Thursday, September 10, 2009

Starting a New Apparel Brand: How to's

Auer Agency | Charlotte, NC | 704.236.0568 | This is the beginning of a series of blogs based on my trip to MAGIC, the premiere fashion apparel tradeshow. How many times have you thought of launching your own product or brand of clothing or even a new category? Want to be the next Ed Hardy? After my trip to Vegas, for the MAGIC , I attended a seminar, "Developing A New Brand: Roadmaps to Success" The panel consisted of several top industry pros and I'm paraphrasing from my notes. But what an eye-opening experience. I have been in the apparel industry since 1996. Mostly focusing on the graphic side i.e. designing team logos or graphics to be printed on the apparel directly. And most recently I am researching launching my own event apparel line including soccer, running, cycling. However, I have been branching out into private label development and various performance apparel for clients. And with sourcing from international companies, it has never been more easy to start. Quick notes from seminar: #1 Know your production cycle. How long is it going to take to make? Where are you buying? How long to ship? #2 PRICING If we knew this answer, we would all be rich. But you have to mark-up your items to include expenses, shipping and returns. #3 Trademark or patents: Yes this is just as important. It's hard to really say where your ideas originally started. We are all inspired by something if you were to admit it. But once you have a signature design. You have to protect it. #4 Financing - that's a whole other subject. But they discussed Mezzanine financing where your vendors may help you with pricing and not bill you until orders are in. Give us a call if you are thinking of launching your own apparel line, t-shirt line or have a new category idea. We have the contacts, we have the design experience and we are fun to work with.

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