Fashion Business Advice from New York’s Leading Manufacturers

Fashion Business Advice from New York’s Leading Manufacturers

Fashion Business Advice Comes from a Prime, Overlooked Source

Hiring a fashion coach is great! For one, we can offer great fashion business advice. And two, we have relationships with trusted manufacturers and makers- some of whom can give some of the best fashion business advice because they work with a ton of designers from start-up level to corporate level–so they’ve seen it all.

We’ve compiled a series of interviews from our most recent Manufacturing Tours. We asked each vendor what it’s like to work with emerging designers and how they can improve their businesses. Read what each of them had to say below!

What should designers have prepared prior to their first meeting with you?

“Designers should prepare a list of questions regarding sampling and production for their line. It’s also helpful when they bring their sketches. We are happy to go through them and discuss what is needed to bring their designs to life.” -Vendor 1

“They have to come to us with a clear picture. It’s even better when they bring completed tech packs, sample trims, and materials that they are hoping to use. The more detail, the better.”  -Vendor 2

“They should think critically about each design before visiting us. And designers should be realistic regarding the composition of the garment. They should avoid using components that add cost but little value.”   -Vendor 3

What is the #1 area in the industry where upcoming designers are lacking?

“They are often lacking in technical knowledge—pattern-making, sewing, understanding of industrial machines and special finishes, etc.” -Vendor 1

“Emerging designers often lack knowledge of garment construction. They should understand the limitations of different fabrics and know which materials work best for their designs.” -Vendor 2

What general fashion business advice/tips can you give upcoming designers?

“Always be curious! Source and investigate new ways to manufacture and create clothing.”

Fashion is always evolving. Study everyday strategies to improve and innovate your business.” -Vendor 1

“Know that designing is the last step of success. A new designer should first analyze the market/price-points and see where they fit. Then they need to decide on their marketing strategy. Are they selling direct to consumer or should they pursue the traditional distribution channels? This will give them a better idea of their final manufacturing price. Once they understand their price, we can have more informed conversations about materials and labor costs.” -Vendor 2

“Don’t expect immediate success. It is a long haul, but hopefully worth it in the end.” -Vendor 3

Any business tips on how new upcoming designers can save money &/or time?

“Try to make your own patterns and muslins if you have the skillset. Looking for a friend with the close measurements can save on hiring a fit model.”

“Sell on your website or sell via social media instead of a showroom. Or consider building your own private showroom.”

“Source in different mills and trimming shops to find the best prices. Make styles technically designed for production to save on manufacturing costs.”

“Hire the right people for your company and train them well. Being friendly and treating people well will always save you problems– and problems cost money. “ -Vendor 1

“Local production is expensive in labor. Designers should keep that in mind. Designers can reduce the labor cost by simplifying the construction.”  -Vendor 2

“Don’t buy more than you need. Keep excess fabric and trim inventories to a minimum.” -Vendor 3

Want Even More Fashion Business Advice?

Designing your first collection can be tough. Most start-up designers fall short in technical knowledge, costing, and project management. If you need professional assitance– consider hiring a coach. Hiring a coach is A LOT cheaper than paying for costly production mistakes. You can contact us here and book a strategy session. If you’re looking for manufacturers in your area, stay tuned for our next Manufacturing Tour. We may be touring in a city near you. 😉

And for weekly FREE fashion biz advice join our Fearless Fashionpreneur Facebook Group!


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