Many creative types just launch products when they are ready. However, taking the time to create and launch a well thought out fashion design collection will save you a lot of time and money. It will also focus your creative energy and help you tell a better story that will be irresistible to potential clients. This will only make it easier for you to market and sell your products in the long run.
That’s why every designer should embrace a comprehensive collection development process. This is the only way to set the tone for your collection – and entire brand – consistently. This is especially important because your collection and brand must be cohesive from one season to the next. That way, you will be able to establish your niche, customer, and image in the industry.
This doesn’t mean that the process locks you into a single style or aesthetic. Instead, it provides a template to help you ensure that every collection fits into your signature while still leaving you plenty of room to grow. With that in mind, here are 5 tips to keep in mind while developing a fashion design collection:
What Inspires You?
If you want your collection to be commercially successful, then you should ensure that it tells a good story through the product. Every piece should work well and merchandise easily. Your signature style will help you fulfill all these needs. It’s what will make you recognizable and set you apart from other designers.
However, take it further with each collection. Do this by identifying your inspiration. Is your clothing inspired by the customer’s destination? Or does the thought of their lifestyle get your creative juices flowing? Whatever the case, your inspiration will determine other important choices for your collection such as the color scheme and material.
Who are You Designing For?
It’s important to design every collection with your target customer in mind. Who are they? What do they do? What do their lifestyles look like? Designing for “every woman/man” or for a very small swatch of the population will only limit your designs.
That’s why you should be as specific as possible when choosing your brand’s target audience. However, leave enough room for creativity. Not only will this ensure that your collections are retail-friendly, but it will also raise the chances that people will actually want what you’re producing.
What is Your Color Story?
Creating an interesting color story is a vital part of any design process. Your scheme could either be monochromatic or complementary. Either way, a color story will help you ensure that they all go well together.
Some designers do this by using an image or series of images to communicate their color story. Others use specialized forecasting services to single out specific color swatches, silhouettes, and texture forecasts. But once you have selected your preferred color story, you can then use Pantone to develop the color standards that will inform your collection.
What is the Type and Size of Your Collection?
Some designers view collections as a carefully curated series of pieces that can be worn together. Others design their collections to revolve around a single statement (or central) piece. Either way, you must decide what type of collection to want to produce this season.
You should also determine its size. The best approach is to have at least 12 pieces in each collection.
How Well Do You Communicate Your Designs?
The appearance of your sketches is almost as important as the clothing itself. So take the time to ensure that your sketching skills are up to par. If not, you could start taking classes in professional croquis sketching. Not only will this help improve how your sketches are translated into real clothing, but it will also improve the overall image of your brand.
Looking for some inspiration? Check out our Ricki Hall bearded style guide here.