Starting your own fashion label can be both exciting and frustrating. Do you feel that you have the right idea but simply do not know where to start? Josephine Raun, the fashion designer of Phine Raun, shares some tips from her own professional journey to all the new upcoming designers wanting to enter the fashion industry.
Define your strengths and weaknesses and stay true to whom you are! Learn to love the person you see in the mirror every morning. Peace, balance and self-confidence on a personal level is the key which helps opening the gates to your future career. Get lots of both fashion and work experience, network and connect with people not only working in the same field but also having the same mind-set. Never stop learning. Don’t just have a designer understanding, but also have a sense of the business aspect: communication, finance and marketing. The fashion industry is a paradox platform, where there are always new concepts and techniques happening. It is the designer’s and entrepreneur’s responsibility to be up dated with the latest information both for the sake of self-development and the reassurance that their consumers are provided with the cutting-edge quality.
Define your fashion market and understand the market’s values that you can present to your customers. Have a clear, detailed business plan ready before entering the market and always be informed of what’s happening in the fashion industry: your competitors, society’s expectations, customers’ buying behavior. Define the core values and competitive advantage of your brand — something that will make you stand out of the crowd. Set your goals clear and achievable, don’t be afraid to go big! Take your time and be detail-oriented and fore mostly — don’t get discouraged. We all crawl before we learn to walk.
Have a clear understanding of who your target audience is. What is their behavior, their shopping patterns, which media channels can you connect with them and what needs, wants and demands they want from your brand. Knowing your target audience is a vital step! Talk to them, meet them, debate, experiment and always ask for feedback — the more critical the better for your brand!
No matter what, starting a fashion brand is a big commitment. It won’t happen overnight and the fashion industry is a powerful industry. Ask yourself “Would I be able to give up my Friday evenings? Would I be able to temporarily put my social life aside? Would I be able to stay up late at night and work?” If the answer is negative then… reconsider. If you don’t love what you do and if you don’t put your heart and soul into it, at some point it will turn into a burden, which eventually will crush you down. Passion, commitment and dedication are the keywords — so don’t be a dreamer, be a doer!
Don’t be afraid to get a ‘No’! Some people may like you and others won’t — there is no point in satisfying everyone. Be brave and believe in your brand, your designs and your company. Networking is the golden key to building success and collaborations is the new innovative thinking — so start connecting with other peers who has the same drive and ambition as you and create something stronger together.