Although streetwear and apparel wear seem to be the trends that are ever-growing, the idea around luxury wear has also taken the spotlight in the fashion industry. What was once classed as ‘exclusive’ for a majority of customers is now becoming a frequent purchase for particular fashionistas, this is due to the rise in online influencers and fashion bloggers, and we have social media to thanks for it! High-end streetwear is also a particular trend that seems to be flourishing in the world of fashion. Streetwear used to be an affordable style that you’d find in vintage stores or mass stores, however, it has now become more of a luxury sector and it has made an appearance in high-end brands and fashion n designers such as Stella McCartney, OFF-WHITE by Virgil Abloh and now, even in footwear designer brands such as Prada and Balenciaga.
In the fast pace that the luxury niche is changing, it is an exciting business opportunity for those wishing to pursue their own fashion brand, so it is definitely a route that should be considered. By doing so, there are some important factors that you need to consider, such as your brand identity and choosing the right garment manufacturer or supplier that can perfect your designer products for your brand.
We have listed some key factors you need to consider when starting your own high-end luxury clothing line:
Mastering your Fashion Label
The most important factor you need to master before starting any type of fashion clothing line is identifying your target audience. Even though the luxury marketing is rapidly growing in the world of fashion, you still need to know where your product stands and who they’re aimed at, as this will define your success. In the high-end luxury market sector, it’s all about being the first to bring out a new trend that everyone will want to purchase – and this isn’t easy. Unlike fast fashion, where the turnover is high and trends change left right and centre, luxury brands tend to spend more time focusing on the trend, design process and fabric sourcing as they need to make their brand l0ok professional, good quality and marketed to an intentional niche audience.
Your first product can be your signature product, but as mentioned above, it will not happen fast. Luxury labels have a specific and distinct way of drawing consumers in. A combination of beautiful products with well-thought marketing is important in building the foundations of your fashion brand, therefore, in these early stages it is crucial that you focus as master the designer brand, business side and brand plan.
Some important areas to cover in your business plan include:
Brand Vision – your initial ideas all written / drawn out, mood-boards etc
Target Market Research- research into who your consumer is, create a consumer profile
Competitor Research- who are your competitors? What are they doing differently to you?
Budgets and Forecasted Financials – work out the cost of everything, production costs, transportation fees- how much profit will you make?
Marketing Strategies- what does the future hold for your marketing?
Production and Operations management- reduce any costly errors by mastering this step beforehand
To create a successful high-end luxury brand, you need to have a different mindset to the fast fashion approach. This can take a long time to develop, but by doing so you will product clothing that are exclusive to your own set of target audiences.
Type of Production
Most high-end luxury clothing manufacturers specialise in this sector. They provide similar cases of manufacturing options to mainstream production, however the main difference they have is the quality.
A majority of high-end manufacturers will have already worked with established fashion houses in the past, so they often ensure they craft each garment to perfection. A lot of these high-quality factories also have teams with years of experience within the high-quality sector.
There are two types of production methods you can choose from: Full Package Production (FPP) and Cut, Make, Trim (CMT) manufacturing.
For start-up fashion businesses it is ideal to work with these manufacturers as they have a strong network of suppliers and experts and they can use within the production process. You can get support from initial designs through to the final samples and specific fabrics are chosen to meet your specific requirements from suitable garment manufacturers.
This type of production is where clothing manufacturers will work from your own designs and specifications. Well-established companies mostly use this method as they already have experience in providing technical information and ready-made pattern pieces to start the production process. This option also means that you would need to provide the fabrics and trims to the manufacturer so that the process can start straight away.