This Is #1 Way To Start Your 1st Fashion Collection
Did you know that a majority of fashion designers became famous and financially successful with 1 single product?
Ralph Lauren started with ties only.
Diane Von Furstenberg just started with a wrap dress, which became her signature dress and still is today.
Vanessa Bruno became successful with one bag type… in cotton, not even in leather, that she made available in a variety of colors and materials.
More recently, Mansur Gavriel became a cultish hit with a single hero bag too.
As you can see, these are all elementary fashion products, but they were well made and answered customers’ needs.
Does a full fashion line guarantee sales?
A full fashion line requires around a minimum of 30, 40 or 50 pieces. It is often recommended to design a balanced collection of matching items and more tops than bottoms.
All that work takes 6 months to achieve.
What do you do after spending 6 months or more creating a collection of 30 to 50 garments if you end up finding out that people don’t like your collection?
You may feel so disappointed that you will have no energy left to try again.
In the past 20 years, many IT programmers felt they had a brilliant “idea.” So, what did they do?
They worked hard for 2 years or more developing software or apps that were supposed to revolutionize the world. Finally launching their product, they find out nobody needed it or was willing to pay any cent for it.
That same story happened so many times in the Silicon Valley.
IT startups are just the same as any startup and as any fashion startup. They don’t spend time and money on any idea anymore.
Simply, they cannot find any investor to give them the funds to see if their idea is a good as they think. They lost too much money.
But wait, there is more…
Even fashion investors now question the idea of a collection.
It is as risky as a shot in the dark. And it’s dangerous because the consequences are a waste of time and money for 6 months.
But, there is another way, faster and cheaper.
Have you heard about an MVP?
An MVP is a Minimum Viable Product.
This is the only thing you need at first. You need a fashion piece, be it a garment or an accessory, to start with, and that you will then be able to produce, start selling and then improve and perfect along the way.
This is not only working for fashion. It is working for any startup with any product or service. All the new businesses you may hear about in the news lately became successful that way.
No need to create a whole collection of dresses, coats, skirts, blouses, etc., to fill up a physical store before you can start selling.
You can start selling online one product only. As long as you offer one good product and some people like it, you will sell and grow.
The only way to know what works
When you start with one product, you can test your market, find your customers, and get to know them better.
Then, you can improve and add new products, one after the other. You grow your business slowly but with a base of customers and cash coming in.
Isn’t that a much better solution, easier and quicker?
But if you really want to start with more than one product… Donna Karan launched her brand with a “collection” of only 7 pieces. Still, not 30, 40 or 50.
And don’t think you would be the first one to start your fashion business like that. New fashion designers are already doing so. They have a minimal online store selling just a few products.
The most important is to get started in no time and spent nearly no money. After, you can improve, iterate or pivot when needed. This way, you can start and grow without wasting any time and any money.
When do you get started with your first product and not your first collection? Let us know. We would love to see your first fashion design.
This article is about the 3rd fashion myth of our essential guide for aspiring fashion designers called: 7 Fashion Myths – How to avoid wasting time and money. If you would like to know all those misconceptions of the fashion business, you can download that guide for free here.
(Photos from Unsplash: LAIS, Igor Ovsyannykov).
P.S. FashionTalents is an open marketplace where you create your fashion business in minutes.
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Fanny is the CEO + Co-founder of Fashion Talents, and a passionate and tireless promoter of new fashion designers. She’s on a mission to open fashion business to all talents around the world and drive shoppers, sales, and success to them.