Designing fashion is an art form that requires plenty of creativity and perseverance. Taking that creativity and turning it into a successful business isn’t always easy. So what’s the next step once your samples are made, and you’re ready to begin selling? During my FIT days, designing a collection focused on color and how well they fit together aesthetically. Now that I have a line, though, my experience has been pretty different. Here are 3 Tips for choosing garments to include in a collection:
1) Wearability is the most important factor to consider. I’ve found that the clothing can be gorgeous but if customers try it on and they can’t imagine themselves actually wearing it somewhere, they’re not going to buy it. If your style is a bit more avant garde, this doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your flair. You just need to make sure that people can imagine where they can wear the garment to. For Tabii Just, for example, I know that elbow-length sleeves increase the wearability of my dresses.
2) Know your customer and focus on dressing her. You can’t be everything to everyone. If you’re pitching your line to a downtown Brooklyn boutique, you need to do research on who shops there because you better believe the store owner/buyer does. I’ve had store owners specifically pick something and name a customer that they think will see it and buy it. The goal of your line is to sell clothing. If you don’t know your customer, you can’t know what she wants and you put yourself at a disadvantage in the selling process.
3) Choose garments that have unique details. Even if you sell plain black t-shirts, the buyer wants to know there is something special about that black t-shirt. Is it the fabric? Is it super comfy? Is it ridiculously soft? Make sure each garment in the collection has a little extra special something to spark attention. You need to ensure your clothing stands out from the rest. Sometimes, it’s the subtle things that make a big difference.
I’ve found that, when selling to boutiques, your garments need to cohesively work together to an extent because this increases the chances of the customer purchasing more than one piece. The reality is though, a store might buy one item from your entire collection and that garment needs to stand out on its own.
Keep in mind that, as much as you love all your samples, what sells is sometimes different from what you like.