What are you going to do? – Define your collection
It is vital that you stay focused and narrow down on your core vision of the brand. The customers have usually “one word” in their mind connected to each brand. Ex Volvo= safety, H&M= cheap fashion etc. If you want to design jeans, stay on the jeans for a while till the customer gets accustomed with your brand and then add on more categories. If a “one word” is already taken, make sure yours is different. What do you want your brand and your products to stand for? What is your point of view, your identity, and how does that differentiate from the other designers? When you have that clear, make sure you implement it in every design you do.
Have your specific target customer in mind when you set this up. Who is that person and what does he/she wear? If you already have a “muse”, good for you, that means your all set on knowing your customer.
When you’ve figured out all the answer to the above, it’s time to set the concept, collection and styles. Are you gonna do outdoor stuff, evening, or streetwear? Think about the consistency. Should some design features run along all styles?
Stay true to your muse, but the best muse to have, is yourself.
A good idea is to have a collection structure. Both in styles and price wise. Too many similar styles at the same price points will confuse the customers and the styles will cannibalize on each other in sales. If you are starting out small, you will only have a small amount of styles and less “head ache”. Then add on styles while you grow. You could for ex make several styles in the same fabric. Fabrics are usually bought with a minimum quantity for a certain price. Just use it up instead of having left overs in the factory. You will end up losing a lot of money this way.
Regarding trends, it’s up to where you want to be with this topic. It is connected to what type of customer you want to have and what you brand identity will be like. Personally, I don’t like trends, I’m more for making products that last, in all aspects. Design wise and quality wise. With that said, it doesn’t mean I’m not having my sensor out and feeling and taking in whats going on in this world.
To sum up, make sure to have a common thread in the collection and make it interesting. The styles should be cohesive and not compete with each other. Stay true to your muse, but the best muse to have, is yourself.