What it Takes to Succeed in the Fashion Business

Being successful in the highly competitive fashion industry isn`t easy. While some success elements, such as talent, hard work, imagination and creativity, are obviously necessary, there are some unique elements you`ll need to create a successful fashion brand.

You`ll need to know the fashion business first, from the ground up. Even if you have the money necessary to launch your brand, you`re likely to fail if you don`t fully understand what you`re getting into or don`t have any connections. Work for another brand first and work your way up so you understand the different business layers.

Money is another essential item. How much you`ll need depends on many factors, such as where you`re starting and what your line consists of. Research the costs of what you need before you dive in. You`ll probably need studio space, machinery, staff and an agent. If your first product is a failure, you won`t make back the money you spent. If you`re depending on that money to keep your business afloat, you`ll sink your brand on your first try. You need to have enough money to cover significant losses before you launch your first line.

Research other products from the competitors. You need to know what they`re selling and for how much. You won`t be able to topple the big players and brands, but you can use what you find to develop your own unique selling points. Don`t get discouraged about prices you can`t match or your competitor`s sales volume. Focus on making your brand stick out from the rest.

Find your market. You need to grab on to a trend right before or as it happens to be successful and you need to be able to market your product to people who will buy it. Check fashion clothes websites, such as couturecandy.com, to see what`s hot now so you can predict what`s going to be hot soon. Your product has to be trendy and popular but still unique in some way when you present it to the market. Otherwise, you won`t find buyers for your products. Once you`ve had a hit, you`ll be under even more pressure to come through the second time. Don`t forget to do your research and follow the rules you set for yourself when you developed your first product. You`ll have to stay on top of fashion trends to remain competitive in the market and bring in new customers.

Author: Steven Matsumoto

Steven Paul Matsumoto is the founder of Seattle Fashion Incubator, and an active member of the Seattle business community. Currently Mr. Matsumoto sits on Advisory Boards for the University of Washington Fashion Certificate Program, and the Trade Development Alliance of Greater Seattle.

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