How Do New Talents Dream Their Future In Fashion?

by Jun 19, 2018

I met 28 new fashion design graduates in Paris to find out.

A crushing majority would love to design for their own label and make a living out of it…


Why is it a long-term dream only?

Because they think it would be too risky to start now.

Where’s the risk?

“No experience, no network and no financing.”

But what kind of fashion business do they plan to start where they would need all the above?

A fashion house like Dior?

People think about trying to build the next Facebook as trying to start where Facebook is today, as a major global presence. It’s a really paradoxical thing. We want to think big, but start small.”
Eric Ries

American Entrepreneur, The Lean Startup

Could these aspiring fashion designers start a fashion startup or a micro-business?

Yes. They proved already what it takes: ideas and hard work.

Graduate Dana Fisher-Côte adds that fashion startups blossom already in Denmark, but not in France.

So, how to start small in fashion today?

Let me show you. It’s faster, easier and cheaper than you think.

Fast and Furious drive to fashion success

How fast? Start now!

There is never a good timing to start a fashion business, except now.

There’s no such thing as a good time. I started an apparel-manufacturing business in the tech-boom years. I mean, come on. Get out of your garage and go take a chance and start your business.”

Kevin Plank

Founder + CEO, Under Armour

Starting now is less risky than starting tomorrow. There is no fashion success without taking risks, now or later. The sooner you start, the sooner you build your success.

In order for fashion to progress, we have to always be willing to invest in someone or something new and embrace risks, regardless of the economy.”

Renzo Rosso

Founder, Diesel

And how furious?

As a young fashion entrepreneur, you need to decide how badly you want to succeed. Most often, it means working full time for companies while building your own in your spare time. Jaquemus worked for Comme Des Garçons stores to self-finance his label.

On the Fashion Talents Marketplace, you can choose your personal rhythm to start. While working full-time for a fashion house, you can have a remunerative hobby or a profitable side-job too.

No need for any experience, network or outside financing to start earning money.

Also, you get other benefits. With a window display open to the world, you start building your fashion reputation too.

Fashion business as easy as counting up to 10

Most entrepreneurs don’t need as many customers as they think. A lot of people think 10 is too few for a sample. But if all 10 refused a product, why is that not enough? If you want 100, 1,000 or a million customers, you first have to get 10.”

Eric Ries

American Entrepreneur, The Lean Startup

To get your first 10 customers, you only need to start with 1 fashion product: your MVP (Minimum Viable Product).

Producing a whole collection will not guarantee that you sell. So, why should you do it? Diane Von Furstenberg began to design a wrap dress, and Ralph Lauren started with ties. They both built successful fashion empires from 1 single profitable product.

The entire idea of a collection – a set of clothes that tells a one-off story – is increasingly irrelevant. Instead what feels modern is product drops.”

Lauren Sherman

New York Editor, The Business of Fashion

If you are not profitable from the beginning, you are at high risk to bite the dust. Like YouTube. Bought for 1.65 billion, Google will most probably never get back its ROI. YouTube is big but has no plan ever to be profitable. Hence, it is a business failure.

How to be quickly profitable?

Take the easy way out and remove all the complex and useless actions from your strategy. Like writing a business plan. You need a business idea to meet your first customers, but no business plan. No business startup plan survives the first contact with a customer. So, why should you waste your time?

On the Fashion Talents Marketplace, you can start with only one product to test the market. Something you have already designed for instance.

When selling your first fashion product, it’s a double gain: money and feedback from your customer. That is everything you need to grow your fashion business.

From a lean fashion startup to a long-lasting brand

The biggest start-up successes – from Henry Ford to Bill Gates to Mark Zuckerberg – were pioneered by people from solidly middle-class backgrounds. These founders were not wealthy when they began. They were hungry for success.”
Eric Ries

American Entrepreneur, The Lean Startup

Are new fashion talents hungry enough for success?

Hopefully yes. For them. For customers. And for the shiny future of fashion.

The Lean Startup has proven its recipe to successful companies. What is it about?

Doing things in short amounts of time with extremely limited resources.

Makes business sense, right?

As an aspiring fashion designer, you need to sort the wheat from the chaff. Get rid of all the costly, obsolete and not applicable strategies. Trend books, fashion shows or retailers may be a necessity for established fashion businesses, but not for emerging designers. These expenses waste your time and money. And they set you up more likely for failure than success.

All new brands will be born on the Internet, as it provides the ubiquitous and omnipresent platform for a deeper and more intense relationship with customers. The internet has also provided new brands with an incredible opportunity to launch their business at a fraction of the cost, and in a fraction of the time, it took before. What’s more, the Internet creates incredible market transparency.”
Lawrence Lenihan

Fashion investor in early-stage fashion brands

On the Fashion Talents Marketplace, it’s free to start your business. And it takes only a few minutes to list a product.

Couldn’t be leaner than that.

In fashion, as well as in business, you need the ability to see the world as it should be and not as it is.

The Airbnb founders had an insight. People’s homes would provide better accommodations at better prices than the hotel sector. They have changed the way people go on vacation.

The Uber founders had a conviction. Any driver would offer a much better service for less money than taxi companies. They have changed the whole experience of people being driven.

At Fashion Talents, we have a vision. New fashion designers would add personality and affordability to the fashion industry. Together with you, we can change the way people buy and wear designer fashions.

Today, online platforms and social media have the doors wide open for fashion startups.

Time for you to conquer the world!

Start building today tomorrow’s fashion brands.

Build your own dreams, or someone else will hire you to build theirs.”
Farah Gray

American Businessman

P.S. Fashion Talents is an open marketplace where you create your fashion eBusiness in minutes.

Or contact us to get a demo.

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