Business Overview

A clothing line is a collection of apparel designed for a target audience and sold in retail locations and/or through online stores. When you enter into the clothing industry, creating a clothing line includes establishing a company, designing the clothes, selecting materials, and sourcing the manufacturing process. You will then have to build sales channels to retail shops or create a brand is available through internet shops across the globe.

Who is this business right for?

The person who starts a clothing line has a passion for fashion. This person sees clothes as a way each person expresses themselves. Most often, clothing line founders have an artistic vision and see clothing as their medium. They see clothing as a way to allow others to tap into their own expressive selves. If you have this type of artistic vision, a passion for clothing and design, and a desire to help others express themselves, then starting a clothing line may be just the right business for you. 

What happens during a typical day at a clothing line?

When you're involved in opening a new clothing line, you may be asked to:

  • Review or design new looks for the upcoming season
  • Determine your target demographic through matching proposed color and design of the new apparel
  • Source materials for new designs that provide the feel and look desired at a price that will turn a profit
  • Establish a brand and ensure it is aggressively marketed to ensure the best return on your investment
  • Source the manufacturing process for your new clothing and determine if the quality of the end product will be best when produced in a large facility or in-house by your devoted crew
  • Follow the designs of competitors in the industry
  • Plan for future year designs through constant research
  • Balance the cost of materials against the target price

What is the target market?

This is possibly your most important part of the design process.  Who are you crafting clothes for? Do you want to build a line of clothes individually tailored to wealthy individuals and only sell a few pieces a month? Or would you prefer to see your T-shirts hung on the racks of every bargain department store across the country? Before you begin to cut cloth, you must determine if you need to make a million pairs of shorts, or just one.

How does a clothing line make money?

Each individual piece of apparel designed for the line must earn the cost of its entire manufacturing process back through retail sales of the design.  For most profitable clothing lines, this means creating thousands of the same shirt, pair of jeans, or socks through a mass manufacturing process.  The elite boutiques found in Hollywood or in Paris cater to a very select clientele who eagerly pay a premium for their unique fashions.

What is the growth potential for a clothing line?

With a savvy designer creating unique looks and a killer marketing machine, it is possible to break out on the international scene and earn millions with your clothing line.  It is much more likely that your creations will appear in your online store and on the racks of a decent assortment of retail stores across the country.