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NGOStudio

How to build a successful Indie Fashion House, in regard to marketing, branding, distribution, supply chain management, etc. ?

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Hey guys,

This is my first post and hope to get as many responses as possible. I keep revisiting this idea for many years and just decide to do it. I don't want to get too old to do what I enjoy. Little about me:

  • Fashion and leather-wear enthusiast

  • Somewhat experience in biz development, commodities trading, IT development, sourcing, sale, and many bits here and there.

Since my in law and several of my friends are either working in garment manufacturing, sourcing, or designing, I want to begin this journey so I need a lot of advice before investing my time and saving into this venture. Here is a list of questions that come to mind, and if you guys have more questions or inputs, greatly appreciated:

  • What should be a good name and should I make a hierarchy system: NGO (last name) >>> Fashion Lines/Collections to represent different styles and subcultures: Unichi. Any idea for a good name?

  • Should I produce clothes from rare fabrics, not only hand treated fabrics but also from exotic animals, I have several good sources for this. If the money is no problem, producing garments from almost extinct animals could be achieved. But I've made a promise to self to not hunt and kill living creatures just for the purposes of making clothes.

  • How should I curate designs? I'm thinking about curating designs from public collaborations with young designers, or even with my own customers - similar to those crowdfunding ways. On the other hand, I can create my own designs through private collaborations and inspirations - not always effective and costs way more for prototyping; but the result might be unique and self-fulfilling.

  • How should I market my company, build a hype, pimp my brand, and create an effective distribution channel? I've read about some indie fashion brands and TOJ - now Falcon Garment is probably one of the most successful stories. I'm wondering what they did in the early days that help their brand's recognition. While I knew my experience and the experience from people around me can leverage my play, there are still too many uncertainties. About distribution channel, I think a direct distribution route will save a lot of cost and return value to my own customers, but it might bottleneck the appreciation of brand's value. Hype will bring in a lot of cash and attention but it also costs a lot of money, and definitely a lot of luck.

Thanks so much for reading this and love to hear your thought!!!

Edited by NGOStudio

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It's going to be really tough to get this kind of advice that is of quality from someone that knows what he's talking about. If something works for somebody, they will usually be very protective about it, and since we have already every brand you can imagine nobody currently is looking forward to new fashion brands opening. You somehow have to get to know a person with that kind of knowledge in real life and get some advise - or go intern somewhere. Posting this kind of questions won't help at all, that's fashion industry! Good luck!

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I don't work in fashion, but I don't think you should do anything until a have a better reason than, "I like the idea of having a 'brand' and i have to do it now because I have a baby." You're asking a bunch of hypothetical marketing questions when you have nothing to sell. If you need somebody else's input on what you should make, what's the point? If you want to be in fashion, you should find somebody who needs help and invest in them. 

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On 4/17/2017 at 0:52 AM, andrewisdope said:

I don't work in fashion, but I don't think you should do anything until a have a better reason than, "I like the idea of having a 'brand' and i have to do it now because I have a baby." You're asking a bunch of hypothetical marketing questions when you have nothing to sell. If you need somebody else's input on what you should make, what's the point? If you want to be in fashion, you should find somebody who needs help and invest in them. 

Great point, my brand is actually an umbrella with different designers. I'm working with 2 right now on different projects. They're also craftmen. With some resource in manufacturing I'm actually a good fit as biz developer, and a pseudo designer. Having an idea is cute but the work take a lot of time and tremendous effort. And I actually have and have sold a lot of shit, I just want to make my own shit right now. I also did investment, just not in fashion, purely boring finance ;)

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This is some extremely valuable knowledge you want, scm + logistics and branding are fields you hire consultants in. 

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