Sportswear is a wardrobe saviour, not just for workouts, but for outings like brunches, cocktail parties, and dinner parties. All it takes to make the look more polished is a simple style tip, whether you’re wearing a blazer over a sports bra or sporting the monochrome trend in electric neon sneakers.
JOGGERS – A BLEND OF COMFORT AND ELEGANCE
Émile Camuset wasn’t just any French man; he was the founder of world-renowned sportswear company LeCoq Sportif – which translates to ‘the athletic rooster’. He had enough of sweating his way around the track in whatever heavy legwear people were wearing at the time. The traditional jersey jogger, which we all know and love, was developed after some fabric and cut experimentation.
However, while joggers were originally designed with a certain function in mind, they have evolved into much more. As with jeans and formal pants before them, there are now several designs and forms to pick. So, it is no surprise that joggers might be a person’s greatest buddy because they can be worn at the gym, out on a night out, or whenever someone has the time, leisure, or quality. When worn correctly, they are fashionable. Wearing them loosely with your preferred wardrobe style can add appeal to this laidback staple. You can accessorise with fanny packs and smartwatches to draw attention to the intricacies of your outfit.
BASEBALL CAPS – EFFORTLESS STYLE
It probably won’t surprise you to learn that the baseball cap was invented by a baseball team. In the twentieth century, the proliferation of television sports pushed the baseball hat into people’s homes and onto their heads. Slowly, as a result of the aroused interest, the cap became a part of a common man’s casual uniform.
It’s easy to see why the baseball cap will always have a place as a fundamental accessory, given the impact of hip-hop giants like Jay-Z and his much-loved New York Yankees cap, celebrities wearing them incognito, and even Gucci adding posh versions to recent runway presentations. The huge number of variants on this modern basic, however, makes it a difficult item to design. These caps can be worn in any location outside of the office to give an outfit a more laid-back vibe.
BOMBER JACKETS – WELL WORTH A PURCHASE
A bomber jackets are known for their versatility, front zip closure, and ribbed cuff. Seemingly retreated from the fashion fore for a few years, the bomber jacket has now made its marked return. From Kanye West to Hailey Bieber, Dua Lipa, Kim Kardashian and many other celebs, everyone has put their own fashionable twists on the bomber jacket.
Whether you prefer a chunky style or a cropped style, this is an eye-catching item. Bomber jackets now come in a very elegant style that can be called a splendid, layered products because they can cover a basic top with flared jeans or can help you create a basic sleek look.
NEON SNEAKERS – LIMITLESS FASHION
Fashion month, more than any other time of the year, is when the newest rising trends emerge, and not just on the runway; insiders have been seen on the streets of New York, London, Milan, Copenhagen, and Stockholm (and soon Paris) wearing clothes that will soon be everywhere, due to them. Influencers have a thing for shoes, and while simple white ones will always be a classic, style setters are currently opting for something a little more vibrant—the neon sneakers.
Because everything from the 1980s is returning, including neon, it’s only natural that sneaker giants like Nike and Balenciaga are incorporating neon into their designs and colour palettes. The beauty of this trend is that it goes with everything since it goes with nothing. There are no limits when it comes to this trend, as we’ve seen fashionistas pair bright sneakers with both neutral basics and equally “extra” pieces. Just because its autumn doesn’t mean you can’t wear bright colours. Go for an athletic or fashion-forward look, but don’t be hesitant to embrace the bright.
SUSTAINABLE WEAR – BENEFICIAL IMPACT ON THE ENVIRONMENT
Rather than pursuing ever-changing fashion fads, it’s crucial to appreciate timeless pieces that can withstand repeated wear. A new era of choosing sustainable activewear is having a significant impact on today’s generation.
If you’re looking for a new workout gear made from sustainable textiles, search for the following characteristics: Sustainably, socially, and fairly produced fashion without animal materials; Ecological, significantly economical and resource-efficient manufacturing processes; Water, energy, and CO2-emissions saving supply chain; and Reusable, recycled, biodegradable or recyclable garments.
The constant search for novelty is a concern that builds up for the fashion designers from one season to the next. This struggle comes from the ever-changing trends showcased on the runway and majorly of what appears on the street. The idea is not ‘What to wear’ but ‘How to wear’ clothes that influence the trends and gives rise to Fashion Styling as one of the career choices.
In today’s era, it is the outer appearance that holds a majority level in uplifting one’s spirit, confidence and holding a perception for someone. Fashion styling is not just wearing luxurious clothing, labelled accessories and applying layers of makeup. It’s about an attitude, a state of mind and a way of expressing yourself to the world. Thus fashion styling and fashion stylists help one to create a unique image and help to brand oneself and others.
With the evolution of the fashion industry, Fashion styling has become one of the emerging professions. It is the job title for someone who selects apparel and accessories for someone in editorial features, campaigns, events, magazines, television or for any public appearances.
To become a fashion stylist, one needs to acquire Fashion styling program that includes modules like fashion draping, Mannequin styling, still life styling, Makeup and Hair services, thematic and budget based shoots. Apart from this, a fashion stylist needs to have specialized skills in coordinating looks, a keen eye for trends and colours and the ability to think out of the box. Being celebrity stylists or working with models to the biggest brands for photo shoots, the career in fashion and style opens for all.
A fashion stylist or an image consultant should know how to accentuate positive attributes of people they dress. Choosing an appropriate outfit and deciding upon the kind of makeup for someone to flatter is an art. The field requires extensive knowledge to know how’s of fashion and a knack for matching the clients with the clothing that supports their image and ideas.
The Fashion styling courses focus on creating an iconic contemporary fashion image and allows individual to develop a unique voice for it. To test one’s own skills and ideas various apps have been installed such as Polyvore, lime road, Shein contests to encourage the young budding talent.
A career as a fashion stylist or an image consultant is a smart choice for someone who loves networking and experimenting. However to remain in the industry one should be on toes as the two days won’t be same for an individual. One day you will be busy with a fashion shoot and the other day you might be writing a piece on style. The avenues for styling professional are endless from the catwalk to the red carpet to someone’s closet. One such example of it is the styling session happened for Jediiians at London College of Fashion. The students explored their skills onto the models that resulted into a creative, productive fashion shoot. To bring your dreams into reality, JD Institute of Fashion Technology offers Diploma courses in Fashion Styling helping the young creative minds transform into aspiring stylists.
When you first start out on your style journey, you might have a vague idea of what you want to achieve, but might be overwhelmed by the number of options and information made available to you. As oxymoronic as it might sound, the more you study how to dress well and make clear, deliberate decisions about how you look, the easier it will come to you. It’s not a magical trait that you are or are not born with.
Like training a muscle, the more information you have on color theory, pattern matching, pattern meshing, and the historical understanding of formality, the better you’ll understand how to naturally put together a great outfit. Once you understand the foundation of how to be well-dressed within the principles of the classic style, you’ll start to develop an appreciation and a fondness for certain articles of clothing.
2. Consider Your Personal Lifestyle and Goals
Once you understand what’s classic and timeless, you need to assess then what kind of clothing you’d actually include in your day-to-day life. And while owning a bunch of three-piece bespoke suits is nice, it won’t help much if you, for example, are a warehouse worker who rarely gets an opportunity to wear them. However, you could also get a lot of mileage out of something like Red Wing boots in this scenario.
It’s also important to understand why you’re dressing well in the first place. Are you looking to get an edge at work and want to present yourself in the most professional way possible? Are you doing it because it makes you feel good, and it’s a personal statement as to how you respect others? Or is it a step on your journey in self-improvement?
Once you have these points locked down, it’s important to then create a checklist of the things that you want to add to your wardrobe that will be the most beneficial to you. Doing this prevents impulse buying and ensures that you get the lowest cost per wear on what you decide to purchase.
3. Fit Matters Most!
You can own the most high-quality clothing in the world, but if it doesn’t fit right, something will always look off about your appearance, almost as if you don’t look at home in your own clothing. An incorrect fit can throw off your body’s proportions and give the appearance that you’re either shorter, heavier, taller, or thinner than you actually are. This will kill any opportunity you have to look effortlessly cool right out of the gate.
Men will often choose clothing that is far too big for them because they want to appear broader than they actually are, or they want to be the most comfortable. And while skinny fitting or clothing can be just as unflattering, understanding what works best for your body type will save you a lot of frustration and heartache. Also, while the modern style plastered on billboards or online marketing content can be tempting to pursue, it just won’t work for every man, so be secure in styles that flatter you best.
4. Buy The Nicest Quality Clothing You Can Afford
Once you get the fit down, you can earn bonus points by picking up clothing of the nicest materials and construction. One of the best examples of this is with dress shoes. Having a shoe with a blank stitch or Goodyear welt along with great calfskin will always be more eye-catching as opposed to having a shoe that is poorly, made which will fall apart in around a year.
Quality clothing not only looks nicer in subtle ways; it also lasts longer and will appear more lived in. Having a shoe patina and cork molding that’s unique to you, for example, will make them feel more lived in and almost like a second skin every time you wear them.
This technique will also help you create your own uniform as you’ll start to have your own signature articles of clothing every time you get dressed. Certain construction methods will also enhance fit in ways that a cheaper product can never replicate. The canvas in a jacket, for example, will mold to your body and will drape better over time as opposed to a fused jacket.
While you should never spend above your means, it’s important to remember that you should focus on fewer pieces of greater quality, rather than many things of lower quality, which are probably going to just get discarded anyway.
These also aren’t necessarily branded clothes as most designers have inferior construction methods and sell mostly off of their own name recognition. Having an eye for what constitutes a well-made piece of clothing will help you both save money and stay away from overly logoed clothing, which makes you look like you’re just trying too hard.
5. Stick to Neutral & Versatile Pieces of Clothing
When creating your foundational wardrobe, try to stick to neutral and versatile pieces of clothing. You also want to pick up clothing that will be able to be paired with as many outfits as possible. While a white dress shirt and a navy blazer aren’t the most exciting things on their own, they can easily be included with other outfits and other accessories to create a more bold statement, if you so choose
Knowing that everything that you own is interchangeable saves you the stress from having to match if you’re not one who likes to plan outfits. And nothing screams effortless more than putting together a clean outfit in a matter of seconds.
This only works if you choose articles of clothing that are neutral by design. Having a wardrobe primarily consisting of white, blue, navy, gray, brown, and khaki is both masculine and a refined choice. And these are all neutral colors that, for the most part, can always go together.
6. Practice Wearing Your Clothing
When you start to get nicer clothing, you’ll be stepping out of your comfort zone and might not feel quite yet comfortable in wearing them. The best way to fix this is to get into the habit of wearing them. Whether it’s around the house or when out running errands, just to get into the habit of doing them so that when it’s time to wear them, you can do so effortlessly at work or at an event
While you should always take care of your clothing, it’s important not to baby them and be overly paranoid about ruining your clothes. For example, when Sean Connery was cast as James Bond, he was advised to get a suit made on Savile Row and wear it at all times. While Connery expressed that he didn’t feel like himself at first, the more he wore it, the more it became an extension of himself.
7. Organize Your Closet & Do Your Clothing Maintenance In Advance
Even if your clothing is versatile, it won’t matter if it’s a wrinkled mess or if you can’t find it five minutes before you have to head out of the door. Being proactive about how you store and care for your clothing will save you a lot of time and stress in the long run.
You can also practice habits like setting out your clothes the night before if you’re not much of a morning person. Preparation eases the mind, and it makes you more confident that things will go smoothly, which will give you the demeanor of someone who’s in control without trying too hard.
8. Once You Have the Basics, Experiment!
Don’t be afraid to experiment once you have the basics. Once you have all of your essentials covered, now it’s time to start fine-tuning your style and finding your personal flair. Ask yourself if there’s a particular style you prefer over another–for example, double-breasted jackets over single-breasted jackets, or bow ties over neckties. This is where you can start to fine-tune those style differences.
Try to go for brighter and bolder colors than you would normally choose. Instead of buying something in the navy, try buying something in royal blue. Throughout this process, you’ll find your own quirks that will help you differentiate yourself within the guidelines of classic men’s style and help you develop a style that looks best to your personality. This will make you even more comfortable in your outfits, and that ease will give off a laid-back elegance, which will attract other people to you.
9. Stay Open-Minded About Style
There isn’t just one right way to be stylish. At this point, you might find yourself feeling like you’re on a bit of a plateau on your style journey. To avoid feeling like your style is stale and stagnant, it’s important to follow people whose style you respect. Following them can give you outfit combinations that maybe you didn’t think of, and this can also expand your repertoire with a second opinion.
Having a community of like-minded people can help your journey feel less lonely. The beauty of the internet is that it connects like-minded people around the world who otherwise would not have met. While your style journey might only consist of you and your personal life, having a group of like-minded people can help keep you held accountable and motivated.
10. Enjoy The Process & Have Fun With It!
At the end of the day, clothing is still just clothing. While it can make a difference in your day-to-day life, it’s important to not take it so seriously so that the process isn’t fun anymore. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, as everyone has at one point. Realize that it’s not the end of the world, and don’t be afraid to laugh at yourself a little bit.
This live and let live attitude will exude off of you and put people at ease, and instead, will make you seem smoother and cooler in how you present yourself.
Now that we have understood what is fashion styling, what are the various fashion styling skills needed to be a successful fashion stylist? The main one is to be passionate about creating looks with fashion and lifestyle products. They need to actively develop personal contacts as potential clients can come through their personal relationships, or someone might refer them to a client. Along with this they need the ability to develop personal networking skills as it is important to make them approachable and reliant on their services. A fashion stylist needs to stay updated on the current trends and fashion collection presented by designers in order to come up with innovative looks that have not been done before. Being proactively doing projects, either independent or collaborative projects help a stylist in building their aesthetics, skills and personal identity.
What does a fashion stylist do ?
A fashion stylist is mainly involved in creating looks that are innovative, aesthetic and which suit the person wearing those looks. A fashion stylist job description includes attending fashion show, various showroom presentations and any fashion industry events to stay updated about designers and trends; sourcing clothes from a variety of designers, shops and boutiques; researching fashion, costume and art history to come up with how fashion can be styled and the ways they have been done in the past in order determine how they could do it in the present; consulting individuals involved in fashion industry or the entertainment industry such as models, photographers, designers, art directors, magazine editors, and film and TV directors; working with public figures to come up with a personal identity in fashion, which can include personal shopping; assisting in buying clothes for retail chains.
Where do fashion stylists work ?
A fashion stylist can be found working in the following areas: on professional photoshoots; on print and commercial advertisements; music videos; for public figures such as a celebrity fashion stylist or for a politician; as a media fashion stylist for television; develop personal fashion style for aspiring or current celebrities or public figures; costume design for movies, and other related areas which require clothes and its visual communication.
What is fashion styling is a question that individuals entering into the fashion industry often ask. Being a fashion stylist requires dedication, patience and motivation. It can seem challenging, but as long as one is passionate about what they do it will pave its own way. Fashion styling requires creativity as well as the ability to understand how clothes work on different people, body types and events. The most popular type of fashion stylist is that of a celebrity fashion stylist as the public figures are always under the scrutiny of the public and media. After this, fashion styling finds itself immensely in movie fashion styling as well as in advertisement fashion styling. JD Institute of Fashion Technology, Bengaluru’s Diploma in fashion styling aims to train students who are passionate about fashion styling and enable them to develop the skill and ability to become successful fashion stylists in India or wherever they practice this art.
you’ve taken our style type quiz and discovered that your dominant style is Chic.
The Chic Style Type is known for wearing monochromatic ensembles and pieces with sleek clean lines—she exudes power and has an innate sense of fashion. As the Chic Style Type, you often choose clothing in black, white, and neutrals, saving color for a bold statement accessory such as an alligator skin purse or a bright red lipstick.
In the Chic Style Type’s wardrobe you’ll find sleek, modern shapes and of-the-moment accessories. A little black dress is always a staple, as is a little white dress. Although in the Chic Style’s closet, her LBD might have an contemporary asymmetrical hem with an Avant-Garde feel or a beaded neckline. Accessories and outerwear are where the Chic Style Type gets adventurous, she favors a sharp coat with a boxy silhouette and stylish, minimalist jewelry such as a slim choker or a single sculptural cuff. Some famous Chic Style Types include Angelina Jolie, Jackie Kennedy, and Victoria Beckham.
Whether of not you’ve mastered your own chic wardrobe, we’ve got some inspiration ahead with some of our favorite chic looks
What Does Chic Mean When It Comes to Decorating & Crafts?
In the design world, chic interior design typically means elegant, fashionable and trendy. There is no single definition of a “chic design” meaning. Although the word has French origins, chic can be used to describe practically any style with a casual, understated look that is still hip, fresh, updated and modern. Chic can also be something unique, out of the ordinary or one-of-a-kind, such as a vintage item updated with modern colors and patterns.
Shabby Chic Interior Design
The name says it all in shabby chic interior design, a popular decorating style that embraces the look of timeworn furnishings showing layers of paint and distressed finishes. Faded floral fabrics and washed-out prints can be found on curtains and slipcovered furniture. Rooms are light and bright, with paint colors ranging from white to light pastels in hues of pale blue, green or yellow.
Influences of French country, Swedish and beach cottage styles can be seen in old French linens, bleached-out wood flooring and elegant Gustavian-style chandeliers. In the United States, designer Rachel Atwell opened the first store offering interior design styles in the shabby chic style, called Shabby Chic, in 1989 in Santa Monica, California.
Boho Chic Furniture Style
Inspired by the hippie counterculture of the 1960s and 1970s, the boho chic furniture style first became an iconic style in the fashion world, with accessories such as “floaty” skirts, furry gilets (vests), embroidered tunics, cropped jackets and sheepskin boots. Funky textiles carry over into boho chic decorating, with vibrant color schemes and an eclectic mix of ethnic art and vintage flea market treasures. Overstock describes boho chic design as a combination if world decor vibes, a free-spirited nature and relaxing and charming furniture.
These personal touches can include feminine influences such as sheer and silky fabrics with lace and embroidered embellishments draped over furniture and lampshades. A colorful combination of jewel-toned patterns and mismatched furniture styles keeps the look interesting.
Alpine Chic Design Meaning
Even the most rustic styles can have chic elements. Originating in the Alpine region of Europe, Alpine chic decorating combines modern and contemporary furnishings with the rugged elements of the great outdoors. For instance, Mountain Living suggests bringing in elements of a ski lodge into a comfortable home.
Sleek, modern furniture with a European pedigree could be combined with wooden trim and craftsmanlike details. Cozy faux fur and sheepskin throws add rich, natural texture, while animal-print rugs and accent pillows provide striking patterns. Chalet chic accessories include Swiss cuckoo clocks, Alpine flower paintings and Bavarian beer steins.
Crafting a Chic Style
Repurposing vintage furnishings into chic décor is an art form in itself. Three old doors, one large and two smaller, can be joined to form a one-of-a-kind coffee table. Use mason jars to create a shabby chandelier. Old books make wonderful wall shelves. Paint a small stepladder in a bright, contrasting color and hang on your bathroom walls for a unique wall shelf.
Hang stemware from an old rake head mounted on the wall. Glue vintage saucers to thrift-store vases to create votive candle holders. Wine bottles make elegant flower vases or romantic taper candleholders, or cut the bottoms off for rustic hurricane lampshades.
Recycling paper is vital to ensure you reduce your environmental impact and to reduce unnecessary general waste. Industry and commerce dispose of approximately 12.5 million tonnes of paper and cardboard in the UK each year; most paper is recyclable and can be diverted away from landfill sites!
Every tonne of recycled paper or cardboard can save up to 17 trees, two cubic yards of landfill capacity and 4100 kW/hours of electricity!
Did you know that 70% less energy is used when making new paper from recycled stock than when using virgin pulp!
The world generates 381 million tonnes of plastic waste annually, and with the amount of plastic waste set to double by 2034, recycling plastic is vital
There are about 50 different groups of plastics, with hundreds of different varieties. Most types of plastic are recyclable, and because of this, they need to be recycled to reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill and help prevent rubbish from ending up in the oceans.
You can find out if your plastic is recyclable by checking the resin code. These will be a number between one and seven surrounded by three arrows.
Although no one knows for sure as plastics haven’t existed for long enough, it’s believed that plastics can take over 500 years to decompose.
All grades of non-ferrous and ferrous metal are recyclable for future use. Because metals don’t lose quality when recycled, we can recycle metal many times over.
To get an idea of how much energy recycling can conserve, recycling one aluminium drink can saves enough energy to power a television for around three hours!
Ferrous metal includes Iron and Steel; non-ferrous metals include aluminium, copper, stainless steel, brass and lead to name but a few.
WEEE Recycling (Electronic Devices)
WEEE recycling is for the waste of electrical and electronic equipment recycling, which is nearly everything powered by a battery or plug such as computers, mobile phones and TVs.
Electronic goods recycling is a specialist part of the waste and recycling industry aiming to prevent electrical items sent to landfill.
The Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Regulations (2013) became law in the UK on 1 January 2014.
At ISM Waste & Recycling we accept and recycle most WEEE waste, including computers, monitors, TVs, radios, mobile phones and electrical tools.
Wood is the ultimate renewable material because of its large number of different uses.
Wood can be reused as a building material, recycled into mulch for landscaping. Even low-grade wood is useful because we can use it for fuel to generate environmentally friendly energy.
According to the Wood Recyclers Association, around 5 million tonnes of waste wood is created in the UK every year, yet considerably less than half of it is recycled.
ISM Waste & Recycling can recover all types of uncontaminated timber. Wood grades include timber pallets, timber boxes, floorboards, chipboard, fencing, plywood, furniture etc. Read more about wood recycling here.
Glass is 100% recyclable and never loses any purity or quality when recycled, meaning we can recycle it many times over.
Glass can take around one million years to fully decompose, which is a big issue for landfill sites getting too full. It is crucial to ensure we recycle as much glass as possible.
We can reuse glass repeatedly, and the quality of the material is as good as if it was made new from the raw materials. ISM can recycle various types of glass, which must be suitable for reprocessing.
Glass should be as clean and contaminant-free as possible for recycling. Grades include such items as bottles, jars, windows, drinking glasses, computer screens etc. Similar to other recycled materials, recycling glass also saves significant amounts of energy.
Clothing and Textile
With the rise of “fast fashion” in recent years, we are buying more clothes than ever and, therefore, we have more waste textiles than ever.
It is estimated that more than 1 million tonnes of textiles are thrown away every year in the UK, and at least 50% of the fabrics we throw away are recyclable.
It’s not just the amount of textiles being sent to landfill that is the issue but also the increased use of raw materials to produce the clothes.
At ISM Waste & Recycling, we can recycle all textiles suitable for reprocessing, including redundant fabrics and clothing. For more information on which materials can be recycled,
Bricks and Inert Waste Recycling
We can recycle hardcore rubble into usable materials for many uses in other construction and building projects.
Bricks can also be cleaned and reused as “reclaimed bricks” in another building or project to lower costs.
Alternatively, we can crush them into brick chips for use as a landscape material).
These waste streams come to us on skip wagons from industrial and demolition sites, it is tipped and then crushed to produce various grades of aggregates to be reused on construction sites.
Maybe you’ve been sketching designs since you were a kid, have been making your own award-winning Halloween costumes for decades, and have already sold out of the custom T-shirts you’re making out of your garage. Or maybe you’re just intensely entrepreneurial (and obsessed with style) and want a piece of the trillion-plus dollars floating around the retail industry. Regardless of your drive, knowing how to start a clothing line is very different from just wanting to start a clothing line.
Luckily, many scrappy clothing entrepreneurs before you have launched their lines to great success, and they’re willing to share their tips with you.
We’ve interviewed a few of those business owners to put together this guide on how to start your own clothing line, from product idea generation to funding your business through a small-business loan (and some words of much-needed wisdom to power you through your pursuit).
How to start a clothing line
With the competition, complexities and even intimidation associated with the fashion industry, you may be concerned that as an entrepreneur with no experience, you won’t be able to start our own clothing line.
When it comes down to it, however, unlike, say, becoming a doctor, starting a clothing line doesn’t necessarily require special training or a degree. In fact, most of the designers we spoke with had no formal experience in the fashion industry before starting their businesses.
That said, you do need to completely dedicate your time and energy into launching your clothing brand.
Bianca Dabney is the founder of BIDA, a sustainable, minimalistic streetwear line. Her modeling and acting career instilled in her a love for the fashion industry and an understanding of how garments are presented and marketed. Still, she says:
“The most challenging part of starting my own business was actually gaining the confidence and self-assurance that I could and should start it.”
Like many of us, Dabney knew college was the clear path laid out before her. “I was raised thinking that going to school and working a corporate job was really the only option, and I was nervous to finally let go of that mentality and see that there were other paths,” she says.
She founded her business without any formal training and used her experiences working as an actress and model in the industry instead:
“I’m also a self-taught designer, so finding the resources to create the brand was rewarding yet challenging. Self-motivation, determination and my passion helped me to become an expert in my field.”
1. Write a business plan
Like Dabney, you might find that the hardest part of the process, at least psychologically, is committing yourself to actually starting your clothing line. But if you understand that the process will require long hours, impeccable organizational skills and a potentially steep learning curve, you’re fully capable of teaching yourself how to do it — no fashion MFA required.
It’s always useful to write and implement a business plan at the start of your venture. This plan will act as a roadmap outlining how you’ll reach your goals over the next couple of years. But also know that your business plan isn’t necessarily set in stone.
“Before launching BIDA, I created a business plan that included brand, sales strategy and marketing elements,” Dabney says.
“However, I’ve had to make changes and adjustments based on my customers and the environment. Running a business is an ongoing evolution. It’s important to have a clear plan of action, but it’s equally important to be flexible and be able to adapt.”
That adaptability is especially important in the retail business, which undergoes trend changes all the time.
“It’s both a very exciting time in fashion and a very unpredictable time,” says Ariel Mehrban, founder of True Vision LA, a streetwear clothing line based in Los Angeles
“The market is seeing new influences every day, and there are always new technologies and new ways for customers to find products. I don’t think anyone knows where it will settle, or if it will ever stabilize. All in all, I think the best strategy for a fashion startup is to stay nimble and adaptable.”
As Mehrban suggests, the constant turnover in the fashion industry can be both a blessing and a curse — and keeping up with the market might mean tweaking your original plan. But having the strong foundation of a business plan can make navigating those changes feel a lot less overwhelming.
2. Find your niche
After you’ve created your business plan, the next step to learning how to start a clothing line will be to find your niche in the market and in the industry.
Generally, the most successful businesses identify a problem within the market and then design a product expressly to fix that problem. This being said, you don’t necessarily need to dive too deeply into researching the market at this stage. It’s likely that an idea for a unique clothing item will reveal itself as you’re living your everyday life.
Jordan Sack is the founder and CEO of Tillinger, a technical apparel line that specializes in men’s golf-inspired shirts. The idea for his streamlined, sweat-wicking shirts arose when he was interning in Manhattan one summer after college:
“I looked forward to summer Fridays because I finally got to wear short sleeves — but that was still your typical, thick, cotton knit polo shirt. And on the weekends, I would always play golf with my friends and loved wearing the uniform of technical performance polo shirts. But you couldn’t really wear those to work because they were brightly colored, heavily logoed and just plain ugly. The idea for creating my own golf shirts didn’t arise as an ‘aha!’ moment, but I gradually became more and more interested in making an everyday, work-appropriate polo that had the properties of your typical golf shirt.”
Here’s another approach: If you’re intent upon designing something but you don’t quite know what that “something” is, start by identifying the audience you’d be passionate about serving — whether that’s your peers or a demographic that’s currently underserved in mainstream retail — and think about what they need from their clothing.
For example, Sherri Dombi is the founder of Bee Yourself Apparel, an adaptive clothing line whose design features allow elderly folks to easily dress themselves.
“First you need to have a passion for what you are doing,” Dombi says. “Mine was helping a friend’s dad dress like he used to but allow him to dress independently.”
3. Understand your market
Once you’ve hit upon your business idea, now you need to truly understand the consumer you’re designing for. Your designs, fabric choices, sourcing and production budget and retail outlets all have to cater to your target demographic’s spending behaviors, lifestyle and aesthetic preferences — so don’t get started on any of the above before diving deep into understanding your base.
Part of that research should involve competitor research: studying the companies whose product, marketing and branding strategies you admire, and whose target demographics you share.
“The first step is really to just absorb information,” says Mehrban.
“You need to learn everything that your would-be competitors already know. Part of that time should be spent studying how they are engaging with their customers. What is the value they are offering their customers? It’s usually something much deeper than the garments themselves.
Luckily, this research doesn’t necessarily need to involve special skills or resources: If you have an internet connection and social media profiles, you can garner valuable information about your customers and how to design toward and market your product to them.
“The great thing about our time is that we have access to almost the entire world with social media and various web-based platforms,” says Mehrban.
“If you’re passionate about design, chances are you have a product that people will appreciate. The tough part is finding those people. I don’t subscribe to the ‘build it and they will come’ myth. The short answer? Scour the web. Find the areas that your customers frequent and get your product in front of them.”
Dabney echoes the value of using social media and basic analytic tools to define your audience’s behaviors and needs:
“To pin down my target demographic and their spending behaviors, I executed a pre-launch campaign, which I then analyzed through Google Analytics. Online marketing, such as Facebook and Instagram ads, allows for target demographic analysis, too.”
In addition to their aesthetic preferences and lifestyle, you’ll want to understand how and where your audience spends on clothing, too. That way, you can plan whether to open a brick-and-mortar store, sell on an e-commerce platform, or both. Even if that physical location is a two- or three-year goal, incorporate plans for its launch in your initial business plan.
4. Register your clothing business
Now that you’ve done the necessary background research about your product, target demographic and even startup costs, you’ll want to take care of the appropriate paperwork before diving into the actual production of your clothing line.
To this end, there are a handful of tasks you’ll want to accomplish:
Choose a business entity type: First, you’ll want to select your business entity type — sole proprietorship, LLC, S corp, etc. There are pros and cons to every type, so you’ll want to think about which best suits your plans and goals. If you’re planning on starting small, you might opt for a sole proprietorship and then create an LLC or corporation at a later time.
Register your business: Depending on the entity type you choose, you may have to officially register your business with the state where you’ll be operating. Even if you’re not required to register with the state, you might decide to file a DBA, or doing business as, to officially register your chosen business name.
Get business licenses and permits: At the very least, you’ll likely need a general business operating license to officially start your clothing line business. If you’re going to be operating from your home and starting your clothing line online, you may need specific permits — like a sales tax license and home occupation permit — as well. You’ll want to consult your state and local governing agency to ensure that you have all of the proper licenses and permits.
Get an employer identification number: Part of starting a clothing line, or any business for that matter, is registering for and paying business taxes. Therefore, you’ll want to apply for an EIN with the IRS. Although an EIN isn’t required for all businesses, getting one can help you file your taxes, apply for a business bank account, as well as access business financing.
5. Design and source the clothes for your line
After you’ve gone through all of the steps necessary to make your business official, it’s time to get into the meat of learning how to start a clothing line: designing your clothing and sourcing your material.
This can be the most challenging part of the process for many entrepreneurs starting a clothing line, especially those who haven’t worked in the fashion industry before. Here’s how the designers we interviewed went about the process.
Finding the right materials
You might have a clear idea of what kinds of materials you want to create your products with, or you might need to do some exploring first.
Before formulating his polo shirts’ polyester-and-lycra blend, Tillinger’s Jordan Sack conducted his own, self-directed research into the production process:
“I bought a lot of competitor golf shirts and studied the materials they used. Then, I reached out to old friends who worked in the industry and bought them dinner in exchange for their time. It was a lot of serendipitous moments all coming together. One friend led me to a pattern maker, who led me to a grader/marker who knew a cutter. The friend also had a connection to a sample factory in the Garment District. It was pretty scrappy. There’s not an easy-to-follow online tutorial. You just have to be resourceful.”
And then, of course, there’s the cost question. A major challenge every designer will face is reconciling the cost and the quality of your materials, though Mehrban says that this decision will be highly individual to every designer’s budget and values.
For their part, Mehrban says, “We’ve found that compromising on quality just doesn’t work. Cost-cutting is an important part of any business model, but we don’t ever work with inferior manufacturers or materials. If we can find something better, that’s what we’ll use.”
Erum Ilyas, the founder of AmberNoon, also decided to leave extra room in her budget to ensure that she was manufacturing her clothing with the most effective textiles available and, as a result, pricing her clothing higher than expected.
That was especially important because AmberNoon’s unique value proposition depends on the quality of its sun-protective materials — Ilyas is a board-certified dermatologist who has run her own practice for a decade. Despite comprehensive public knowledge about skin cancer prevention, it’s still the most common type of cancer today. That inspired her to launch her line of sun-protective clothing that women can wear every day.
“Given the quality of the textiles, the design elements and low minimum order quantities I started with, I do have a higher price point than I would like long term,” Ilyas says. “After all, I want to make sure anyone can access this amazing product for their benefit.”
Depending on your particular goals and mission for your clothing line, you might also find that it’s worth sacrificing your target price-point in favor of lasting, quality materials. When you’re first rolling out your line, you especially want your product to impress your consumer as the best quality product possible.
6. Partner with a manufacturer
Finding the right manufacturer to produce your clothing is crucial to bringing your vision and goal for your brand to life. After all, if you don’t have a reliable manufacturer, your clothing line can’t exist at all.
“You can have a great idea, great concept — covered all of your bases,” says Ilyas. “But if your manufacturer can’t produce to your specifications, and maintain the quality and stay true to your concept, then your message is just lost.”
When seeking a manufacturer, consider factors like your manufacturer’s minimum order quantity, cost, quality and trustworthiness. You might also want to find a manufacturer with in-house pattern makers to streamline your processes.
“The manufacturer I’ve partnered with is a local Bali factory, which specializes in knit and stretch production,” Dabney says. “The factory provides services in development, pattern making and production, so all the elements are under one roof, which is important for quality control.”
To cut down on costs and to maintain your product’s affordability, you might consider exporting your manufacturing processes overseas, as Dabney did. Whether you produce your clothing domestically or abroad, it’s worth taking a hands-on approach to searching for your materials and manufacturers.
“There was plenty of trial and error, and we did lose a decent amount of money trying to find the right partners,” Mehrban says about tracking down the right manufacturers to produce True Vision LA’s clothes.
“It’s very hard to tell how a garment will fit, or to guess the hand feel based on a picture. We made the mistake of relying on photo representations before placing wholesale orders initially, and it cost us. One thing I’ve found is that the integrity of the product tends to match the integrity level of the manufacturer, and when that’s missing, you run into problems. It’s very important to work with partners that have the same ideals as you do.”
And don’t feel pressured to produce a full, 10-plus clothing line right from the start, especially if you’re feeling the strain on your budget (or your sanity) — Donna Karan, for one, built her eponymous label off her now-classic “Seven Easy Pieces” collection. So, start by perfecting just a few items, gauge how your market responds, and build up your brand from there.
7. Price your products
To this end, before you can actually launch your clothing line, you’ll need to price your products. Once you’ve found your materials and manufacture, you’ll have a better sense of how much it costs to start your clothing line, and therefore, you can price your items accordingly.
With your pricing, you’ll want to strike a balance between making a profit and setting a price that customers are willing to pay. This being said, your market research will come into play with pricing — you already should have a sense of who your demographic is, what their spending habits look like and how much they’d be willing to spend on your items.
Of course, you’re not married to any initial pricing you choose — just like the items you decide to create, you can always decide to edit or change your pricing as you launch your clothing line.
8. Decide where to sell your clothing line
After you’ve created your clothing line and decided on a pricing strategy, you’re ready to actually start selling. However, before you can launch your line, you need to determine where you’re going to be selling.
As we mentioned above, this is something you should have thought about as part of your business plan and research — and now it’s time to execute.
Therefore, if you think that starting your clothing online is the best avenue, you’ll want to set up the platform to launch your products and your brand. You’ll likely want to start by creating your own e-commerce website, as well as social media accounts.
Once you’ve launched your clothing line, you might decide to diversify your sales channels by actually selling your clothing through your social media channels, or even joining a marketplace like Amazon, eBay or Etsy.
Overall, selling your clothing line online will be much more affordable and manageable than creating your own brick-and-mortar store. Again, if you find success selling online, you might later decide to launch a physical location, or even consider selling your line to larger resellers, like department stores.
In any case, when you first start online, you’ll want to choose an e-commerce platform to create and manage your store. You’ll want to look for platforms with creative templates — as the design of your online store will be important to customers and to your brand.
You’ll also want to look for platforms that can accommodate product variations — in other words, the same piece in multiple sizes or colors — so that you can list your clothing line the way you want. To this end, some top platforms you might consider are Shopify, BigCommerce or WooCommerce.
9. Market your clothing line
After you’ve set up where you’re going to sell your clothing line — whether your own online store, a marketplace or somewhere else, you’ll need to actually get eyes on your products.
To this end, without a plan to publicize your product, all the work you’ve done tracking down your producers will be for naught. And if you’re not a natural marketer, know that this is a skill you’ll need to nail in order to keep your clothing line’s doors open (either physically or digitally) — as Mehrban says, “Building a fashion startup is four parts sales and marketing to one part design.”
You don’t need a huge marketing budget or even previous business marketing experience to effectively spotlight your brand; in fact, many entrepreneurs simply use their (free) social media accounts as their main marketing channels. Other than their low cost, platforms like Instagram and Facebook allow for greater transparency and connection with your customer base, which modern consumers value.
“From the very beginning of the process, I did my best to document my journey of starting a company,” Sack says. “That was pretty much my content strategy. I didn’t have this huge, creative marketing department. If I was going to pick out buttons, I would take a picture and put it up on Instagram and share that button story for the day.”
Beyond leveraging social media, there are tons of free marketing ideas you can implement to disseminate your brand. The key is consistency and cohesion; ensure that every piece of marketing material or campaign aligns with your brand’s voice, aesthetic, and goals. A disjointed branding strategy is confusing for your customer base, which doesn’t bode well for loyalty — which is key for turning leads into sales over the long term.
Also know that, even if you’ve started your clothing line with a clear understanding of how to market to your customers, customers are fickle. So don’t stop communicating with your customers once your initial research is through. Pay special attention to their aesthetic and buying preferences and adapt your marketing materials and product to suit.
“We started out with a clear vision of the design and branding,” says Mehrban.
“We knew we wanted to sell ‘highly wearable’ clothing, or others may call staples. The challenge was — and in my opinion will forever be — finding what motivates customers to buy. All brands grapple with motivating customers, and it’s something that never ends, even for the most established brands. Once you’ve discovered your segments, you’ll have to continue researching them. Their motivations will change with time, and even the demographics of those segments may change. What worked last season won’t necessarily work this season. The brands that survive are the ones prepared to adapt to highly volatile environment.”
10. Work with an expert
Although your clothing line idea may have been purely your own, you can’t be expected to fully launch your business without some help here and there. This is especially true if you don’t have experience in the fashion industry. Tapping an expert or a community of fellow fashion entrepreneurs may spell the difference between the success and failure of your startup.
Marianna Sachse is the founder of Jackalo, a line of durable and sustainable children’s wear. She didn’t have any design experience, but hiring a consultant and joining StartUp Fashion, an online community of independent designers, armed her with the information and support she needed to get her company off the ground:
“For new designers, I’d highly recommend surrounding yourself with experts. I found a consultant who had worked with majorly successful brands through a design friend, and I did an intensive four-week jumpstart program to get a sense of the competition and what my brand positioning would be. And StartUp Fashion helped me ensure that I had all the materials I needed to effectively communicate with factories, and connected me with a community of fashion entrepreneurs who are a fabulous resource.”
However, don’t simply settle for a mentor just because they have extensive experience in the industry. As is the case with any other individual you let in on an important aspect of your life — whether it’s your significant other, your business lawyer or your business mentor — do a gut check before heeding your consultant’s advice.
“If you don’t have a willing friend in the industry who can help,” says Sack, “I’d recommend a consultant, but it’s super important to be able to trust him or her. I’ve made that mistake. Go with your gut. If it doesn’t feel right, it isn’t.”
Sachse, too, warns that some consultants claim to be more experienced than they truly are. You’ll find the most trustworthy consultants via word-of-mouth, so start your search by scouring your network (LinkedIn is a great resource for this).
11. Figure out how to manage your finances
You took the first step to managing your finances when you registered your business for an EIN. However, as you’ve launched your clothing line and started actually getting into the day-to-day of running a business, there are a few other steps that are essential to properly managing your finances and setting up your business for success.
This being said, you’ll want to consider the following:
Open a business bank account: Even if you started your clothing line as a sole proprietor, having a dedicated business bank account is important. Opening an account specific to your business will help you separate your business and personal finances — saving you from potential bookkeeping, tax and legal headaches in the future. Plus, like applying for an EIN, having a business bank account will help you when you apply for financing for your clothing business.
Get a business credit card: With all of the startup costs associated with starting a clothing line, a business credit card can be particularly useful — not only as a way to finance your operations, but also to help you start building credit, as well as benefiting from any rewards the card offers. For a credit card that can immediately put money back into your business, you’ll want to consider the best cash-back business credit cards.
Set up your accounting: In order to manage your suppliers, manufactures, sales and any costs associated with starting your clothing line, you’ll want to set up an accounting system to manage everything in one place. There are a variety of accounting software options on the market.
12. Get funding for your clothing line
Getting your finances situated will help you with the final step in this how to start a clothing line guide — finding financing.
Like most entrepreneurs in any industry, the clothing designers we interviewed mostly bootstrapped, or self-financed, their ventures, using a combination of their own savings and contributions from friends and family. That makes sense, as securing a business loan as a very young startup — without the necessary evidence of a financial track history to show your lenders — can be very difficult.
Other than bootstrapping, there are a few other options for financing a startup you can explore to help you launch your clothing line. Crowdfunding can be a surprisingly lucrative way to raise funds at the very start of your venture; plus, crowdfunding can double as a method of vetting your market and gauging customer interest in your product.
It’s unlikely that you can fund 100% of your operational costs purely through Kickstarter, Indiegogo or a similar platform. You might also consider seeking equity financing, such as an angel investor or even a private equity firm.
These investors will contribute large amounts of cash to help promising startups get off the ground, in exchange for a stake in the business. But only approach private investors if you’re okay with sacrificing a portion of your business’s control.
The economics of clothing involve three processes: production, making the clothing; distribution, getting the clothing from the maker to the consumer; and consumption, actually using the clothing. Although consumption drives production and distribution, the three processes are in many ways inseparable. The system is fiercely competitive at all stages, partly but not entirely because clothing is a fashion good. Although some plain utilitarian garments may seem to be little affected by fashion, their production and distribution are highly competitive as well.
In developed nations, fashions in clothing and other goods and services change so rapidly and in so many ways that it’s difficult to keep track. People may assume that, in ancient cultures or isolated societies, styles of clothing, dwellings, tools, and customs remained static for generations. Yet scholars discern small incremental changes when they can find sufficient data. Major features of the economics of clothing today have roots in the distant past.
Perhaps in prehistoric times, or on the frontier of pioneer America, isolated family units produced all their own clothing. But in fact, most people probably hunted in groups for large, fur-bearing animals and specialized in doing certain tasks. Production of apparel has always been highly labor-intensive, and evidence of specialization appears early.
Twenty thousand to twenty-six thousand years ago, in the north of what is now Russia, a young man was buried in a shirt and trousers elaborately embroidered with ivory beads. At roughly the same time, in what is now France, craftsmen were carving delicate sewing needles from bone. To shape and drill beads or make needles with the materials and tools available then would require both inherent manual skill and considerable practice. Probably only one person in a settlement or a cluster of settlements mastered the skills for such work; others did tasks such as harvesting and processing fibers or skins and assembling garments. Presumably these specialists bartered what they made for goods and services of other group members. Specialization optimizes use of individuals’ time and abilities and makes better quality clothing possible for all. Scientists who uncovered the grave of the youth in the beaded outfit concluded that he was a person of importance-he or his family possessed wealth or power to command a costume of such splendor. Clothing already expressed status, more than 200 centuries ago.
A Global Economy
The apparel economy is truly global. From earliest times, it has extended to the limits of human occupation. In each geographic area, people exploited native plants, animals, and minerals. The Chinese learned the secrets of the silkworm; linen grew in the Nile valley, cotton in the Indus River valley; Mesopotamians raised sheep for their wool. Shellfish found at the eastern end of the Mediterranean sea provided precious purple dye. Polar cultures relied upon the furs and skins of local creatures, both land and sea. Natives of what is now the Pacific coast of Canada used cedar bark garments to shed rain; some peoples made cloaks of grasses.
In time, precious textiles, furs, and ornaments moved by long, difficult overland trade routes or hazardous water voyages. Later, textile centers evolved where people demanded large quantities of luxury fabrics and were willing to pay well for them. Byzantium, as well as Sicily, produced fine silks during the Middle Ages, although they were far from the original sources of silk. Even so, proximity of raw materials gave some geographic areas advantages over others. Certain districts in Italy, Germany, Flanders, and England became textile centers, specializing in locally produced fibers and distinctive techniques. In medieval times, traveling merchants transported fine textiles from production centers to regional trade fairs on a regular basis.
The ramifications of trade in textiles and other apparel materials extended far beyond the obvious. In ancient Mesopotamia, the need to record exchanges of these and other goods stimulated development of counting systems and writing. Eventually, coinage evolved to expedite transactions. Still later, Italians pioneered bookkeeping, banking, and legal systems to facilitate and organize international commerce.
The great plague, the Black Death, which killed as many as one-third of the people in Europe, may have reached Europe from Asia in the middle 1300s, transported by infected fleas on furs carried by caravans along the ancient silk road. As the plague abated, fashion change accelerated because of greater concentration of population in cities, shifts in the distribution of wealth, and growing importance of commercial life. The demand for furs in the sixteenth century, including beaver skins to make fine felt hats, became a major force driving the exploration of North America. Remote Australia and New Zealand were settled largely because sheep could be raised profitably there.
In the Middle Ages and Renaissance, members of guilds produced elegant and costly clothing to order for wealthy and high-ranking people on the European continent. Guilds were part civic associations, part trade associations, part labor unions. Guilds specialized in certain crafts ranging from hats to shoes. Membership was strictly controlled; new members served long apprenticeships and had to meet strict criteria for admission. Detailed rules served to uphold quality of production and limit competition. In general, men dominated the guilds; women did certain specialized tasks such as embroidery but had little role in governance. Not until the late 1600s, as guilds were ebbing in power, was the first guild controlled by women, the mantua makers, officially recognized in France.
National Pride and Profit
Nations have long promoted fashions to stimulate demand for their products. In the 1600s, King Louis XIV displayed the beauty of French silks and laces by wearing them and dictating that members of the French nobility also showcase French products. France sent dolls dressed in the latest fashions to other nations to create desire for French goods among the upper classes. According to Mr. Pepys’ diary, Charles II of England introduced a subdued style of men’s clothing in England in 1666, partly to promote English wool and linen fabrics.
The Concept of Fashion
“Fashion” is a complex concept, but economic analyses require simple, operational definitions. Therefore this essay uses definitions based on those stated by Paul Nystrom in his 1928 book, Economics of Fashion. He defined “style” as “a characteristic or distinctive mode or method of expression in the field of some art” (p. 3) and “fashion” as “the prevailing style at any given time” (p. 4). A source of confusion is that the word “fashion” can be used to mean either “content” or “process.
In writing or speech, the word “fashion” is often misused as a synonym for women’s clothing. Yet most consumer goods and services are subject to the fashion process. Fashion also affects noneconomic matters such as social customs. The economic structure of consumer goods industries reflects the role of fashion, which in turn indirectly affects basic industries. Because “fashion” can involve virtually all aspects of contemporary life, this essay concentrates on the economics of clothing.
“Demand” is not a quantity; it is the relationship between prices and how much consumers are willing to buy at various prices. If demand for a commodity is great, people will generally buy larger amounts of it at various prices than they will buy if demand is small.
Bethany Williams believes that social and environmental issues go hand in hand and through exploring the connection between these issues we may find innovative design solutions to sustainability.
Each garment is 100% sustainable and made in the UK, even down to the buttons which are hand crafted in the Lake District. She has collaborated with TIH Models, a new modelling agency supporting youth in London affected by homelessness, casting Kris McAllister and Mustapha, both homeless and unemployed in London, for the collection Women of Change
For my most recent collection ‘Women of Change’ I have worked alongside San Patrignano in Rimini, Italy – an education and rehabilitation programme for people with drug and alcohol dependency that teaches traditional Italian craft and fosters a sense of community. Together we developed hand-woven textiles from recycled packaging materials found within the workshop.”
Born of frustration with the excessive use of the world’s natural resources, and the amount of waste produced by industrialized countries, spanish brand Ecoalf was founded on the principles of recycling. The intent to create a truly sustainable fashion brand, started at the source, and as the result of limited choices in the marketplace of 100% recycled materials.
“Discarded fishing nets, post-consumer plastic bottles, worn-out tires, post-industrial cotton, and even used coffee grinds become our outerwear, swimsuits, sneakers and accessories. In order to ensure 100% transparency and provide the highest levels of quality, our team manages the full process from waste collection to recycling technologies, manufacture, design and retail.”
Based in India, Doodlage is a perfect sync of sustainability and innovativeness. They work with eco-friendly fabrics, such as organic cotton, corn fabric, banana fabric. Another source of fabric is the left over or quality, discarded textile from large manufacturers, which account for the “wastage” in export terms. They also source fabrics, which are left unused by other retailers post-cutting. Much like pieces of a puzzle, these bits and pieces come together, each with its own story.
“With 40% of garment production being done in India, Bangladesh and China, these countries alone produce enough waste to be able to create 6 billion garments from just scraps and leftovers. These were some alarming stats that led us into creating a brand using fabric that would otherwise go into landfills.”
Re;code are a Korean brand specialising in upcycling. Each item in the collection has a story, and creates a new culture of value in place of waste. They work with the mentally handicapped and the ‘Goodwill Store’ to deconstruct salvaged materials ready for reinterpretation and redesign
“We disassemble and re-commercialise ready-made products. People might find it surprising that we use industrial materials such as seat covers, airbags, and fabric linings that make up a car’s interior, waste that is collected from our sister companies within the Kolon group, to design jackets, bags and laptop cases.”
Bungaard Nielsen is a crafts laboratory based in Copenhagen, Denmark. The ‘Circle 1 dress’ pictured above, rebels against standardisation of the design of clothing, instead offering a more sustainable and size-flexible form.
“I am currently working on developing a new size-flexible garment system, which will do away with bad fit and standard sizing, one of the main reasons people discard clothing. I was once told a story of my father fixing an airplane engine using only a bottle cap and his creativity while travelling in Africa. This gave me a challenge to make do with what you are given within a certain framework.”
Kenyan brand Suave is all about breathing new life into old, creating colourful backpacks, satchels and laptop sleeves made from recycled fabrics and locally sourced African fabrics. They source their material from off cut fabrics and unwanted leather by working with second hand traders, factories and tanneries .
“We buy unwanted and unsellable clothing from traders at the biggest second hand market in Kenya. We source waste offcuts from big factories manufacturing clothes for export, and we also buy rejected, lower grade leather from local tanneries, materials that have been left behind by other buyers.”
Zurita is an ethical womenswear collection with the craft knowledge and heritage of Latin American. Working with camelid fibers such as alpaca, organic pima cotton and silk, silhouettes are loose with geometric cuts and produced in a range of natural colors from gray through brown and black to white, with blue and yellow.
“Many of my designs are influenced by the geometrical thinking and creations of the Andean weavers. This ancient pre-Columbian way to conceive textiles and clothing doesn’t leave any waste. Not only in the woven pieces but also in the use of fabric, I try to use the whole piece of textile from design through production.”
Fashion designing can be loosely defined as ‘the art of creating fashionable apparel‘. With the passage of time, however, the concept of ‘fashion designing’ has extended to other things such asfashion accessoriessuch as jewellery, bags, footwear, etc. Keeping in mind the evolution of fashion designing, it would not be wrong to define it as ‘thecreation of fashion‘
Fashion designing has indeed come a long way from the mere designing of clothing. Fashion designing has evolved into a full-fledged industry today. It is well accepted as a career option all over the world. Apart from designing, there are a number of other career alternatives that have emerged in this industry with the passage of time. This article seeks to study the evolution of the industry of fashion designing the then and now.
Theorigin of fashiondesigning dates as far back as 1826. Charles Frederick Worth is believed to be the firstfashion designerof the world, from 1826 to 1895. Charles, who was earlier a draper, set up a fashion house in Paris. It was he who started the tradition of fashion houses and telling his customers what kind of clothing would suit them.
During this period, a number of design houses began to hire the services of artists to develop patterns for garments. Patterns would be presented to the clients, who would then place an order if they liked them. It was during this timeframe that the tradition of presenting patterns to the customers and then stitching them began, instead of the earlier system wherein the finished garments would be presented to them.
In the beginning of the 20thcentury, new developments in fashion would take place in Paris first, from where they would spread to the rest of the world. New designs of clothes would be born in Paris before they found their way to other parts of the world. In other words, Paris emerged as the ‘fashion capital’. ‘Fashion’ during this period was mostly ‘haute couture‘, exclusively designed for individuals.
Towards the mid-20thcentury, fashion garments began to be mass-produced. The bulk of production increased, and people began to have more choices of garments. Towards the end of the 20thcentury, fashion awareness among people increased, and they began choosing clothes for themselves based on comfort and their own style, instead of relying on the trends prevailing in the market.
Today, as stated above,fashion designing is well accepted as a career option. A number of institutes have come up the world over, offering courses in various arenas of fashion. The number of students who consider fashion as a serious career and who have gone in for courses in the same has gone on rising over the years.
Specializations in fashion designing have come into being. There is a wide range of options for a designer to choose from, such as lingerie, swimwear, women’s wear, bridal wear, children’s wear, men’s wear, footwear, handbags, etc. Fashion designers used to be self-employed earlier now find a number of career opportunities open for them. They can work with garment firms and export houses. They may also be engaged in the job of remodeling haute couture and adapting them to the tastes of the mass market. They might also hold jobs in departmental stores or specialty stores.
Developments in the field of fashion designing have given rise to other related career paths such as hairstylist, make-up artist, fashion journalists, fashion advisors, fashion photographers, etc.
Another significant change that has come about in the fashion designing industry in recent times is the increaseduse of computers and technology. A number of software packages have come up to aid designers in the process of designing as well as other stages in the production of a garment, easily and speedily.
Fashion designing as a trade has also grown. Fashion designers have gone on to get repute not only in their own countries, but internationally as well. The number of fashion shows and participation in the same has gone up considerably in recent times.
Fashion designing is thus no longer only the designing and creation of a garment, but it is a world in itself involving fashion, design, creativity, technology as well as business.