Designing a Collection from Scratch? Start Here

There are hundreds of ‘How-To’ articles out there, from starting a collection, to succeeding as a designer, to growing your brand…what separates one from the next? How do you decide how to start forming your brand? Let’s begin with the first stage in the design development process—the concept.

The Concept

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Everything starts here. This stage in development covers everything from your targeted demographic, to trend infusion, to the beginning stages of color selection. At JLD-Studios, we set the mood of the season with this stage as we answer the following questions:

Who is the Target Customer?

Put some thought into how your customer wears your garment. Why would he/she pick that item? Are they the type of customer who values fashion over comfort? Do they prefer to be conservative and chic? Understanding your consumer’s purchasing behavior and product usage are imperative for starting out. Once you have them answered, each season, as you grow, will get easier. As your brand grows, each season it’ll get easier to design a collection that’s catered to your client’s taste.

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Know Your Customer! Answer these questions: 

  1. What is your target customer’s life stage? Birth era? Baby Boomer or Millennial?
  2. Tell me about their psychographic profile! Are they yoga enthusiasts? Do they go rock climbing? Fashionable entrepreneurs? etc. (Hint: Be as specific as possible)
  3. How about their buying behavior? Do they prefer to shop in outlets or online?
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How is he/she wearing the clothes?

Put some thought into how your customer wears your garment. Why would he/she pick that item? Are they the type of customer who values fashion over comfort? Do they prefer to be conservative and chic? Understanding your consumer’s purchasing behavior and product usage are imperative for starting out. As your brand grows, each season it’ll get easier to design a collection that’s catered to your client’s taste.

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What key trends are you infusing?

Trend reports, market analysis, and forecasting are all included in your concept. Forecasting services like Stylesight and Mudpie provide great insight into what is trending in the fashion world. Select some of your favorites! You don’t have to use them all, but it will help you throughout the illustration process.

TREND ALERT: 50 Shades of Monochrome

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A big trend this year is monochrome. Season after season, designers showcase monochromatic scales on runway shows and in retail stores. Black and white is a classic, but, what we are seeing in the upcoming seasons, are shades of one color or a single color all together. This is not the trend for the big and bold, but for elegant silhouettes with simple solid lines.

How will you use color, graphics, and prints?graphic trends style report textiles color prints

Here we start to think of how colors and graphics are going to be applied to our collection. Go through Pinterest, magazines, runway shows, google searches, and whatever else you can get your hands on to find imagery that helps to convey your concept. This is really important in displaying your point of view. It allows you to have a clear picture to refer back to later, especially when you (as most designers do) find yourself stuck between multiple directions.

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