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The fashion world looks glamorous on the runway, but behind every creator of head-turning outfits and accessories is a mix of elbow grease and strategy. We asked professionals in the industry to share their thoughts on the behind-the-scenes work that sets successful fashion brands apart from the pack. Read on to learn more.
Vicki Wallis has been working in the fashion industry for 15 years and founded The Fashion Business Coach to help new brands launch and scale successfully. Her blog provides practical tips for those who are new to fashion business and her course takes members from idea through to launch.
Research, the Key to Progress
The most important tip I can give to new brands is remembering that it’s a business. Many people I come across focus too heavily on aesthetics and, while creating attractive product is important, without strategic design, a business can quickly become an expensive hobby.
Every design I create for myself or another brand starts with a spreadsheet – yes, it’s not the glamourous fashion world that we’ve heard about, but it’s the reality of fashion business. Perhaps a few at very high-end couture have a different approach, but every brand I’ve worked for – from mass market through to designer – have let data drive all decisions, including design.
As a startup, doing extensive research on your target customer—what they want, what they are willing to pay—and designing to that is essential for success. Without that, you’re designing and producing product in the dark, without knowing if you’re making something that will sell.
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