The Business of Fashion – A Quick Guide
It’s hip, it’s hot, it’s a trillion dollar global industry. Fashion has definitely surpassed the notion of being just about clothing. If you thought so too, now’s the perfect time to take a moment to catch up with the latest trends in this booming industry detailed below.
McKinsey Global Fashion Index spilled the beans that the fashion industry grows by 5.5 % annually and is now worth an estimated $2.4 trillion! In perspective, fashion would be the world’s seventh-largest economy (if ranked alongside individual countries). That is MAJOR!
As more people aim to get a taste of the field, there are endless opportunities to develop their fashion business sense. The annual Yello Fashion Directory is one platform for rising designers and retailers to showcase their collections to audiences, that would not have seen them otherwise. Yello spearheads this initiative to give them much needed exposure, which they would not have been able to garner through their own efforts.
Fashion is definitely glamorous and glitzy… it influences the best practitioners of style, interior design, architecture and visual arts and injects considerable sass into their output. But it is equally important to understand the business of fashion if you’re already working in the field or plan to take a step in.
Here are four key steps to survive and be a cut above the rest in this ever-changing industry.
Behave like a business
The moment you decide to exchange goods/services for capital, you’re doing business. The fashion industry provides a plethora of sub-professions, ranging from designers and retailers, to models and creative directors. It’s important to employ all the ethical and professional standards of business operations just the same. Outline your business objectives clearly and stay up to date with the relevant statutory obligations.
Develop your brand’s identity
For your business to become a well-known and beloved brand, it’s going to take some work. We’re all impressed by the success of brands such as Prada, Gucci and Louis Vuitton. With this ever-changing industry it’s easy to create memorable style or to be engulfed and forgotten. Developing your brand’s identity comes into play and can be achieved by conducting proper market research, learning what your audience would want from you and creating a brand personality that would attract and retain customers.
Develop a focused sales strategy
The purpose of starting a business is to drive profit and eventually build a successful empire. None of this can be achieved without a focused sales strategy. People outside of the fashion industry might sometimes view it as “fluff” and try to devalue your operations, whether you’re a small boutique owner or an upcoming designer. It’s important to have a sales-driven business focus, supported by achievable marketing strategies.
Since you’re operating in a global industry, chances are you’ll be selling similar products/services like thousands of your competitors. As such, you’ll have to devise ways to quickly turn potential clients into loyal customers. Click here to find out how Yello can help increase your business’ visibility.
Understand the importance of production
Fashion Incubator sums this up pretty well – You can’t just produce without a sense of direction, especially if your name is on it. Your fit and finish must be perfect and all your apparel or jewelry must truly reflect the high standard you boast about. This is the brutal side of fashion, because when your customers aren’t satisfied with the product/service, they’ll return items and demand refunds which can lead to major debt for your business.
Customer interaction is key in production since the only way your business will bloom is if you are guided by constructive feedback to improve the quality of your products. What colours work best? Is that outfit the perfect cut? How can you enhance your sportswear section? When will you add plus-sized clothing to your line? These questions are often asked and can only serve to increase your overall profitability if implemented on a phased and reasonable basis.
If your business utilizes shipping you’ll need to plan ahead of time for your product’s arrival.
Interested in finding out how you can become more visible in the fashion industry? Click here to add a free listing to our online directory.
Marriott, H. (2014, May 13). The seven key steps to making a fashion business successful.
Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/fashion/fashion-blog/2014/may/13/seven-key-steps-successful-fashion-business-stella-mccartney