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How does an home sewer launch a line?

smasusco | Posted in General Discussion on

I don’t have a degree in fashion design, but I design my own wardrobe for my own sewing. I think a lot of the designs of us home sewers could have broader appeal. How does an independent person launch a fashion line? Are there any books out there to help you get started? It seems celebrities with little or no garment construction knowledge can do it. Does anyone know how a home sewer with a creative bent can?

Replies

  1. jjgg | | #1

    http://www.fashion-incubator.com/Go to this site, buy her book, read it, then ask your question again if you don't have the answers.

    1. CoxCouture | | #2

      Thank you jjgg! That sound like exactly what I need to get started. This is my first time on Gatherings. I figured with the big network that there is here, someone would have some insight. I was right!

      1. jjgg | | #3

        good luck with your venture

  2. KathleenFasanella | | #4

    Hi CC, I lurk here sometimes (I run fashion-incubator.com)Most -meaning more than half- successful entrepreneurs don't have a fashion degree. Heck, I've been working in production (I'm a pattern maker) for over 25 years and I don't have one. In fact most -and I do mean *most*- don't sew or have very rudimentary sewing skills. Here are some caveats that I believe (not a fact) that contribute to this which reading btwn the lines, explain some advantages you may have. 1. No fashion grads: At least when I went to school, the implicit message is you can't start your own line, it's rarely to never mentioned. We are trained to work in an existing enterprise. On the other hand, knowing too much can be a hindrance. If you know how much work it can be, you're less likely to pony up to the task.2. Sewing skills: This is a double edged sword. I'm torn. In some ways it's easier to work with people who have skills then again, if they're experts they're often indoctrinated to work arounds that can't withstand the rigor of reproduction. If the method is solid, anyone should be able to do it. I write a lot about this, see my tutorials page. Some experts are hard to work with because that would mean their past efforts and expenditures to learn were a wash. They don't ask for help when they should. Non experts can be easier because they know they don't know but then there's communication problems (same is true of experts, we may use the same words but industry applies a different meaning) but worst of all, they're likely to be taken advantage of because they don't know the criteria of industry standards and practices. I think it's great if you can sew because you can do a lot of the work yourself but don't be over confident :).3. The people who succeed most often are those who are primarily business people. Originality and creativity won't save you; Lacroix, Ferre, Ceruti, Cavalli, Ferragamo, Vionnet, Lapidus, Perry Ellis and Balmain have all filed for bankruptcy. You need to keep your designer-self and business-self separate. This is the stark reality, smart people are naturally creative in both ideas and problem solving. The problem is, smart people know they're smart so they often end up having an inordinate amount of confidence. Their biggest problem is misprioritizing. I could write a book about why people go broke in this business. Oh wait, I did. Lastly, you mentioned celebs designing lines. In real life, few do, don't be misled with marketing used to sell the line. The only celeb I know who does is Gwen Stefani. She even sews her own samples! Celebrity lines fall in two categories. One, it's a licensing deal. A manufacturer buys the rights to use the celeb's name for a product line. At best, the celeb selects colors and styles from offered prototypes that represent their image in the marketplace. The second kind, a celeb launches their own line. Like anyone else, they have to hire consultants, designers, illustrators, contractors etc. Iow, they pay for services many of which you could do on your own.

    1. KharminJ | | #5

      Hi, Kathleen! 'Tis good to see you around a little more lately! CC: Kathleen brings up some really good points for anyone getting ready to go into business, but this one bears repeating, loudly ~ Be sure you have your Business Ducks in a row, first!!! So-so-so many Creatives haven't developed their "business gene" (and that's OKay!), are really excited about the Creating (that's OKay, too!), and neglect to line up vital parts of the "business" like tax advice and bookkeepers and VA's (virtual assistants - a whole 'nother industry!) and savvy marketing until they're up against a wall. (And, ye Gods, don't forget "regulatory compliance!") Then the lack becomes yet another stress point which you really don't need. But, All of this expertise is out there, in other people's heads, just waiting for you to pick it. You don't have to do it all yourself! Look for consultants, part-timers or contractors (or partners, but be careful of the finances) to do the parts you are least excited or interested in, don't let go of the overall vision, and you'll be far better off than the average bear!

      Bright Blessings to you, and Have Fun!

      Kharmin

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