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Having ideas is just the beginning of the fashion journey. We firmly believe that fashion is one of those industries where there is infinite scope to ideate and design, but as a business, there are certain limitations on time and budgets. If you are a fashion label that isn’t planning for SS ’19 yet, there’s no better time than now to start.
A little over a year may seem like a long time, but in over six years of running Fuel4Fashion, we have noticed that clients struggle with unforeseen circumstances more often than not. In this article, we address some of these errors in planning and how they can be corrected well in time for you to have a smooth, seamless Spring Summer collection launch come 2019.
1) Designing For The Brand: The creative process is fraught with loopholes, the biggest of which is believing that the market will invariably like what we design. One of our clients approached the design process from the ‘brand-first’ perspective. As a result, the team’s personal preferences were accounted for, but they did not accurately reflect what the end consumer was looking for.
- The Fix: There’s a lesson in marketing for all businesspeople here. Always, always seek out and gather consumer insights. Even your next-door neighbor may have clothing preferences that do not match your own. Interview your target audience extensively, look for forecast reports and then add a bit of yourself into each of these saleable elements. For more design inspiration, take a look at our active wear recommendations for Spring Summer 2019.
2) Spending Too Much Time On One Aspect: Quick decision-making is a virtue and one that a fashion business owner would do well to develop early on. Sometimes, it is easy to get caught up in the nuances, which is just what happened with one of our clients. They had spent so much time in sourcing the right cloth that they missed the launch window entirely and spilled over into the next season. However, by then, their designs weren’t relevant anymore.
- The Fix: Unfortunately, this is an error that is best prevented before it is made. If you do end up pushing production too close to the window, the best thing you can do is go aggressive on sales. In the context of SS’19, trend reports are already available with consultants. Get in touch with an expert to understand the nuances of designing for an audience well over a year down the line. Most importantly, begin immediately.
3) Moving Too Fast: “Weren’t you just asking us to hustle a little while ago?” you may ask. Sometimes, going too fast can also cause considerable grief later, as witnessed by a client. The intent was right- they didn’t want to hold up the fabric dyeing process, and therefore chose to match the lab dips with a scanned copy of the fabric as opposed to the fabric itself. Lesson learnt- fashion is all about attention to detail. After a lot of money was spent and bulk fabric wasted, they realized that a small error led to huge consequences.
- The Fix: Once errors have been made in bulk, there is very little you can do to correct them without spending anything extra. If you do end up in a similar situation, you can either make the most of what you have or spend again and get the details right. A decision in this regard is dependent on your unique business considerations. On a broader level, rushing through any process always yields less than optimal results. Hence, it is better to begin early and work on every aspect industriously than to begin too late and do a rush job.
We reiterate- Spring Summer 2019 may seem like a year away, but time flies when you begin considering every aspect of fashion design and marketing. Get your team together and start right away. If you find that there are gaps in your business or design model that need to be fixed, don’t hesitate to speak with an industry expert and get their opinion before you begin.
Supriya Ghurye is the founder and owner of Fuel4Fashion. She is a Freelance Fashion Designer and Brand Consultant helping fashion brands to create great products from idea to launch. Fuel4Fashion social links: Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram