Can a fashion designer survive in today’s market is a great question to ask yourself before you get started? How many collections do you want to produce a year? What is your budget for fabric? Do you have investors? Who is your target audience? I’m watching a staggering increase in people who lacked the education and/or did not have any experience in this area launch into the fashion industry. So, I thought I’d write about the business of fashion. Most of them didn’t make it, not because they weren’t talented, but because they lacked a plan of execution. Working as a designer is far different than people think. First off you are like a factory worker churning out look after look to keep up with a demanding retailer/consumer if you’re lucky.

Ask yourself what type of designer do you want to be? It is highly competitive with a higher failure rate. A fashion designer’s life can feel like a hamster on a treadmill. There are a lot of moving parts to consider when you’re starting out. Who is your target audience? What does your brand look like?  Where in the market do you want to launch your brand? These questions are just the tip of the iceberg when deciding whether to be a fashion designer or get a desk job. If you’re able to test out the water before wasting time, try working with a designer as an apprentice or volunteer. This will help you decide if you love this industry enough to be a fashion designer.

An Underserved Market

One of the ways to break in and ensure success is to start a niche label. To date, the plus size market is limited for beautifully well tailored stylish clothes. Now as one designer put it, ‘I don’t want to design plus size clothing.” I didn’t understand it since she was a size 14-16 herself. It’s like leaving money on the table when you choose to ignore most women’s needs for variety. The plus size market starts at size 12 and that is the dress size of an average woman. For some reason plus size seems to have a negative stigma attached.  It is a multi-billion dollar market that is greatly underserved.

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The Ethical Fashion Designer

Another way in is to design an ethical line. If you think this limits you as a fashion designer, think again. Getting in on the conscious economy now before it peaks can only generate revenue for you. If you create quality garments that are highly identifiable it will secure a loyal consumer that wants to buy ethically. Do you have any idea what this could mean for you and your consumer? You can work with local artisans to include handmade touches and accessories. Working with natural fibres such as silks, cotton, and jersey are easier to find today due to all the ethical fabric choices available today.  Your goal is to sell, so why not sell to a market that is growing and hasn’t a lot of choices?  On a side note, do you have a website? Sign up below for the 7 day kick start course and secure your online presence before you launch anything.

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