t work. Cost-cutting is an important part of any business model, but we don’t ever work with inferior manufacturers or materials. If we can find something better, that’s what we’ll use.”
Erum Ilyas, the founder of AmberNoon, also decided to leave extra room in her budget to ensure that she was manufacturing her clothing with the most effective textiles available and, as a result, pricing her clothing higher than expected.
That was especially important because AmberNoon’s unique value proposition depends on the quality of its sun-protective materials — Ilyas is a board-certified dermatologist who has run her own practice for a decade. Despite comprehensive public knowledge about skin cancer prevention, it’s still the most common type of cancer today. That inspired her to launch her line of sun-protective clothing that women can wear every day.
“Given the quality of the textiles, the design elements and low minimum order quantities I started with, I do have a higher price point than I would like long term,” Ilyas says. “After all, I want to make sure anyone can access this amazing product for their benefit.”
Depending on your particular goals and mission for your clothing line, you might also find that it’s worth sacrificing your target price-point in favor of lasting, quality materials. When you’re first rolling out your line, you especially want your product to impress your consumer as the best quality product possible.
6. Partner with a manufacturer
Finding the right manufacturer to produce your clothing is crucial to bringing your vision and goal for your brand to life. After all, if you don’t have a reliable manufacturer, your clothing line can’t exist at all.
“You can have a great idea, great concept — covered all of your bases,” says Ilyas. “But if your manufacturer can’t produce to your specifications, and maintain the quality and stay true to your concept, then your message is just lost.”
When seeking a manufacturer, consider factors like your manufacturer’s minimum order quantity, cost, quality and trustworthiness. You might also want to find a manufacturer with in-house pattern makers to streamline your processes.
“The manufacturer I’ve partnered with is a local Bali factory, which specializes in knit and stretch production,” Dabney says. “The factory provides services in development, pattern making and production, so all the elements are under one roof, which is important for quality control.”
To cut down on costs and to maintain your product's affordability, you might consider exporting your manufacturing processes overseas, as Dabney did. Whether you produce your clothing domestically or abroad, it’s worth taking a hands-on approach to searching for your materials and manufacturers.
“There was plenty of trial and error, and we did lose a decent amount of money trying to find the right partners,” Mehrban says about tracking down the right manufacturers to produce True Vision LA’s clothes.
“It’s very hard to tell how a garment will fit, or to guess the hand feel based on a picture. We made the mistake of relying on photo representations before placing wholesale orders initially, and it cost us. One thing I’ve found is that the integrity of the product tends to match the integrity level of the manufacturer, and when that’s missing, you run into problems. It’s very important to work with partners that have the same ideals as you do.”
And don’t feel pressured to produce a full, 10-plus clothing line right from the start, especially if you’re feeling the strain on your budget (or your sanity) — Donna Karan, for one, built her eponymous label off her now-classic “Seven Easy Pieces” collection. So, start by perfecting just a few items, gauge how your market responds, and build up your brand from there.
7. Price your products
To this end, before you can actually launch your clothing line, you'll need to price your products. Once you've found your materials and manufacture, you'll have a better sense of how much it costs to start your clothing line, and therefore, you can price your items accordingly.
With your pricing, you'll want to strike a balance between making a profit and setting a price that customers are willing to pay. This being said, your market research will come into play with pricing — you already should have a sense of who your demographic is, what their spending habits look like and how much they'd be willing to spend on your items.
Of course, you're not married to any initial pricing you choose — just like the items you decide to create, you can always decide to edit or change your pricing as you launch your clothing line.
8. Decide where to sell your clothing line
After you've created your clothing line and decided on a pricing strategy, you're ready to actually start selling. However, before you can launch your line, you need to determine where you're going to be selling.
As we mentioned above, this is something you should have thought about as part of your business plan and research — and now it's time to execute.
Therefore, if you think that starting your clothing online is the best avenue, you'll want to set up the platform to launch your products and your brand. You'll likely want to start by creating your own e-commerce website, as well as social media accounts.
Once you've launched your clothing line, you might decide to diversify your sales channels by actually selling your clothing through your social media channels, or even joining a marketplace like Amazon, eBay or Etsy .
Overall, selling your clothing line online will be much more affordable and manageable than creating your own brick-and-mortar store. Again, if you find success selling online, you might later decide to launch a physical location, or even consider selling your line to larger resellers, like department stores.
In any case, when you first start online, you'll want to choose an e-commerce platform to create and manage your store. You'll want to look for platforms with creative templates — as the design of your online store will be important to customers and to your brand.
You'll also want to look for platforms that can accommodate product variations — in other words, the same piece in multiple sizes or colors — so that you can list your clothing line the way you want. To this end, some top platforms you might consider are Shopify, BigCommerce or WooCommerce.
9. Market your clothing line
After you've set up where you're going to sell your clothing line — whether your own online store, a marketplace or somewhere else, you'll need to actually get eyes on your products.
To this end, without a plan to publicize your product, all the work you’ve done tracking down your producers will be for naught. And if you’re not a natural marketer, know that this is a skill you’ll need to nail in order to keep your clothing line’s doors open (either physically or digitally) — as Mehrban says, “Building a fashion startup is four parts sales and marketing to one part design.”
You don’t need a huge marketing budget or even previous business marketing experience to effectively spotlight your brand; in fact, many entrepreneurs simply use their (free) social media accounts as their main marketing channels. Other than their low cost, platforms like Instagram and Facebook allow for greater transparency and connection with your customer base, which modern consumers value.
“From the very beginning of the process, I did my best to document my journey of starting a company,” Sack says. “That was pretty much my content strategy. I didn't have this huge, creative marketing department. If I was going to pick out buttons, I would take a picture and put it up on Instagram and share that button story for the day.”
Beyond leveraging social media, there are tons of free marketing ideas you can implement to disseminate your brand. The key is consistency and cohesion; ensure that every piece of marketing material or campaign aligns with your brand’s voice, aesthetic, and goals. A disjointed branding strategy is confusing for your customer base, which doesn’t bode well for loyalty — which is key for turning leads into sales over the long term.
Also know that, even if you’ve started your clothing line with a clear understanding of how to market to your customers, customers are fickle. So don’t stop communicating with your customers once your initial research is through. Pay special attention to their aesthetic and buying preferences and adapt your marketing materials and product to suit.
“We started out with a clear vision of the design and branding,” says Mehrban.
“We knew we wanted to sell ‘highly wearable’ clothing, or others may call staples. The challenge was — and in my opinion will forever be — finding what motivates customers to buy. All brands grapple with motivating customers, and it’s something that never ends, even for the most established brands. Once you’ve discovered your segments, you’ll have to continue researching them. Their motivations will change with time, and even the demographics of those segments may change. What worked last season won’t necessarily work this season. The brands that survive are the ones prepared to adapt to highly volatile environment.”
10. Work with an expert
Although your clothing line idea may have been purely your own, you can’t be expected to fully launch your business without some help here and there. This is especially true if you don’t have experience in the fashion industry. Tapping an expert or a community of fellow fashion entrepreneurs may spell the difference between the success and failure of your startup.
Marianna Sachse is the founder of Jackalo, a line of durable and sustainable children’s wear. She didn’t have any design experience, but hiring a consultant and joining StartUp Fashion, an online community of independent designers, armed her with the information and support she needed to get her company off the ground:
“For new designers, I'd highly recommend surrounding yourself with experts. I found a consultant who had worked with majorly successful brands through a design friend, and I did an intensive four-week jumpstart program to get a sense of the competition and what my brand positioning would be. And StartUp Fashion helped me ensure that I had all the materials I needed to effectively communicate with factories, and connected me with a community of fashion entrepreneurs who are a fabulous resource.”
However, don’t simply settle for a mentor just because they have extensive experience in the industry. As is the case with any other individual you let in on an important aspect of your life — whether it’s your significant other, your business lawyer or your business mentor — do a gut check before heeding your consultant’s advice.
“If you don't have a willing friend in the industry who can help,” says Sack, “I'd recommend a consultant, but it’s super important to be able to trust him or her. I've made that mistake. Go with your gut. If it doesn't feel right, it isn't.”
Sachse, too, warns that some consultants claim to be more experienced than they truly are. You’ll find the most trustworthy consultants via word-of-mouth, so start your search by scouring your network (LinkedIn is a great resource for this).
11. Figure out how to manage your finances
You took the first step to managing your finances when you registered your business for an EIN. However, as you've launched your clothing line and started actually getting into the day-to-day of running a business, there are a few other steps that are essential to properly managing your finances and setting up your business for success.
This being said, you'll want to consider the following:
Open a business bank account: Even if you started your clothing line as a sole proprietor, having a dedicated business checkin g account is important. Opening an account specific to your business will help you separate your business and personal finances — saving you from potential bookkeeping, tax and legal headaches in the future. Plus, like applying for an EIN, having a business bank account will help you when you apply for financing for your clothing business.
Get a business credit card: With all of the startup costs associated with starting a clothing line, a business credit card can be particularly useful — not only as a way to finance your operations, but also to help you start building credit, as well as benefiting from any rewards the card offers. For a credit card that can immediately put money back into your business, you'll want to consider the best cash-back business credit cards.
Set up your accounting: In order to manage your suppliers, manufactures, sales and any costs associated with starting your clothing line, you'll want to set up an accounting system to manage everything in one place. There are a variety of accounting software options on the market.
12. Get funding for your clothing line
Getting your finances situated will help you with the final step in this how to start a clothing line guide — finding financing.
Like most entrepreneurs in any industry, the clothing designers we interviewed mostly bootstrapped, or self-financed, their ventures, using a combination of their own savings and contributions from friends and family. That makes sense, as securing a business loan as a very young startup — without the necessary evidence of a financial track history to show your lenders — can be very difficult.
Other than bootstrapping, there are a few other options for financing a startup you can explore to help you launch your clothing line. Crowdfunding can be a surprisingly lucrative way to raise funds at the very start of your venture; plus, crowdfunding can double as a method of vetting your market and gauging customer interest in your product.
It’s unlikely that you can fund 100% of your operational costs purely through Kickstarter, Indiegogo or a similar platform. You might also consider seeking equity financing, such as an angel investor or even a private equity firm.
These investors will contribute large amounts of cash to help promising startups get off the ground, in exchange for a stake in the business. But only approach private investors if you’re okay with sacrificing a portion of your business’s control.
Frequently asked questions
1. how much does it cost to start a clothing line.
Startup costs can vary greatly across different clothing lines, but in general, a small-sized clothing line will need a minimum of $500 to get started, a medium-sized line should have between $1,000 to $5,000 for startup costs and a large line will need approximately $25,000 to $50,000 upfront.
Before you start planning your clothing line, you'll want to estimate and anticipate startup costs like:
Product sourcing and material costs.
Designing and delivery costs.
Website and marketing costs (which may include product photography).
2. How much do clothing lines make a year?
The national average earnings for clothing line owners is approximately $51,000 per year. Clothing line profits can average between $23,751 and $140,935, depending on your location, line specifics, expenses, marketing efforts and company size.
3. Do you need to trademark a clothing line?
Although you do not have to legally trademark your clothing line, it is highly recommended. Trademarking your brand(s) can protect your creative work and products.
4. How do you source material for a clothing line?
You can choose to source your clothing line materials online via e-commerce fabric suppliers or in-person from a brick-and-mortar retailer. While online stores might offer more affordable prices or bulk discounts, visiting a store in-person will allow you to see, feel and fully experience the fabric before you commit.
The bottom line
Across the board, the entrepreneurs we interviewed said that patience, adaptability and dedication are crucial traits for learning how to start and run your own clothing line.
Whether you have experience starting your own small business or not, expect to overcome serious learning curves. Starting a clothing line from scratch isn’t always a walk in the park and it involves different challenges than other small businesses.
But if you’re unrelenting in your dedication, you’ll find no better satisfaction than seeing your customers live their lives in your creations — and doing it on your own terms.
“The most rewarding part of starting my own business is that I get to work with clothes I’m obsessed with every single day," Dabney says. "On top of that, I have the freedom to run my business how I like, so I know what I’m doing is a direct reflection of my vision. After starting my own business, I really can relate to the quote, ‘Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.’”
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How To Start a Clothing Brand: 12 Easy Steps (2023)
- by Dayna Winter
- Find an Idea
- Dec 2, 2022
- 22 minute read
After collecting her degree in fashion design, Sarah Donofrio stepped into the real world with the same question that has long troubled creatives of all ilks: What now?
Fashion school taught Sarah about pattern grading, sewing, and draping. She could drop a mean French seam. She could tell you everything about fit. Her education, however, didn’t really teach her how to actually start her own fashion line.
To take your dream from a business idea to launch and make it in the frenzied world of fashion takes a specific set of skills, a generous dose of creativity, and a pinch of business savvy.
Today, Sarah is a successful designer and owner of her own clothing line. What she’s learned over the past two decades is that taking your dream from idea to launch and making it in the frenzied world of fashion takes a specific set of skills, a generous dose of creativity, and a pinch of business savvy.
In this guide, we’ll explore the ins and outs of starting a clothing line from scratch—everything from education and design to manufacturing and marketing—with tips for selling clothes from a seasoned pro.
Meet the fashion industry pro
Sarah has lived and worked in two countries, and her experience spans everything from design and production to education and physical retail. She has struggled and thrived, sometimes simultaneously, over her many years in the industry.
In 2016, Sarah was a contender on Project Runway ’s 15th season. She has since launched her namesake brand as an online store on Shopify, won multiple awards, and had her work appear in multiple publications and retailer shops.
How to start a clothing line in 12 steps
- Develop your fashion design skills
- Create a business plan
- Follow fashion trends
- Build a strong brand
- Design and develop your brand
- Source fashion fabrics or design your own
- Setup clothing production and manufacturing
- Plan your collections around fashion seasons
- Pitch your clothing line to fashion retailers
- Build an online store
- Open a retail store, launch a pop-up, or sell at markets
- Learn from the pros
1. Develop your fashion design skills
Designers like Vivienne Westwood and Dapper Dan found massive success in the fashion world, even though they were self-taught. And they started their careers pre-internet. We live in a time of access, where rebuilding an engine or tailoring a t-shirt can be learned simply by watching a YouTube video.
It’s possible to skip school and still launch your own clothing line, but formal education, whether in a classroom or online , has its merits: learn the latest industry standards, access resources and equipment, make contacts, and get feedback from pros.
While Sarah owes a great deal of her success to learning professional skills in a classroom, much of her education was gained on the job, working in corporate retail. “I wanted to work for myself,” she says, “But I felt that it was important to get experience.”
It took me a long time to be confident enough that I could fill a store with my clothing. Sarah Donofrio
Sarah is a huge advocate for spending a few years learning the ropes from other brands and designers. “It took me a long time to be confident enough that I could fill a store with my clothing,” she says. “I think that I needed the time to grow and to get advice and experience.”
How to start a clothing line: A step by step guide
In this video, we'll teach you the ins and outs of the fashion industry and everything you need to know to start a clothing brand from scratch.
Many institutions offer fashion design and small business programs in varying formats. Schools like Parsons in New York and Central Saint Martins in the UK are world renowned for their fashion programs.
If you have more drive than funds or time, there are a growing number of fast-track and online courses for fashion industry hopefuls. Check local community colleges for virtual or part-time formats that accommodate your schedule and budget, or consider learning through sites like MasterClass (there’s a fashion design course taught by Marc Jacobs himself), Maker’s Row Academy , or Udemy .
2. Create a business plan
As Sarah discovered, the world of fashion and the world of business have a lot more overlap than she expected.
Starting a clothing line requires many of the same considerations as starting any business. How much does it cost to start? When should you pursue capital for your startup? What outside help will you need to navigate legal, financial, production, and distribution aspects of the business? Where and how will you produce your garments? Let’s dig in.
What’s your business model?
This guide is for those looking to design and develop their own clothing brand and collections. If you are interested in the fashion world but have no interest or skills in design, consider reselling by buying wholesale or trying dropshipping.
For those designing a clothing line from scratch, this is the point where you will decide what type of business you are looking to run. This will help you determine how much time, effort, and funding you will require upfront.
A few business models are:
- Hand produce and sell your designs direct to customers through your own website or online marketplaces or at markets and pop-ups.
- Create collections and produce pieces of clothing through a manufacturer, then sell your clothing line wholesale to other retailers.
- Design repeating patterns or graphics to print on blank t-shirts and other clothing items using a print-on-demand model, selling online through your own store.
What does it cost to start a clothing line?
Once you have a business idea for your clothing line, you may be able to fund it yourself and bootstrap as you go. Designing and sewing made-to-order clothing on your own means you don’t have to carry a ton of inventory. However, you will need to invest upfront in equipment and large quantities of fabric to be cost-effective. Other costs include shipping materials, fees for launching your site, and a marketing budget.
If you plan to go all in and work with manufacturers on a production run, you’ll have high upfront costs to meet minimums. A solid business plan and costing exercise will help you determine how much funding you’ll need.
In either case, expect to need thousands of dollars upfront . “In fashion, you’re not just costing fabric and buttons and labor,” says Sarah. “You’re costing shipping, you’re costing heating and rent.”
There are a few low budget entry points in the world of fashion, though, including consignment , dropshipping, and print on demand.
- How to Write a Business Plan
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- The Fundraiser's Guide to Successful Crowdfunding (2023)
3. Follow fashion trends
Through Sarah’s years of developing her brand as a side hustle, she’s learned that while watching trends is extremely important, it’s equally important to focus. Hone in on your strengths and be true to your own design sensibilities.
Fashion school will teach you the basics of making everything from undergarments to evening wear. “The trick is finding what you’re good at and focusing on that,” Sarah says.
I’ve always had a really good trend intuition. But it’s all about translation. Sarah Donofrio
While her line has a year-over-year consistency—design choices in her pieces that are unmistakably hers—Sarah is always watching trends. She says that the key is adapting those trends to your brand, personalizing them, and making them work for your customer.
“I’ve always had a really good trend intuition,” Sarah says. “But it’s all about translation.” Sarah worked on plus-size collections during her time in the corporate world and said that translating trends meant also considering the needs of the plus customer.
Though she sticks to her strengths, Sarah factors what’s happening in fashion—and in the world around her—into her development. “Take athleisure,” she says. “I don’t make tights, I don’t make sports bras, but this cool woven crop would look kind of awesome with tights, so that's how I would incorporate the trend.”
Keeping her production tight and retaining control over design, Sarah was quickly able to pivot in the wake of the global pandemic, adding face masks in her signature prints. She sold 1,100 masks within a two-month period, and she’s turned those sales into repeat customers.
To get inspiration for your own idea, devour fashion publications, follow style influencers, and subscribe to fashion newsletters and podcasts to stay inspired and catch trends before they emerge.
In the noisy world of fashion, consider finding niches or filling gaps in the industry like these inspiring founders:
- Leanne Mai-ly Hilgart launched vegan winter coat brand Vaute Couture after finding a disappointing lack of cruelty-free options on the market.
- Catalina Girald’s lingerie brand, Naja , was built on empowerment and inclusiveness.
- Camille Newman threw her hat in the plus game with Body by Love (formerly Pop Up Plus).
- Mel Wells launched a gender-neutral vintage-inspired swimwear line .
- Taryn Rodighiero also joined the swimwear game but focused on custom suits , made to order to each customer’s exact specifications.
- What is a Niche Market? 9 Examples + Products to Sell
- How to Calculate Market Demand for Your Ecommerce Business
4. Build a strong brand
Remember that “brand” does not mean your logo (that’s branding). Building your fashion brand is an exercise in putting to paper your values, your mission, what you stand for, your story, and more.
Creating brand guidelines will help to inform all of your business and branding decisions as you grow. They will dictate visual direction, website design, and marketing campaigns. They should dictate what you look for in a retail partner or a new hire.
Use social media to build a lifestyle around your brand: share your inspiration and process, inject your own personality, tell your story, and be deliberate with every post.
“The key to social media is consistency,” says Sarah. “I think you have to post every day, but it also has to be interesting.” She mixes up her content with travel, inspiration, sneak peeks at works in progress, and even some interesting stats from her Shopify dashboard.
💅 Resources :
- Branding Secrets from 14 Fashion Industry and Fashion Entrepreneurs
- How to Start Your Own Brand Identity From Scratch in 7 Steps
- A Guide to Brand Storytelling [Free Worksheet] (2023)
5. Design and develop your clothing line
Sarah is an advocate of the sketchbook as one of the most important tools for a designer. “I take my sketchbook everywhere with me,” she says. “As I’m sketching away, every so often I’m like, ‘Oh, this little drawing would translate really well into a repeat pattern.’”
As a contender on Project Runway , she wasn’t allowed to have her sketchbook with her due to the rules of the competition. “That really threw me off my game,” she says.
Sarah’s tips for developing a clothing line:
- Always be doodling. A doodle is the first step toward a refined design. For Sarah, every idea starts on paper before being translated to Illustrator or another software tool. “I always use a mix of new technology and notebooks full of scribbles,” she says.
- Make your own samples by hand. This way, you can enter a relationship with a manufacturer with a better understanding of what production might entail. You’re in a better position to negotiate on costs if you’re intimate with the process.
- Focus on being creative. If production or other business tasks start to get in the way of development, it’s time to outsource.
6. Source fashion fabrics or design your own
Sarah says that fabric sourcing has a lot to do with who you know. Building a network in the industry can help you access contacts for fabric agents, wholesalers, and mills. When she lived in Toronto, she knew the local fabric market and used an agent to get access to fabrics from Japan.
But even that route has pitfalls. “In Canada, everyone’s using the same agent,” she says. “ All of the local clothing lines are all using the same fabrics.”
In Canada, everyone’s using the same agent. All of the local clothing lines are all using the same fabrics. Sarah Donofrio
When fabric from all over the world became easier to access online, Sarah began to find it difficult to source unique prints and materials, despite her contacts. Her solution: she began to design her own.
“When I got out of fashion school in 2005, you couldn’t just go online and go to Alibaba. Now, lots of people I know do that,” Sarah says. “That’s why I really got into honing my textile design skills.”
For those just starting out, agents can be helpful, but Sarah suggests building personal networks and joining communities of designers. Start meeting others in the industry at local incubators, meetup groups, online communities, and live fashion networking events.
7. Setup clothing production and manufacturing
In the early days, you may not be producing volumes that warrant outside help, but as you scale, a manufacturing partner will let you free up time for other aspects of the business and design.
There are a few exceptions. If the handmade aspect of your pieces is a cornerstone of your brand, you’ll always touch production even as you scale. Growth, though, is generally dependent on outsourcing at least some of the work.
Manufacturing your designs can be accomplished in a number of ways:
- One-of-a-kind and handmade by you
- Made by hired staff or freelance sewers but still owned in-house (small studio)
- Sewn in your own commercial production facility (owned, shared, or rented)
- Outsourced to a local factory where you still have some oversight (try Maker’s Row or MFG )
- Produced at an overseas factory (completely hands off)
Adrienne Butikofer of OKAYOK has kept her production in-house by bringing on staff as she scaled. She also outsources her dye runs to a factory. In Michigan, Detroit Denim produces clothing in its own manufacturing facility, where the founders are able to control the process—at scale.
If you’re starting out from your home , be sure your studio is set up to accommodate flow from one machine to the next, has ample storage, considers ergonomics, and is an inspiring space where you’ll be motivated to spend time.
Alternatively, combat loneliness and save money on equipment by seeking out co-working spaces, incubators, or shared studios.
Working with clothing manufacturers
In the beginning, Sarah’s line was produced primarily by her own hands, but she began outsourcing some elements to local sewers as she grew. Now, she’s working with factories and taking back her time to focus on building her brand, developing new collections, and expanding her wholesale channel.
Obviously American-made comes with a higher price point, but it’s worth it to me. Sarah Donofrio
For Sarah, closely monitoring the process was important. She also feels that her customer cares about local and ethical production— enough to pay extra for it . “Obviously American-made comes with a higher price point, but it’s worth it to me,” she says. “I think transparency is a big plus.”
When vetting local factories, Sarah believes it’s important to visit each one to get a feel for their practices. She initially requests samples from the factories to inspect the craftsmanship.
Sarah’s experience working in the corporate world taught her not to put all of her eggs in one basket. She weighs the strengths and weaknesses of each factory and collects her findings in her own database. “Big companies use different factories for different things,” she says. “Maybe there’s a factory that does knitwear better or one that does pants better.”
Ultimately, how you choose to tackle production and choose a manufacturing partner comes down to a few questions:
- How large are your runs?
- Is “made in America” or “made locally” important to you?
- Are you more concerned with ethical manufacturing or lowest cost?
- How hands-on do you want to be in the production?
- Do you plan to scale?
- How to Find a Manufacturer or Supplier for Your Product Idea
- The 7-Step Product Development Process
8. Plan your collections around fashion seasons
The fashion industry operates on a seasonal cycle (fall/winter and spring/summer), and working backward from each season means that development of a collection can start a year or more out.
"In corporate, we were developing two years in advance,” Sarah says. “Big corporations tend to design faster, so they’re doing a lot of trend research.” Without the big team and resources, though, independent designers like Sarah are working closer to delivery dates.
Have your collection ready for the next season at least six to eight months in advance. If you’re selling wholesale, buyers will need to see your collection a month before fashion week. Sarah Donofrio
Your design and development period and delivery dates depend on your customer and your launch strategy, Sarah says. She suggests that you have your collection ready for the next season at least six to eight months in advance. If you’re selling wholesale, buyers will need to see your collection a month before fashion week.
Work backward from your delivery date to establish your design and production timelines. Add dates of important global fashion events, like New York Fashion Week, to your calendar to help set goals.
Seasonality doesn’t have to dictate all of your collections, however. “It’s always such a shame when I design a beautiful print and I think, ‘I only have this for one season. I only have a six-month window,’” says Sarah. Therefore, she’s inspired to work toward prints that work regardless of season.
While product development is a constant concern for fashion brands, signature or core bestselling pieces may stay in your collection for years. This is true for basics brands that focus on, say, “the perfect cotton tee,” a classic that occasionally gets a color update. KOTN ’s brand is built around well made, sustainable basics with core tees selling alongside seasonal releases.
9. Pitch your clothing line to fashion retailers
Wholesale played a huge part in the growth of Sarah’s brand in the beginning. After navigating other sales channels like her own retail store, she’s recently returned to a wholesale strategy.
In fashion, there are two main ways to sell your clothing line through other retailers:
- Consignment . This is a win-win for everyone, as it gives your line a chance to get exposure in a store with no risk to the retailer. The downside is that you only get paid when an item sells.
- Wholesale . This refers to retailers buying a set number of pieces upfront at a wholesale price (less than your retail price). This option is riskier for the retailer so you may have to prove yourself through consignment first.
“It’s a lot easier for stores to take your whole collection on consignment, as opposed to just one or two pieces,” says Sarah, “because they have nothing to lose.”
You can’t just have pretty clothes. You have to know every detail. Sarah Donofrio
Approaching buyers is a daunting experience, and Sarah has worked on both sides of the transaction. Her experience looking through the buyer’s lens helped her stand out when she was pitching her own line.
Be prepared, Sarah urges. “The first time I pitched my line, I asked myself, ‘What are buyers going to ask me?’” she says. “You can’t just have pretty clothes. You have to know every detail.”
Hitting the pavement was a strategy that worked for Sarah when she was starting out. While she advocates for face time, Sarah doesn’t recommend an ambush. Start slow, she says. Introduce yourself with a card or a catalog and try to book time to meet later.
“There are ways that you can approach people without either accosting them or hiding behind a computer screen.”
- Your Startup Guide For Selling Wholesale to Other Retailers
- Wholesale to Scale: How One Entrepreneur is Keeping Up With Demand
- Handshake: Handpicked Wholesale Market
10. Build an online store
Let’s make sure you have a solid online business idea . Does your clothing line business plan detail how you will handle shipping and fulfillment , packaging, and online customer service? Is your production method able to accommodate single orders?
Ready? OK, let’s open your store. It only takes a minute to sign up for a free trial, and we’ll give you some time to play around before you commit.
Ready to launch your own clothing line? Start your free trial on Shopify.
A professional online store can serve two purposes:
- It’s a way to sell directly to your potential customer s
- It’s a living, breathing lookbook to share with buyers and media
Setting up your online store
A platform like Shopify is simple to use even if you don’t have graphic design or coding skills. Choose a Shopify Theme that puts photos first, and customize with your own logo, colours, and other design elements before adding products.
We suggest themes designed for fashion brands like Broadcast or Spark , or a free version like Boundless . 💡 Tip: Need help picking the right theme for your store? Take our quiz .
Your product pages need to work overtime to capture details like fit, feel, and draping. There are also a wealth of clothing store apps in the Shopify App Store designed specifically to help fashion brands create personalized shopping experiences and solve common challenges like fit and sizing. Among the best apps to sell clothes , these are a few standouts:
- Kiwi Size Chart & Recommender
- Ombré AI Fashion Stylist
Consider other online channels like social selling. Reach your target audience by integrating Instagram and Facebook Shops . Your clothing line may also be a fit for marketplaces like Etsy, where you can reach a built-in audience of those interested in handmade goods.
Photography for clothing brands
The right theme helps photos pop, so make sure you invest in professional photo shoots . For a smaller budget, a simple lighting kit, a DSLR camera (or even your smartphone), and some tricks of the trade can help you produce professional-looking DIY shots. Be sure to capture details: fabric texture, trims, and closures.
A lifestyle shoot produces content for other pages on your site as well as marketing campaigns, a press kit, and lookbook. Show your clothing on a model to demonstrate drape and tips to help your customers style the piece.
Marketing your clothing line
Marketing and driving sales remain the single most reported challenge for online brands, regardless of industry. As fashion is a saturated market, developing a solid brand with a unique value proposition will help you focus your efforts on your ideal customer rather than throwing money away.
In the beginning, your budget will be small, but there are still ways to grab attention with creative and organic ideas :
- Invest in content marketing . Use optimized video or keyword-targeted blog posts to drive traffic to your site.
- Build an email list even before you launch. Tease your upcoming clothing collection on social and incentivize sign-ups with exclusive deals.
- Lend your clothing to other businesses for photo shoots (example: beauty brands) to get shoutouts and exposure.
- Try influencer marketing by finding emerging Instagram or TikTok stars to hype your brand.
As you grow, paid ads, hiring a PR firm, and applying to show your clothing line at smaller Fashion Week events are all ways to gain exposure for your brand.
- How to Start an Online Store
- Customizing Your Shopify Theme: How to Use Images, Colors, and Fonts
- How to Create a Social Media Marketing Strategy for Your Clothing Line
- Clothing Photography 101: Take Beautiful Apparel Photos
11. Open a retail store, launch a pop-up, or sell at markets
It took Sarah 11 years to be in a position to seriously consider opening her own retail boutique. But it wasn’t a leap—it was a move that she’d been grooming herself to make. Throughout the evolution of her brand, she used local markets to gain more insight into her customers, test her merchandising, get exposure, and build relationships in the industry.
I was always afraid of opening my own store because of the overhead, especially in Toronto. It just wasn’t attainable. Sarah Donofrio
After her move to Portland, she took her retail experiment to the next level with a three-month pop-up before opening a permanent retail location. “I was always afraid of opening my own store because of the overhead, especially in Toronto,” says Sarah. “It just wasn’t attainable.”
Through the process, she learned that she could use six more hands. She hired a fashion design student to help in the store. “When you have a retail store and a clothing label, as a lot of entrepreneurs do, you just have to learn how to allocate things,” she says. “It’s taken me a long time to learn that, but what I’m paying her to work in the store, my time is worth so much more.”
Selling IRL doesn’t mean signing a 10-year lease on a retail space. You can dabble in in-person selling in a number of more affordable and non-committal ways:
- Subleasing retail space to host a temporary pop-up shop
- A mini pop-up experience on a shelf or in a section of a retailer’s space
- Applying for booth space at craft, fashion, and designer markets
- Vendor booths at events like music festivals
Sarah has since closed her retail location. “I did not like running it,” she says. The store took her away from the aspect of the business that she loved—designing. She still sells direct to customers via the website but has switched much of the brand’s focus to wholesale.
- How to Set Up & Open a Pop-Up Shop
- Craft Shows & Markets: A Maker’s Guide to Nailing the In-Person Selling Experience
12. Learn from the pros
Sarah’s experience as a contestant on Project Runway taught her many important lessons about herself and her industry.
While Sarah understands that being reactive in fashion is an asset, she knows she thrives when she has more wiggle room. Because of her development background, she was amazed at the work her fellow competitors could do in a short amount of time. ”For me, it was not a realistic pace at all,” she says. ”It’s a shame that my best work wasn’t on national television.”
She also faced one of the scariest things any artist has to face: the haters. She was eliminated in the fourth episode when her swimwear didn’t resonate with the judges.
The lesson: your audience is not everyone.
But she was also surprised to see many supportive tweets from new fans she amassed during the show’s run. “The show taught me that everything comes down to taste,” she says. “There’s always someone who will like your stuff.”
What’s next for Sarah? She’s taking her own advice by staying creative and honing in on what she’s best at: design.
Sarah’s business is thriving because she pursued the dream of it through her lowest lows and let every misstep guide her next pivot. Sometimes those pivots were risks, but, she says, that’s the only way to grow.
Starting a clothing line FAQ
What is the first thing you need to do to start a clothing line, do i need a license to start a clothing line, how much does it cost to start a clothing line, how do i name my clothing brand, can i put my own label on wholesale clothing, about the author.
Dayna Winter is a Lead Writer at Shopify, telling stories about the humans behind brands and the moments that motivate them to create. On the side, she resells vintage, runs a film-themed vacation rental, and is working on her green thumb.
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Clothing Line Business Plan Template
Over the past 20+ years, we have helped over 10,000 entrepreneurs and business owners create business plans to start and grow their clothing line businesses. On this page, we will first give you some background information with regards to the importance of business planning. We will then go through a clothing line business plan template step-by-step so you can create your plan today.
Download our Clothing Line Business Plan Template here
What Is a Business Plan?
A business plan provides a snapshot of your clothing line as it stands today, and lays out your growth plan for the next five years. It explains your business goals and your strategy for reaching them. It also includes market research to support your plans.
Why You Need a Clothing Line Business Plan
If you’re looking to start a clothing line or grow your existing clothing line business you need a business plan. A business plan will help you raise funding, if needed, and plan out the growth of your clothing line in order to improve your chances of success. Your clothing line business plan is a living document that should be updated annually as your company grows and changes.
Source of Funding for Clothing Line Businesses
With regards to funding, the main sources of funding for a clothing line are bank loans and angel investors. With regards to bank loans, banks will want to review your business plan and gain confidence that you will be able to repay your loan and interest. To acquire this confidence, the loan officer will not only want to confirm that your financials are reasonable. But they will want to see a professional plan. Such a plan will give them the confidence that you can successfully and professionally operate a business.
The second most common form of funding for a clothing line is angel investors. Angel investors are wealthy individuals who will write you a check. They will either take equity in return for their funding, or, like a bank, they will give you a loan. Venture capitalists will generally not fund a clothing line.
How to Write a Business Plan For a Clothing Line Business
Your business plan should include 10 sections as follows:
Your executive summary provides an introduction to your business plan, but it is normally the last section you write because it provides a summary of each key section of your plan.
The goal of your Executive Summary is to quickly engage the reader. Explain to them the type of clothing line business you are operating and the status; for example, are you a startup, do you have a clothing line that you would like to grow, or are you operating multiple clothing lines.
Next, provide an overview of each of the subsequent sections of your plan. For example, give a brief overview of the apparel industry. Discuss the type of clothing line you are operating. Detail your direct competitors. Give an overview of your target customers. Provide a snapshot of your marketing plan. Identify the key members of your team. And offer an overview of your financial plan.
In your company analysis, you will detail the type of clothing line you are operating.
Generally, you will describe your clothing line based on the 1) intended buyer (e.g., women’s, young men’s, etc.) and the type of clothing (jackets, shirts, dresses, etc.).
In addition to explaining the type of clothing line you operate, the Company Analysis section of your business plan needs to provide background on the business.
Include answers to question such as:
- When and why did you start the business?
- What milestones have you achieved to date? Milestones could include sales goals you’ve reached, new store openings, etc.
- Your legal structure. Are you incorporated as an S-Corp? An LLC? A sole proprietorship? Explain your legal structure here.
In your industry analysis, you need to provide an overview of the apparel business.
While this may seem unnecessary, it serves multiple purposes.
First, researching the apparel and clothing line industry educates you. It helps you understand the market in which you are operating.
Secondly, market research can improve your strategy particularly if your research identifies market trends. For example, if there was a trend towards looser-fitting clothing, it would be helpful to ensure your plan calls for offering such products.
The third reason for market research is to prove to readers that you are an expert in your industry. By conducting the research and presenting it in your plan, you achieve just that.
The following questions should be answered in the industry analysis section of your clothing line business plan:
- How big is the clothing line business (in dollars)?
- Is the market declining or increasing?
- Who are the key competitors in the market?
- Who are the key suppliers in the market?
- What trends are affecting the industry?
- What is the industry’s growth forecast over the next 5 – 10 years?
- What is the relevant market size? That is, how big is the potential market for your clothing line?
The customer analysis section of your clothing line business plan must detail the customers you serve and/or expect to serve.
The following are examples of customer segments: college students, sports enthusiasts, soccer moms, techies, teens, baby boomers, etc.
As you can imagine, the customer segment(s) you choose will have a great impact on the type of clothing line you operate and vice versa.
Try to break out your target customers in terms of their demographic and psychographic profiles. With regards to demographics, include a discussion of the ages, genders, locations and income levels of the customers you seek to serve.
Psychographic profiles explain the wants and needs of your target customers. The more you can understand and define these needs, the better you will do in attracting and retaining your customers.
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Your competitive analysis should identify the indirect and direct competitors your business faces and then focus on the latter.
Direct competitors are other clothing line businesses targeting the same products and customers as you. Indirect competitors are other options that customers have to purchase from you that aren’t direct competitors. For example, an indirect competitor to a sweatpants manufacturer is a company that manufactures jeans as the two are substitute products.
With regards to direct competition, you want to detail the other clothing line businesses with which you compete. For each such competitor, provide an overview of their businesses and document their strengths and weaknesses. Unless you once worked at your competitors’ businesses, it will be impossible to know everything about them. But you should be able to find out key things about them such as:
- What types of customers do they serve?
- What products do they offer?
- What is their pricing (premium, low, etc.)?
- What are they good at?
- What are their weaknesses?
With regards to the last two questions, think about your answers from the customers’ perspective. Looking at online reviews of your competitors can provide great insight here.
The final part of your competitive analysis section is to document your areas of competitive advantage. For example:
- Will you provide superior clothing line products?
- Will you provide clothing line products that your competitors don’t offer?
- Will you make it easier or faster for customers to acquire your products?
- Will you provide better customer service?
- Will you offer better pricing?
Think about ways you will outperform your competition and document them in this section of your plan.
Traditionally, a marketing plan includes the four P’s: Product, Price, Place, and Promotion. For a clothing line business plan, your marketing plan should include the following:
Product: in the product section you should reiterate the type of clothing line that you documented in your Company Analysis. Then, detail the specific products you will be offering.
Price: Document the prices you will offer and how they compare to your competitors. Essentially in the product and price sub-sections of your marketing plan, you are presenting the menu of apparel items you offer and their prices.
Place: Place refers to the location of your clothing line. Document your location and mention how the location will impact your success particularly if you are targeting a specific geographic region.
Promotions: the final part of your clothing line marketing plan is the promotions section. Here you will document how you will drive customers to purchase your clothing. The following are some promotional methods you might consider:
- Operating a retail store and/or online store
- Advertising in local papers and magazines
- Reaching out to bloggers and websites
- Partnerships with other companies
- Radio or TV advertising
- Event marketing
- Social media marketing
- Pay Per Click advertising
While the earlier sections of your business plan explained your goals, your operations plan describes how you will meet them. Your operations plan should have two distinct sections as follows.
Everyday short-term processes include all of the tasks involved in running your clothing line such as designing clothing, manufacturing, procuring supplies, managing inventory, etc.
Long-term goals are the milestones you hope to achieve. These could include the dates when you expect to sell your 1,000th item, or when you hope to reach $X in sales. It could also be when you expect to hire your Xth employee or launch a new clothing line.
To demonstrate your clothing line’s ability to succeed as a business, a strong management team is essential. Highlight your key players’ backgrounds, emphasizing those skills and experiences that prove their ability to grow a company.
Ideally, you and/or your team members have direct experience in the clothing line business. If so, highlight this experience and expertise. But also highlight any experience that you think will help your business succeed.
If your team is lacking, consider assembling an advisory board. An advisory board would include 2 to 8 individuals who would act like mentors to your business. They would help answer questions and provide strategic guidance. If needed, look for advisory board members with experience in clothing line businesses and/or successfully running retail and small businesses.
Your financial plan should include your 5-year financial statement broken out both monthly or quarterly for the first year and then annually. Your financial statements include your income statement, balance sheet, and cash flow statements.
Income Statement : an income statement is more commonly called a Profit and Loss statement or P&L. It shows your revenues and then subtracts your costs to show whether you turned a profit or not.
In developing your income statement, you need to devise assumptions. For example, will you sell 100 items per day or 200? And will sales grow by 2% or 10% per year? As you can imagine, your choice of assumptions will greatly impact the financial forecasts for your business. As much as possible, conduct research to try to root your assumptions in reality.
Balance Sheets : While balance sheets include much information, to simplify them to the key items you need to know about, balance sheets show your assets and liabilities. For instance, if you spend $100,000 on building out your clothing line design shop, that will not give you immediate profits. Rather it is an asset that will hopefully help you generate profits for years to come. Likewise, if a bank writes you a check for $100.000, you don’t need to pay it back immediately. Rather, that is a liability you will pay back over time.
Cash Flow Statement : Your cash flow statement will help determine how much money you need to start or grow your business, and make sure you never run out of money. What most entrepreneurs and business owners don’t realize is that you can turn a profit but run out of money and go bankrupt. For example, let’s say a retailer approached you with a massive $100,000 contract to design and manufacture apparel for them. And that doing so would cost you $50,000 to fulfill. Well, in most cases, you would have to pay that $50,000 now for supplies, employee salaries, etc. But let’s say the company didn’t pay you for 180 days. During that 180 day period, you could run out of money.
In developing your Income Statement and Balance Sheets be sure to include several of the key costs needed in starting or growing a clothing line:
- Design house and/or manufacturing facility build-out including design fees, construction, etc.
- Cost of equipment like sewing machines, etc.
- Cost of supplies/inventory
- Payroll or salaries paid to staff
- Business insurance
- Taxes and permits
- Legal expenses
Attach your full financial projections in the appendix of your plan along with any supporting documents that make your plan more compelling. For example, you might include some of your apparel designs.
Clothing Line Business Plan Summary
Putting together a business plan for your clothing line is a worthwhile endeavor. If you follow the template above, by the time you are done, you will truly be an expert. You will really understand the clothing line business, your competition and your customers. You will have developed a marketing plan and will really understand what it takes to launch and grow a successful clothing line.
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Clothing Line Business Plan FAQs
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Other Helpful Business Plan Articles & Templates
Clothing Line Business Plan Template
Clothing line business plan.
You’ve come to the right place to create your clothing line business plan.
We have helped over 100,000 entrepreneurs and business owners create business plans and many have used them to start or grow their clothing line.
Clothing Line Business Plan Template & Example
Below is a template to help you create each section of your Clothing Line Business Plan.
Posh Sophisticate is an emerging clothing line start-up that is geared towards female professionals between the ages of 26 – 64. The clothing line is designed to be everyday work essentials with a modern and trendy flair, appropriate for the office or afterwards for cocktails. The clothing is designed for the modern woman who has a busy professional career and engaging social life.
Posh Sophisticate is the brainchild of Boston native and Paris-trained fashion designer, Marla Worthington. Now living in New York, Marla has taken her decades of apprenticeship and design to develop her own unique and trendy clothing line, while maintaining the style and sophistication required of a professional woman.
The Posh Sophisticate clothing line is suitable for women of all ages and body types. No matter what status level or background, there is a professional look suitable and affordable for any female. The Posh Sophisticate clothing line can be found at major retail department stores around the United States.
The following are the Posh Sophisticate clothing line items:
The Posh Sophisticate clothing line will focus on professional women in the United States working in urban cities that regularly shop at large retail department stores such as Macy’s, Dillard’s, Nordstrom, or Bloomingdale’s.
The Posh Sophisticate clothing line will be led by President & Founder, Marla Worthington and the CFO, Kimberly Fornell. Because they are a startup clothing line, they have decided to outsource the manufacturing and distribution of all clothing items to a third party manufacturing warehouse located in New York City.
Posh Sophisticate will be able to achieve success by offering the following competitive advantages:
- Posh Sophisticate will pride itself in using high quality material at affordable prices. They have been able to negotiate with U.S. based suppliers that are able to manufacture their design concepts at an affordable price.
- Posh Sophisticate’s designs are trendy, affordable, professional, and classy. They aim to be known for its unique and flattering styles that can be worn at work or afterwards during happy hour.
Posh Sophisticate is seeking $1,000,000 in debt financing to launch its clothing line. The funding will be dedicated for the manufacture and distribution of the clothing line. Funding will also be dedicated towards the advertising agency and law firm on retainer. The breakout of the funding is below:
- Manufacture and distribution: $500,000
- Advertising agency in charge of promotions: $300,000
- Law firm retainer: $100,000
- Working capital: $100,000
Who is posh sophisticate clothing line.
Posh Sophisticate is an up and coming clothing line tailored toward female professionals between the ages of 26 – 64. From the mind of creator and fashion designer Marla Worthington, Posh Sophisticate is a breath of fresh air that sets itself apart from the traditional attire usually available to professional women. The clothing line of Posh Sophisticate does not include drab pant suits or unflattering dresses; the clothes are modern and trendy yet sophisticated enough to be seen in the executive boardroom. The clothing line is geared towards women who work in an office setting who want to dress in clothes that allow them to feel trendy while maintaining the utmost professionalism.
Posh Sophisticate Clothing Line History
Marla Worthington has been in the fashion industry for over three decades. She worked at Bloomingdale’s in Boston during her high school years as a stock girl and cashier. She kept the job while attending Boston College, eventually becoming a window dresser and was in charge of the mannequin displays of the Donna Karan and Carolina Herrera brands. It was while she was an undergraduate that Marla found her passion and decided that she wanted to dedicate her life to designing women’s clothes. After earning her Bachelor of Arts degree, Marla packed up everything she had and moved to France to attend the Paris Fashion Institute. Upon completion of the school, Marla was able to apprentice with a few of Paris’ top fashion designers and was able to travel to fashion shows all over the world – from Paris to Milan, Singapore, Hong Kong, and New York.
The business of fashion proved to be intimidating, but Marla continued to pursue her passion. She moved to New York in 2010 and rented a small studio loft where she could focus her attention on designing and branding her clothing line.
Through a business acquaintance, Marla was introduced to an angel investor who has committed to investing $500,000 to help Marla launch her clothing line. The funding will be used as initial equity to obtain a business start up loan.
Since incorporation, Posh Sophisticate has achieved the following milestones:
- Registered and trademarked the Posh Sophisticate brand, logo, and limited liability corporation.
- Hired a branding and design company to professionally design the logo, website, price tags, clothing tags, social media and promotional ads.
- Approached and received Letters of Intent from retail stores such as Bloomingdale’s, Nordstrom, Dillard’s, and Macy’s for the department stores to allow a small display of the Posh Sophisticate clothing line.
- Held a focus group for women between the ages of 26 – 64 to receive feedback on the designs of Posh Sophisticate. Marla displayed ten of her clothing pieces and the ladies offered feedback and critique.
Posh Sophisticate’s Products
The following will be the available items of the Posh Sophisticate Clothing Line:
The rising demand for high-end clothing, accessories and jewelry has benefited the fashion industry. For designers, demand from retail trade operators is a crucial factor for success. Demand from retail trade is expected to increase over the next five years.
Social media and mobile apps have also contributed to industry growth over the past five years. Websites such as Pinterest and e-commerce platforms such as Etsy enable smaller designers to both showcase their designs and draw potential new clients.Moreover, the increasing number and popularity of fashion blogs have also helped industry operators. The growing number of fashion blogs enable smaller designers to gain exposure and attract new clientele.
The industry will also benefit from rising disposable income and increased consumer confidence; it will also be aided by downstream apparel manufacturing industries. As consumers demand trendier yet reasonably priced items, department stores will continue collaborating with designers to create product lines with mass appeal.
Demographic profile of target market.
Posh Sophisticate will target the working professional female in the United States between the ages of 26 – 64. The women will work in an office setting and come from a variety of backgrounds. They can be at their first job right out of college or near retirement. They can be the administrative assistant who greets you when you first arrive at an office or they could be the CEO and President of a large company.
The precise demographics for the Posh Sophisticate Clothing Line are:
Posh Sophisticate will primarily target the following customer profiles:
- Female consumers looking for the trendiest in latest fashion that is appropriate for work.
- Young professionals in their 20’s or 30’s.
- Professional women in their 40’s up to their early 60’s.
- Women who regularly shop in large department stores such as Macy’s, Dillard’s, Bloomingdale’s or Nordstrom.
Direct and indirect competitors, donna karan new york.
Donna Karan New York is one of the clothing lines by famed fashion designer, Donna Karan. A native of Queens, New York, Donna Karan is also known for her other clothing label, DKNY. Donna Karan launched her first collection “Seven Easy Pieces” in 1984 that consisted of a bodysuit, a tailored jacket, a skirt, pants, a cashmere sweater, a leather jacket, and an evening look. The idea behind the collection was that women could create infinite combinations with easy-to-wear garments to take them from daytime looks to evening looks without sacrificing elegance. Donna Karan is the epitome of New York energy and attitude for the powerful and elegant woman. The label has grown into a global powerhouse and is an icon in American fashion design.
Donna Karan New York clothing line can be purchased online or in a boutique store in larger cities. The collection can also be found in major department stores throughout the United States.
Ann Taylor has been a staple for the modern career woman for decades. Founded in 1954, Ann Taylor and its sister company LOFT, provides classic tailored styles with a wide range of crisp button-downs and sharp business suits. Early in its inception, Ann Taylor became the go-to destination for professional women and set several styles on the map. In the 1960’s and 1970’s, Ann Taylor was one of the first to sell tailored professional trousers and pants as more and more women entered the workplace. In the 1980’s, the power business suit emerged and became a status staple for the most ambitious female professionals. Ann Taylor LOFT was created to appeal to the younger professional women who were budget-conscious and required a more trendy business look. The Ann Taylor clothing line can be found at a retail store of its name around the country or purchased online. Today, Ann Taylor is owned by Ascena Retail Group who acquired the brand in 2015.
Express, Inc. is an American fashion retailer that caters to young men and women. Express is known as a fashion-forward apparel and brand that sells everyday wardrobe essentials to the latest trends. Women and men of all walks of life can find something at an Express store. They carry a large selection of professional business attire, as well as jeans, dresses, outerwear, and casual attire. Known for being trendy and fashionable, Express is seen as a go-to destination for anyone wanting the latest and trendiest clothing. Founded in 1980, it first opened up as Limited Express in Chicago and only sold women’s clothing. In 2001, Express expanded to include a men’s fashion line. Today, Express operates over 600 stores in the United States, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama, El Salvador, and Guatemala.
Posh Sophisticate will be able to offer the following advantages over their competition:
The following will be the operations plan for the Posh Sophisticate clothing line.
- Marla Worthington will act as President & Founder of Posh Sophisticate, LLC. She will be providing oversight of the design and distribution warehouse located in New York.
- Marla has decided to hire an outside manufacturing company to manufacture each piece of clothing. As a startup clothing line, Marla believes by hiring an outside manufacturing company that already has the equipment and personnel needed, it will be less for her to manage.
- Kimberly Fornell is the clothing line’s CFO. She will be in charge of all business expenditures and tax obligations.
- Marla also has a law firm on retainer to provide legal guidance and business filings for the clothing line. They have been tasked with all limited liability corporation state and federal requirements as well as permitting and licensing.
Posh Sophisticate will have the following milestones complete in the next six months.
3/1/202X – Finalize manufacturing agreement with manufacturing company
3/15/202X – Execute advertising agency contract
4/1/202X – Finalize contracts with large retail department stores
5/1/202X – Review first batch of manufactured clothing
5/15/202X – Review first round of advertising campaign and provide feedback
6/15/202X – Launch advertising campaign via social media, magazines, media, and billboards
9/1/202X – Posh Sophisticate clothing line is available to purchase at large retail department stores
Brand & value proposition.
Posh Sophisticate will offer the unique value proposition to its clientele:
- Professional and trendy attire uniquely tailored and suitable for women ages 26 – 64.
- Each piece of clothing is made with high quality materials that is priced competitively with competing clothing lines, yet not intimidating to the average income.
- Classic styles with a unique and modern flair that is appropriate in the office setting or for drinks afterward.
The promotions strategy for Posh Sophisticate is as follows:
Professional Media Campaign
Marla Worthington has hired a professional advertising agency based in New York who has extensive experience in the launch and advertising campaign of emerging brands. The advertising agency has developed numerous print ads for fashion magazines, commercial spots to be aired on major networks, and billboard advertisements aimed at getting the most maximum exposure in large urban areas of U. S. cities.
The advertising agency has also been tasked with launching an aggressive social media platform for Posh Sophisticate. The clothing line will have a Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram account with professionally photographed images and posts. There will be a number of sponsored Facebook and Instagram posts.
Posh Sophisticate will partner with young professionals who have a social media following of more than 100,000. The brand ambassadors will post themselves wearing Posh Sophisticate items and tag the account so that they gain exposure through their legion of followers. The brand ambassadors receive compensation based on the number of likes or followers gained through their Posh Sophisticate posts.
The pricing of the Posh Sophisticate clothing line will be moderate and on par with competitors so customers feel they receive value when purchasing their items.
Posh Sophisticate will be led by its founder Marla Worthington. While she has decided to outsource the manufacturing, marketing, and legal, her and her CFO will oversee the clothing line.
Marla Worthington, President & Founder
Marla Worthington has been in the fashion industry for over three decades. She worked at Bloomingdale’s in Boston during her high school years as a stock girl and cashier. She kept the job while attending Boston College, eventually becoming a window dresser and was in charge of the mannequin displays of the Donna Karan and Carolina Herrera brands. It was while she was an undergraduate that Marla found her passion and decided that she wanted to dedicate her life to designing women’s clothes. After earning her Bachelor of Arts degree, Marla packed up everything she had and moved to France to attend the Paris Fashion Institute. Upon completion of the school, Marla was able to apprentice with a few of Paris’ top fashion designers and was able to travel to fashion shows all over the world – from Paris to Milan, Singapore, Hong Kong, and New York. After returning to New York, she was introduced to an angel investor that has agreed to provide the equity required in order to obtain a startup business loan.
Kimberly Fornell, CFO
Kimberly Fornell is the CFO for Posh Sophisticate, LLC. She has over 20 years of accounting and tax experience and is a licensed CPA in the state of New York. Kimberly has worked with numerous Fortune 500 companies providing accounting oversight and filing all of the company’s tax returns and filings. Kimberly’s accounting and tax knowledge combined with her extensive experience in the corporate world will set up the Posh Sophisticate clothing line for success.
Key revenue & costs.
The revenue drivers for the Posh Sophisticate clothing line will be the merchandise sold at the major retail stores. The line will consist of everyday women’s clothing staples – blouses, sweaters, pants, skirts, dresses, and coats.
The cost drivers will be the cost of manufacturing and distributing the clothing items. Other cost drivers will be the law firm on retainer and the New York advertising agency. Marla Worthington and Kimberly Fornell have priced all expenses to be 70% of revenues.
Funding Requirements and Use of Funds
The following outlines the key assumptions required in order to achieve the revenue and cost numbers in the financials and in order to pay off the startup business loan.
- Number of Items Sold Per Month: 800
- Average Item Cost: $85.00
Income statement, balance sheet, cash flow statement, clothing line business plan faqs, what is a clothing line business plan.
A clothing line business plan is a plan to start and/or grow your clothing line business. Among other things, it outlines your business concept, provides market research about the fashion industry, identifies your target customers, presents your marketing plan and details your financial plan. It is meant to be a living document that should be updated as trends in the industry or changes within your company occur.
You can easily complete your clothing line business plan using our Clothing Line Business Plan Template here .
What Are the Main Types of Clothing Line Businesses?
The types of clothing line businesses include men’s apparel, women’s apparel, children’s clothing and athletic apparel.
What Are the Main Sources of Revenues and Expenses for a Clothing Line Business?
The primary source of revenue for a clothing line business comes from its sale of clothing. Businesses can sell directly to consumers, or to clothing stores and clothing wholesalers.
The key expenses for a clothing line business includes rent, salaries, materials, and marketing expenses.
How Do You Get Funding for Your Clothing Line Business?
Clothing lines are often funded through small business loans. Personal savings, credit card financing, crowdfunding and angel investors are also popular forms of funding.
What are the Steps To Start a Clothing Line Business?
Starting a clothing line business can be an exciting endeavor. Having a clear roadmap of the steps to start a business will help you stay focused on your goals and get started faster.
1. Develop A Clothing Line Business Plan - The first step in starting a business is to create a detailed clothing line business plan that outlines all aspects of the venture. This should include potential market size and target customers, the services or products you will offer, pricing strategies and a detailed financial forecast.
2. Choose Your Legal Structure - It's important to select an appropriate legal entity for your clothing line business. This could be a limited liability company (LLC), corporation, partnership, or sole proprietorship. Each type has its own benefits and drawbacks so it’s important to do research and choose wisely so that your clothing line business is in compliance with local laws.
3. Register Your Clothing Line Business - Once you have chosen a legal structure, the next step is to register your clothing line business with the government or state where you’re operating from. This includes obtaining licenses and permits as required by federal, state, and local laws.
4. Identify Financing Options - It’s likely that you’ll need some capital to start your clothing line business, so take some time to identify what financing options are available such as bank loans, investor funding, grants, or crowdfunding platforms.
5. Choose a Location - Whether you plan on operating out of a physical location or not, you should always have an idea of where you’ll be based should it become necessary in the future as well as what kind of space would be suitable for your operations.
6. Hire Employees - There are several ways to find qualified employees including job boards like LinkedIn or Indeed as well as hiring agencies if needed – depending on what type of employees you need it might also be more effective to reach out directly through networking events.
7. Acquire Necessary Clothing Line Equipment & Supplies - In order to start your clothing line business, you'll need to purchase all of the necessary equipment and supplies to run a successful operation.
8. Market & Promote Your Business - Once you have all the necessary pieces in place, it’s time to start promoting and marketing your clothing line business. This includes creating a website, utilizing social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter, and having an effective Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy. You should also consider traditional marketing techniques such as radio or print advertising.
Learn more about how to start a successful clothing line business:
- How to Start a Clothing Line Business
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How To Create A Clothing Line Business Plan - w/ Template
Published: May 06, 2020 Updated: February 27, 2023 19 min read 37 Comments
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What this article will cover:
- Executive summary
- Company overview
- Marketing strategies
- Sales strategy
- Competitive analysis
- Production plan
- Operation plan
- Financial analysis and projections
Now, Don't Skip This Step
A clothing line business plan is a crucial (and often forgotten step) that is needed for creating a clothing line. The plan will help you define and streamline both your long term and short term goals. It will also help you set a path to reach those goals. Not only does a business plan help you by setting a road map, but it also shows suppliers, investors, and other businesses that you are serious about your company by having a profitable plan of action.
As a bonus to this guide, I use my brand, virtue + vice, to give step by step examples, and show you how it's done. And, there's more, I have a free downloadable template to help you get started!
A Business Plan Is A Living Document
One of the most common mistakes I see founders making is that they will write their business plan, launch their product, and then never look at it again. Please don't do this. A clothing line business plan is a living document. You should use it to check in with yourself and make sure that you are meeting your goals. You can also make changes to it as your business changes.
As we all know, we can plan, and plan, and plan, but we can not plan for the chaos of life happening. So, as situations change, go back, update your plan, and re-strategize.
Keeping your business plan handy even after your launch will set you up for accountability and success.
Lastly, before we get started I am going to warn you. Making a clothing line is a lot of fun. But, it's also a lot of work, and (unfortunately) writing this business plan is the work portion of the job.
How To Write A Clothing Line Business Plan
Some business plans for fashion brands are extremely long, repetitive, and in my opinion kind of convoluted. They are a lot of words, that sound fancy and business-like, but are kind of just saying the same thing over and over. That is why I am keeping this short and brief. I have heard of people spending 6 months to a year working on a business plan. That is far too long. A month is enough - just keep it simple and don't get carried away with jargon and corporate speak.
So, let's get started.
Sections 1 + 2: Executive Summary and Company Overview
An executive summary and company overview are basically a recap of your overall business plan. While they are the first section of your clothing line business plan, you actually want to write them last. So, we will circle back at the end this guide.
But, what you can do is work on your companies mission, vission, and values.
Clothing Brand Mission Statement
Why are you starting this company? How will your company change the market place, or even the world?
Vision statements for fashion companies ask the question - What does success look like to you? Is it money? Or, is it positively impacting people's lives? How will you measure your success in the world?
What are your companies guiding principles. What values are at your core that determine and influence your business decisions?
Mission, Vision, Values Workbook Page
Section 3: product and services.
This section should include…
- A description of the product/ service
- Features and benefits
What is the product or service.
So, what is it that you are actually selling? And, how will you make money? In this section, you want to be clear about the type of product or service you are offering and how that will lead to profits.
My Service Offering For virtue + vice
virtue + vice is a consulting agency dedicated to helping companies clean up their supply chains. Target partnerships are existing and established brands with strong supply chains that need help creating transparency or sourcing ethical and sustainable components, as well as, startups who are focused on creating conscious products.
virtue + vice profits through consultancy fees paid by the customer. virtue + vice specializes in the following - sourcing, product development, production management, sustainable design, supply chain transparency, and ethical and sustainable storytelling.
To Recap Products + Services...
See, it's quick and easy. What am I selling? My consultancy services. How am I making money? Through consultancy fees.
What Are The Features + Benefits?
What are you offering that makes your company unique or special?
virtue + vice features and benefits
One key feature that separates virtue + vice from other consultancy firms is our sliding scale for pricing. Because we believe in our mission, virtue + vice pricing structure is on a sliding scale based on a companies profits. We choose to operate like this as a way to give back to small businesses, which we believe in, who might not have the finances to pay our full rates that larger corporations can afford.
Secondly, virtue + vice operates transparently with our customers. Our supplier is your supplier. Many consultancy firms keep their supplier contacts close to the vest and do not share, we welcome our clients to come and visit our partner factories in China and India, and work directly with them
Again, super quick and easy. What makes us different. One, we offer sliding scale prices to help small businesses (we aren't only about corporate life). Two, we work transparently without supply chain secretes like many other sourcing agents.
This section answers what happens when your company grows. Or how business people like to ask "how do you plan to scale".
How does virtue + vice plan to scale?
At about 20 clients, that is manageable for me as a solo-preneur. But what happens when I have 100 clients or more? How does my company grow?
As my company grows I plan on hiring support staff in three key areas. Product development, production, and storytelling. Product development employees will assist in taking our client's projects from initial inception, all the way through sourcing and sample development up until production. The product team member will be responsible for production, and shipping logistics of that production order. And, the storytelling team will assist our clients in telling the story of their products through photos and video for social media, copy, look books, line sheets, website design, etc.
I am actually excited to soon been announcing my first hire on the product development team (but more on that on the about us page.)
So, here I have made a plan for the future. What happens when it gets to be all too much for me alone? Who do I hire to help? I have chosen to separate tasks into three main categories that make the most natural sense for my business model.
Section 4: Marketing Strategy For Clothing Business
- Market analysis
- Target customer analysis
- And, your unique selling proposition that makes your product and business different from everyone else's
Do you understand the market that you are getting into? Like, do you really understand it?
This section of your clothing line business plan starts to get into proving that there is a need for your product or service. Even if something sounds great to you, if there are no customers that want it, then there won't be sales, and you won't have a successful clothing brand.
Here is how I break down my market analysis for virtue + vice
Sustainable and ethical fashion is a trend that has been growing year over year. In this article from Sourcing Journal they reported: "Overall, searches including sustainability-related keywords increased 75 percent year-on-year, amounting to 27,000 searches for sustainable fashion every month, according to the report."
This means that there is currently a sizable market share, that is growing rapidly for brands selling sustainable products to customers. And, those brands need help changing their traditional supply chain models to tap into the growing trend of sustainable fashion.
So, to recap.
What's the market doing, and how does my business play a part in that? Sustainable fashion is a proven growing trend, here is a little industry data to back that up. And, this is how my business plans to be part of that. Instead of choosing to sell direct to consumers, we are choosing to help brands that do.
Target Customer Analysis
Who is your target customer, who would want to buy your brand?
Here is who I target
virtue + vice plans to approach brands and companies that founder Melanie DiSalvo has been working with for the past decade. Because she already knows the ins and outs of their supply chains, she hopes to offer valuable changes and suggestions on targeted areas to help them become more ethical and sustainable.
Now, I understand that everyone does not have a built-in customer base like me. One of the most beneficial pieces of advice I can give is that you should go niche, and not broad.
To simply say "we are targeting people interested in making more sustainable and ethical purchases". Well, every big brand from H&M with their conscious collection to Walmart with their recycled t-shirts is doing that.
What makes you special? Pick something, one thing that makes your customers different. Maybe they are really into composting, so all of your materials are compostable. Maybe they are really into clean water, so your entire supply chain is dedicated to conserving water resources.
Again, I am saying this again, because it is so, so, so important. You can't be everything to everyone. Choose something laser-focused, and then as your brand grows you can expand into other areas.
How Are You Unique?
Did you see what I did there? By choosing a very niche target customer, you have already made yourself unique, and you stand out from the crowd.
How is virtue + vice unique?
virtue + vice is unique because of founder Melanie DiSalvo's extensive time spent living and working in countries like China, India, Taiwan, the Philippines, and the Dominican Republic. She has spent over 1/2 of her career working overseas and that offers her a unique and detailed first-hand perspective on how the fashion industry really works and the best ways to implement change quickly and effectively.
My tips for this section.
Don't be afraid to get a little braggy. Why does your customer want to buy from you? What makes your product so great that it's better than what is already out there on the market. Don't hold back.
Section 5: Sales Strategy
This section should include...
- Investments into sales
What are your sales goals per quarter? For the year? The next 2-5 years? What is your pricing strategy? How will you sell? Do you have an online clothing store? Do you have plans to hire support staff for sales, as a showroom, salesperson, or go to trade shows? Will you open a boutique? Will there be promotional campaigns to support sales like partnerships, advertising, fashion shows, and events, etc.
How much, and how often do you need to sell to turn a profit? At what rate do you plan to grow?
This is what I have in place for virtue + vice
I am uncomfortable sharing that. Here is what I will tell you. My consultancy business is strong enough that I am able to offer all of this information that some other companies charge hundreds or even thousands of dollars for, for free.
My business is healthy enough that I am able to give back to the fashion community at this time.
Are you going to try and sell tons of product at a low price, or fewer units at a higher price? Do you plan to drive sales through special discount promotions?
As I mentioned earlier virtue + vice works on a sliding scale so we are able to help smaller brands build their businesses.
How Will You Sell?
Are you direct to consumers, selling online? Are you business to business? Will you wholesale, will you have a distributor? What is your plan and break down?
At the moment virtue + vice relies mostly on word of mouth and referrals.
Do you need to hire support staff? What does that staff need to do their job? Can you sell on your own, or do you need help from a pro? For example, if you hire a showroom, not only will you have the monthly cost of the showroom, plus a cut of sales that the sales agent will take. But, you will also have fees to be in the showrooms booth at trade shows. Maybe at the tradeshows, you will need some special promotional items like look books, line sheets, or even a giveaway so buyers remember you.
It Costs Money To Make Money
All of the costs associated with sales, need to go back into your price strategy. Price strategy is like a balancing act. You need to invest in it, but you need to make sure that your sales are more than the investment so that you can be profitable.
This is the hard part
This part of your clothing line business plan should probably take the most time, Really research what everything costs, what your product will cost to make, etc and come up with a well-researched plan.
How I invest in my sales
At virtue + vice I do everything myself. But, people reading this that want to sell a service like me, it's important to remember that your own personal time costs something. While it's not a salary, or an actual expense, the hours that you devote to generating sales for your company should be compensated for.
Section 6: Competitive Analysis
- SWOT analysis
How Do You Compare To The Competition?
This is where you get a little stalkerish. In this section, you need to identify your competition and then the advantages and disadvantages of your competitors. You will need to research things like how long they have been in business, their annual sales (if they are public). How they market themselves. Then compare your price, quality, and general vibe to theirs. Maybe you are selling the exact same thing but have a totally different target customer and vibe you are putting out.
One of the best ways to get you started is through a SWOT analysis.
Ok, so let's get to it with virtue + vice
Who is my main competition?
I just did a quick google search of keywords that I thought my compeators would rank for. And, let's call my top three competitors A, B, and C. Luckily I do not know any of these companies or people personally. So, I don't have to hold back in this analysis.
Before we dive into the SWOT analysis, here is a little info about each company.
Focuses on scaling small businesses.
The website was launched in August of 2018.
And, the founder just so happens to have no information about her experience. But a quick google and Linkedin search shows her background is in marketing for telecommunication companies. Good for them with SEO, but they don't have any real experience in the industry.
Dubs themselves as a strategic advisory for fashion and apparel brands. Offering a full range of different services.
The founder started her sustainable and ethical fashion consultancy business over 8 years ago with 20 years of fashion industry experience. And, has worked with many small, yet well known sustainable fashion brands.
A many different hats consultant that can help brands with things from marketing, so supply chain, to design.
The founder has over 20 years of design experience working with some seriously well known household names that do not have a focus on sustainability.
Competition is a good thing
A lot of times when people start their SWOT analysis they see other people doing what they want to do and they give up.
Don't do that. Competition is good.
Two of these ladies have been in the clothing business for over 10 years working in sustainable fashion consulting. That means it's a good market to be in. They have been making living out of sustainable consulting for a decade. So, business must be good!
Think about fashion in general. There are so many brands, like super successful American Eagle, which was basically just a knock of Abercrombie back in 2003. Don't' let competition discourage you.
The point of SWOT is to figure out your advantages and how to position your brand in the market.
I am working on writing a full SWOT and fashion business competition analysis post, that will be coming soon. For now, I will just quickly go through one example. For this article, I have chosen Company B because their business most closely resembles mine.
How To SWOT
SWOT stands for strengths, opportunities, weaknesses, threats.
Like I mentioned, a lot goes into a SWOT analysis. I am just doing a quick one here to give you a brief idea about what it is.
What advantages does your brand have?
virtue + vice is located in NYC, one of the fashion capitals of the world. Comapny B in New Zeland, has a much smaller fashion scene, and the geographical distance makes networking and partnerships more difficult.
I spend 1/2 the year in India. This keeps me close to my supply chains on the ground, and able to help clients with content about how their products are made as well as live updates. It also offers an added layer of authenticity.
Opportunity is a natural progression from strengths. How can you use your strengths to become even stronger?
My geographic strength of being in NYC leads to more networking opportunities and the ability to attend more fashion events. My life in India allows me to be on the ground working directly with factories so I am first in the know with the latest news.
Company B has been at this longer than me. Almost exactly twice as long as me. Also, one of the things that I thought made me unique - my long history working with well-established brands is also a strength of Jacinta's. We have even worked with some of the same brands!
Threats, analyze what obstacles you face because of your weaknesses. For me one of virtue + vices threads is authority. The fact that Company B has been in business for twice as long, gives them more authority in this space.
Now there are tons more strengths, opportunities, weaknesses, and threats that I could add. And I would recommend doing this exercise for at least 3-5 competitive brands. Again if you want to learn more I will be putting out a full competitive analysis guide with a lot more details and info on how to do a proper SWOT. But for now, I think you get the idea.
Section 7: Production Plan
- Company development, sales, production, and delivery calendar
The Importance of Timelines
This is basically a development and inventory calendar. How many seasons a year will you produce? When will you develop them? Sell them? When will you produce them? And, when will they sell in stores, and even be discounted?
virtue + vice follows our customer's timelines. So, what I am working on for them, depends on their business model. Some of our customers are seasonal, and only put out one main collection per year. Some two seasons, and some up to seven. And, our clients are all over the world. So our southern hemisphere clients are working on a totally different season than brands in the North.
For example, I am working on everything from Summer 2020 (happening like now!) for quick deliveries to Fall 2021, that's not this fall coming up but the fall after it (18 months from now).
How To Set Up Your Calendar
As a brand, I would recommend setting up your calendar around industry tradeshows to start out. The below break down is for America's sales season.
There are 6 major fashion seasons. They are spring, summer, fall, winter, holiday, and resort.
And, there are 4 main dates you need to keep track of for each season. They are development dates, sell dates, and production dates, and delivery dates.
Are the times you will be developing your product for the next season. You are going to want to plan for 3 months of development time before your sell dates.
Are the dates there will be trade shows and other sales opportunities for that season.
Are when you need to start producing the goods, and when they need to be finished by.
Are when the goods need to be delivered to your customer. Remember it can take over a month to ship goods from a factory if you are shipping by sea, so factor that in.
the fashion calendar
SPRING Development Dates - May - August Sell Dates - August - October Production Dates - October-January Delivery Dates - January - March
SUMMER Development Dates - July - September Sell Dates - October - January Production Dates - December - February Delivery Dates - March - May
FALL Development Dates - October - December Sell Dates - January - March Production Dates - April - June Delivery Dates - July - August
WINTER Development Dates - December - January Sell Dates - March - April Production Dates - June Delivery Dates - September
HOLIDAY Development Dates - February - March Sell Dates - May - June Production Dates - July Delivery Dates - October
RESORT Development Dates - March - May Sell Dates - June - August Production Dates - July - September Delivery Dates - November - January
But, this section needs to go even more in-depth than just a timeline.
To understand what goes into product development, production, and sales and marketing schedule I am working on writing full courses on all of those coming soon!
Section 8: Operation Plan
- Your company budget
What Do You Need To Keep Your Business Running On A Daily basis?
Remember that budgeting guide I wrote ? This is where all that info goes. Filling out this part of your clothing line business plan should be easy if the budget was done correctly.
virtue + vice operatin plan
I work from home, so that saves me a lot of money. I don't have full-time employees, so that also requires me to have less capital for salaries. Where I personally spend most of my money is on travel.
And, no it's not the glamorous kind of travel. It's me booking a ticket at 6 am for a flight to India at 9 pm that same day so I can go straighten out some sort of supply chain issue we are having in person.
Do I have to travel? Well, that's 50/50. A lot can be done remotely. But, there is always a special touch that comes when you do business in person. You will find that almost any time in business when you are face to face the dynamic is different. Even just taking a conversation off of email and onto the phone can makes huge difference.
Necessary recurring monthly costs for me are the website domain, hosting for the website, apps, and programs I use like Grammarly, Adobe, and quick books.
Basically you can take your budgeting template and use it for this section. Yay! The work is already done for you.
Section 9: Financial Analysis + Projections
Again, this is where budgeting is going to come in handy. You might even want to hire a professional bookkeeper or accountant for help with this.
- The money you need to get started
- How you will use that money
- The income you hope to make off of your products
- And, balance sheet
Financials make most peoples heads spin, that is why I definitely recommend talking to a pro for this part.
At virtue + vice I have a full-time bookkeeper and an accountant. I am uncomfortable sharing my companies finances publicly. But, if you need help with this section, that's why I suggested at the start of this article to help get your financial plan for fashion business in order before even starting the business plan.
Back to Sections 1 +2: Executive Summary + Company Overview
Now back to the top. Remember, we skipped the executive summary and company overview. Now that we have mapped out our entire business plan we need to recap everything by writing these two summaries.
This is where you can hook potential investors. It's the first section anyone reads of your plan, so make it clear and quick.
Here is mine for virtue + vice
virtue + vice is a consultancy firm dedicated to helping companies clean up their supply chains. We are located between NYC and Goa, India. Our dual locations allow us access to the world's fashion capital, while our time spent in India allows for close monitoring of our supply chains.
Our goal for virtue + vice is to assist companies who are realizing that sustainable and ethical fashion is not a trend that is going away anytime soon, and want to be the process of cleaning up their supply chain. We offer support across all product life cycle steps including - conscious design, sourcing, product development, production, marketing and branding, retail and sales, storytelling, and content.
Key things to include in your executive summary
What you do. Where you are located. Benefits of your location. What you are selling. Why what you are selling is a great idea. Again, it's ok to get a little braggy here.
You can use this part to dive a little deeper into you and why you are starting your brand. Who are you? Why this product? How are you qualified to do this, etc? Why are you designing the type of products you are designing (hint, hint, market research). Etc...
this is my company overview for virtue +vice
virtue + vice was founded by Melanie DiSalvo. In her own words
"After working in fast fashion for 7 years I left my position as Director of Product Development with the goal of helping brands clean up their supply chains.
At the time I had a great salary, was working my way up the corporate ladder, under 30 and already had a director's title, and was traveling the world to developed and produce products for brands like Walmart, Target, Ralph Lauren, and Levi's to name a few.
The problem was that I saw and learned too much about how our clothes are really made in dark corners of the world.
So, I made it my goal to expose the industry by educating curious customers and help brands choose better supply chain partners. I have been featured in publications like WWD, VOX, Sourcing Journal, and more. And, was a speaker at SXSW."
virtue + vice aims to target clients from the fashion industry with well-established brands as well as startups to aid them in supply chain transparency and creating conscious products for this growing market share. virtue + vice will work with each client individually to meet their seasonal needs.
We believe our strength is our 10 years experience in this industry and the supply chain partners we have developed relationships along the way. Our plan. is to operate out of NYC and India for the foreseeable future where our founder has homes, and hopefully to expand to a third location in China in the next 5 years.
We believe that our dedication to quality and transparency, along with a sliding consultancy rate, will keep us profitable in years to come.
company overview recap...
See what I did here? I spoke more about myself and created a little background story. Then I hit all the other points of the business plan quickly - marketing, sales, competition, production, operation, financial.
And, We're Done!
And there you have it. A clothing line business plan. I hope this helps. After coming across so many generic business plan templates online, I was inspired to write something a little more intimate. I really wanted to show you what goes into making a business plan, and in the spirit of transparency open up about how my business works.
Remember, business planning is a lot of hard work. But, when clothing brands put in the effort at the start of their business, they have a much higher chance of success and growth.
January 30, 2023
Thank you so much for the wonderful information regarding a valuable business plan and it’s different stages. Thanks again
October 18, 2022
Thank you so much for the advise I would like a guide on my business plan Thanks
This piece is so helpful. Thanks for sharing. God bless
August 02, 2022
Very detailed and understanding
June 17, 2022
You are so awesome! I do not believe I’ve read through something like that before. So wonderful to discover somebody with original thoughts on this subject matter. Really.. thank you for starting this up.
June 12, 2022
This is quite detailed and straight forward
May 10, 2022
I’m more motivated now having an overview of what to begin with and move forward in my business thank you so much
April 29, 2022
Your advice is simple and legendary
April 26, 2022
Thanks so much, the business plan guide is super simple and straight forward.
Thanks so much for your amazing advice as well your ideas support in Fashion industry
April 25, 2022
I need help
March 28, 2022
Hi Patrick! To work with me check out the 6-month coaching program – https://launch-my-conscious-line.mykajabi.com/
Morning Thank you for your advices and make it easier for us whom wanna start a business.
I would highly appreciate your services via finance part..I am into sneakers, starting my own sneaker brand because. I am a footwear designer.
Looking forward to hearing from you
Abegunrin margaret oluwabusayomi
March 22, 2022
This is a nice one This information is very useful
March 18, 2022
I am so much pleased to have come across this wanderful write up of yours which helps me greatly to set up my business plan.
thank you looking forward to work with you in the future.
January 10, 2022
This is very helpful I am starting my clothing line soon for my company so I needed ideas of writing the plan, I found it here
January 07, 2022
Thanks this really helped me,I had no idea on how to start the bussiness plan but now Im ready to go!!
December 13, 2021
Thanks for this body of work. Much appreciated.
December 12, 2021
I am completely blown away. So glad I saw this. Great Work.
December 10, 2021
This is really helpful thank you so much
November 25, 2021
Thanks for this I leean alot
November 16, 2021
I just learned some of important things, thank you so much
November 12, 2021
Wow this came in handy I think after reading the whole thing I am even more fuelled up. Thank you very much.
November 08, 2021
November 06, 2021
Thank you so much for your training, I have understood well hope am going to be the best seller clothing in my country thaxs so much
November 03, 2021
this really helped me .Am 20 and really trying to start my own brand was stuck a lil bit but now i guess am ready to do it .thankyou
October 26, 2021
amazing, super useful content!! thank you very very much!!
October 13, 2021
This is real good. Thanks
September 13, 2021
Thank you so much for this content, it is exactly what i needed.🙌🏼
September 11, 2021
THANK YOU SO MUCH for creating such a detailed overview of a clothing line business plan. Phenomenal and incredibly helpful information.
Ebere Agwu Ifiala
This is so helpful and informative. I really do appreciate this leverage.
July 31, 2021
Thank you so much Melanie. This is so helpful and thoroughly informing. Appreciate this!
June 24, 2021
Thanks so much for the tip, more wisdom
March 21, 2021
Pamela, have you checked out the Free Course? There is lots of information about budgeting in there.
Hi my name is Pamela Bouable, I would please like guidance regarding my cash flow for my upcoming business. I have difficulties completing this section. I look forward to hearing back from you soon. Thank you very much
March 17, 2021
Thank you very much for enlightening me through this business plan. I pray you grow higher. Thanks again.
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Create a Marketing Plan 4. Name Your Brand and Create Brand Assets 5. Register Your Business 6. Design and Source Your Products 7. Price Your Products 8. Distribute Your Products 9. Market Your...
Get business licenses and permits: At the very least, you'll likely need a general business operating license to officially start your clothing line business. If you're going to be...
How to start a clothing line in 12 steps Plan your collections around fashion seasons Open a retail store, launch a pop-up, or sell at markets 1. Develop your fashion design skills Sarah Donofrio Designers like Vivienne Westwood and Dapper Dan found massive success in the fashion world, even though they were self-taught.
For a clothing line business plan, your marketing plan should include the following: Product: in the product section you should reiterate the type of clothing line that you documented in your Company Analysis. Then, detail the specific products you will be offering. Price: Document the prices you will offer and how they compare to your competitors.
The funding will be dedicated for the manufacture and distribution of the clothing line. Funding will also be dedicated towards the advertising agency and law firm on retainer. The breakout of the funding is below: Manufacture and distribution: $500,000 Advertising agency in charge of promotions: $300,000 Law firm retainer: $100,000
A clothing line business plan is a crucial (and often forgotten step) that is needed for creating a clothing line. The plan will help you define and streamline both your long term and short term goals. It will also help you set a path to reach those goals.