Fashion Startup 101 – Part 2 – Designing, Merchandising & Costing a Collection
In Part 2 of Fashion Start Up 101, designer Kathlin Argiro will teach you the steps involved in Designing, Merchandising and Costing a Collection. Learn where designers go for inspiration and where they shop for their fabrics and trims. Kathlin shares the important questions to ask when purchasing materials for your collection and then shows you how to plan, design, merchandise and cost your collection. You will learn all about retail and wholesale mark-up and the “art of pricing”.
Once you have watched Part 2, move on to the last lesson in our series: Fashion Start-Up 101 Part 3-Promoting, Marketing, Producing Your Collection.
So now we’re gonna talk about the fun part, which is the design process. The first part of the design process is finding your inspiration. This is the part that should be really enjoyable because, when you’re running a business, you don’t get to do this very often, so you should always be on the lookout for inspiration. I carry a little sketchbook with me, in my purse, just in case. I constantly use my iPhone to take pictures of things that inspire me, whether I’m in a store, or I’m on the street, or at a fashion show, or at a fabric show, I use my camera to capture my inspiration. Designers approach the inspiration and their inspiration boards differently. Many designers prefer to do tear sheets, and literally take sheets out of magazines and create inspiration boards that they can touch and feel and post in their design rooms. Other designers prefer to do inspiration boards online. And today, many designers use a combination of different tools, and one of which is very important, is Pinterest. A good thing about Pinterest is, when you’re creating your inspiration, there can actually be secret boards, which often designers like to use because they don’t want everybody to know what they’re thinking. Additional sources of inspiration can be a trip to the museum, travel, walking down the street, going to a restaurant, food, music, it’s really endless, so you always need to be inspired and on top of what you’re doing and what you’re thinking and have your tools so you can create the inspiration that you’ll use in your design process. One of my favorite parts of the design process is the fabric and trim sourcing. This can be a key to launching a successful collection. It can also serve as a point of differentiation for your line, by using exclusive prints, color combinations, and trims that you might develop specially for your line.