Monday, December 14, 2009

Inspire Me!

The Top 5 Elements To Keep In Mind When Developing A Fashion Collection


It is about that time again. New season equals a new collection. You have all the supplies you need: Sketchbook, Pens, Paper, Markers and your fashion croquis complete with a Venti Latte on the side. You only have one problem: What is this season’s collection going to entail? Most designers use inspiration before they begin the design process. In this article I will go over the five most important elements to keep in mind as you develop your very own collection.

 1.     Research, Research, Research!

Research is THE most critical element in the design process and any other business venture as well. You want to know what the other designers are doing. Keep your industry knowledge current! Know your target customer’s demographics (e.g. Age, Sex, Location, income, marital status etc.). 
As a designer, it’s great to be unique, but you do not want to be too far off the radar as far as seasonal trends are concerned. There are well known trend publications such as The Donegar Group, Fashion Snoops, WSGN, and more! Subscriptions to those publications can be pricey, so I would suggest using other avenues with one or two of those sources. is another great source for inspiration; they offer fashion trend info, latest designer info/fashion news, and best of all its free! 

2.  Sketchbook/Scrapbook

This is the important element of your fashion line inspiration/creation process. Once your research is near completion, I suggest taking magazine clippings, fabric swatches, and notes and place them in your sketch book. This is the time to be creative, pour out all the ideas you would like to explore, and watch how your collection slowly begins to emerge. Do not be discouraged if you inspiration is not fully cohesive, and is not as fully developed as you would like. This is an ongoing process, take your time and let your ideas flow.

3. Pick A Theme!
It doesn’t matter what level you are as a designer, using a theme is imperative for a successful collection. A theme can consist of a certain time in history, a movie, your environment around you, the possibilities are endless! Having a theme to design around adds consistency as well as interest for a fashion collection. Your theme is what sets you apart, and should be reflective of what your brand represents. When creating a theme, make sure it helps you along with the design process, and not keep you from your overall objective. Some designer newbies tend to get so caught up in their inspiration, they begin to lose sight of the collection all together. You can have a wonderful elaborate theme, but if it does not translate into a successful collection, then what’s the point? Pick a theme, stick to it, and use it only as a guide as you develop your line.

4. Make a Story Board
I find creating a story board with my rough sketches very useful. This typically involves at least one 20 X 30 foam core board, a few of my initial rough sketches, and fabric swatches. When you line up your sketches and swatches on the board, it gives you the overall scope of your fashion collection. This also enables you to look back at your sketch book inspiration to make any necessary changes if needed. 
Please note: This is for your design process purposes only, if you are looking to present your collection to potential buyers or investors, it will take a totally different process to create a story board. I will discuss that process in another diary entry, so stay tuned!

5. Ask A Friend!

It is always good to get input from close friends and family on your fashion collection. They may not agree with everything you design, but the support can be inspiring in itself. Sometimes it takes a second pair of eyes to find your weak areas as far as your inspiration and/or collection is concerned.  Constructive criticism should always be welcomed, and be used as a guideline when you are in the editing phase of your creation. Keep in mind, although your friends and family are helpful and supportive, do not let them make you compromise your unique design aesthetic. Always be true to yourself and your brand.

By using these five elements, you are already on your way to being the next it designer of your desired target market. If you have any more suggestions, questions or comments feel free to drop a line!

Fashionably yours,

Creative Conceptz Ltd.


Anonymous said...

Great info! Thank you I found it to helpful as I am working on my first collection for a class.

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