This article was updated and edited on Oct. 15, 2021
Are you someone who wants to start a fashion label? Did you have ideas that you knew could be a big marketable fashion brand?
Experts say to build a successful fashion business requires 90 percent business acumen and ten percent artistic ability. That means you must have crucial knowledge and understanding or at least awareness of the functions and operations in the needs of the fashion industry and the competitive environment in which the organization will operate when making business decisions. The rest will require creative skills and talent to develop the idea to come to life.
Many start-up companies fail because they spend their time on limited financial resources, trying to work out the how before identifying the who and the what. Let’s be clear. There are many more traits to have that you will need to be a successful fashion entrepreneur, but we will keep it simple and focus on the top five. These five key traits are:
As a fashion entrepreneur, you will decide what your unique selling point is, also called USP. It is more than an idea. It’s about creating an advancement. You will develop either a new product or choose to improve a product for the consumer. You know how to adapt and combine existing technology to produce a new product line for your audience in need of it.
Passion & Enthusiasm
These two traits go hand in hand. It takes guts to move forward other than just having ideas. You will do the work in research and find the resources needed to create and execute your plans for a successful new product line. You will constantly make improvements, enhancements, and strengthen your product designs until it is correct for your target market. Starting a brand can be lonely, especially when you do not have consistent encouragement. That is when you will need to be highly motivated to finish to the end.
As a fashion entrepreneur, you will face rejections and problems. It is part of the journey, and you will have to accept it sooner or later. Your attitude should always find ways to bounce back. Do not allow intimidation, fear, or lack of to stop you from making your fashion brand happen. It takes time to build a great brand, and you want to do it right rather than doing it fast to be available to your audience. If your products are consistently wrong, your target audience will not be afraid to call you out. Kylie Jenner is a perfect example of her brand Lip Kit being problematic with packaging, stolen logo designs, and selling bad batches of lip gloss to customers at the beginning of her launch back in 2015.
Keep going no matter what bumps on the road you may encounter. Creating a fashion brand is not an easy task, especially as a small start-up label. It is easy to look at big companies that have been doing it forever, but they too started somewhere small before getting to where they are today. Take the time to read up on your favorite designers on how they started their label, the struggles they faced, their failed product ideas, and more. You will be surprised by the facts you learn about from the designers that inspire you. That will help your motivation to keep going.
From the very beginning, determining a clear and coherent strategy for your business will save you both time and money. Here are some questions you should consider evaluating before taking the next step to move forward.
Is there a need for your product in the market?
What will your products offer?
Who is your target audience?
Where do you want to market your products to gain your target audience?
How much are your ideal customers willing to pay for your product?
Which platform of marketing/distribution will you use to target your clientele?
What are or will be your brand values?
Who are or will be your competition?
What does your product have that your competition does not?
How much are you willing to spend to fund your product?
How much is needed to fund your product?
And if you don’t have the money, who can help you fund your product?
If this is what you truly want, you will know it will be crucial to achieving your goals. Know clearly what the objectives are for your business. That is part of your brand vision.
Successful entrepreneurs know how to attract clients, build their businesses, and make money.
Knowing who you are as a business and what you want to achieve can help you build the correct strategy for executing the goal of growing a fashion line.
There’s much information on being a fashion entrepreneur, as well as running a successful fashion business. In the future, I will share more to give insights on the topic.