VD25: Steps needed to start your own fashion line

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A part of me always wished to start a clothing line. Instead, I took another path consulting for fashion entrepreneurs and helping bring their dream to reality.

A question, I often get asked is what are steps required to start a fashion line. In this video, I share three simple steps to get you started. With the year coming to a close, it’s a great time to start planning.  Now, it can sound a little daunting, but as I mentioned in my previous video here if you don’t start you’ll never know how far your could’ve gotten.

Additionally, I will provide some insights in how to make your future brand stand out from the crowd.

1) Refine your idea:
Stick to just one simple idea or item – like a scarf or a skirt, and create a sketch. Get down to the core of your creative vision. Think of it as making the dough for your pizza, before adding all the toppings.
Based on your comfort level, here are a few options you can use to create your sketch:

Once you come up with a sketch that you are proud of, it’s time to test your concept.

2) Market Research
You must ensure there is a need in the market for your concept before you start investing lot’s of time and money into it.

  • Create a survey with Google Forms and send to your potential customers. Start with your personal network and try to identify who amongst them might be the type of person who would be interested in a product like the one you have in mind.
  • For more concrete feedback, I suggest you product 1 garment and share with your immediate network. It’s a great way for people to get a full understanding of your creative vision as they can touch the fabric, etc… They will provide constructive feedback instantaneously.

3) Business Strategy
Once you know there is a demand for your design, you can set-up a production plan. Listen to my previous podcast on product development with Liz Long, EP#20.
Next, you need to decide on how you will want to go to market.
Here are few options:

  • Start with a Kickstarter or a Pre-Sales page:
    You can gauge interest in for your product without buying a huge inventory. Sony recently launched a crowd funding campaign for an e-paper watch concept to test the market.
  • Take the plunge and set up an e-commerce website for your brand by either using Shopify or starting out on Etsy for example.


Be conscientious of trends. Brands that are killing it today are taking into account push towards minimalism, recycling, and customization. Some examples of this are Bib&Tuck, Zazzle, and others.

You need to think through about how you can make a lasting impression. Branding is key here – make sure you watch my previous episode, where I dissect Jonah Berger’s book “Contagious” about how to use Neuroscience Principles to Effectively Brand your Business.

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