When you have a structure for your collection and an idea of what type of styles you wish to have, it’s time to start sketching. Get back to the inspiration and the brand image, and the customer you want to have. The styles should fit in with the vision and identity of your brand. For example, if you will be an active wear company you will focus on active wear. You will have to give the customer the connection between the brand image and the product. They need to correspond.
Have the next tips in mind while you go at it:
It’s easy to want to do everything at once, but the best is to narrow the focus to only one or a couple of categories, like just outerwear, or just tops and grow from there. If you start small you won’t have the budget anyways to do it all.
Have the overall spirit of the collection in mind, to have a cohesion, same color story and shared materials.
Yes, please do! It’s so easy to get carried away, you have so many ideas you want the world to see, but it will just be confusing. If the garments don’t have “hanger appeal” and are not “strong” enough they won’t sell anyways. If you have trouble editing by yourself, get some people on board who know what they are doing, like stylists for example.
When designing, make sure that the lines in the design tells the same visual story in all garments. For example, if you use a lot of angular shapes and sharp seams/lines, and have one piece that has all rounded shapes, that piece is going to feel off, it’s not gonna be cohesive.
Think about having a red thread through out the whole collection or the few styles. And don’t limit your thinking only in the designing, think also about the styling and the merchandising. How is the collection going to be merchandised in the shops and how do you want the pieces to be styled in the look book.
Usually the design part is about 10% of the chores you will be doing having a clothing business so make sure you really really enjoy it and that you have fun doing it. For me it helps if I get in the zone, or the flow or whatever you want to call it. But once I’m in the design phase, I really want to lock myself in, play loud music and work 24h until it’s done. I also let the “design” come to me, if I start drawing on something and I feel it doesn’t come naturally and the lines don’t “flow”, Im not gonna force it. I move on to the next style and come back to it later, let it rest, because I rely on the process and for me it has always worked. If that style needs to take more time then I need to give it more time.
Paper and pen have ALWAYS worked for me in the starting phase of designing. When I have a clear front, back and details sketch drawn out, I move on to the computer and translate that in an Illustrator file, called The Tech Pack. The Tech Pack consists of front, back and side views of the style. Instructions on fabrication, trimmings, stitchings/lamination, inside sketches, sketches of details, logo and branding positioning, and color versions for the style. This is then sent to the factory so they can make you a prototype.
Whatever you decide to design, or if someone else is designing for you, it’s vital that you find your voice and that the garments speak you, your brand and your vision.