Help! How Can I Narrow My Collection Down For Production?

A regular theme here on Maker’s Row’s blog feed is the advice for new designers to start small. We could not agree more! While designing 30 styles might seem like fun, it can be quite costly. However, narrowing down your line can be challenging, especially when you LOVE all of the styles. Hopefully the 5 questions below will help you merchandise your line successfully.

1. Is this style costly to produce?

While fabric and trim selections contribute to the cost of producing a garment don’t forget about the cost to cut and sew. This cost all depends on the amount of time it will take the manufacturer to produce your garment.  If the design is super complex and you have a million pattern pieces or the design has complex finishings, these factors increase the time and essentially raise the cost to cut and sew.

If you are budgeting for your collection, check out these 3 tips on saving money too.

2. Will these styles hang well together?

Keep in mind as you merchandise your line that these styles will need to be photographed, presented to buyers and hung together in a store. Your final chosen styles need to be presented as a cohesive collection.

3. Do I have basics?

Basics are essential pieces in almost everyone’s wardrobe. These pieces will most likely become some of your best sellers and possibly even the bread and butter of your line. They might not be the most exciting to design, but they will keep your brand in business.

4. Do I have a good mix of fashion pieces?

Along with basics you will want to add in a few fashion pieces.  These items may be more influenced by the current fabric, trim or silhouette trends.  These pieces will not only assist in elevating your basics but they also will create a more well rounded and interesting presentation.  Fashion pieces are also fun to develop and can let your creativity shine!

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5. Will these styles transition to future seasons easily?

As we suggest in How Many Products Should I Launch With, it is helpful to design your initial season with an eye on future seasons. This helps you with costs if you can reuse a pattern or tweak a silhouette without starting from scratch. Think of extending sleeve and hem lengths, using heavier weight fabrics and updating color selections to transition pieces easily from a Spring to Fall collection.

Hopefully these questions can help you narrow down your line. What methods do you use for merchandising your line?