Episode 36: Four tips to make designing a fashion collection easier




Fashion collection, designing, start-ups, critical path, specification sheet, costing sheet, coaching



Welcome to the Fashion Unearthed podcast. If you need help navigating the fashion industry sustainably, you have come to the right place. I'm your host Belinda Humphrey and my hope is to simplify the fashion industry so that businesses can make the best decisions for people, planet and product.


Hello, and welcome to episode 36 of the Fashion Unearthed podcast. Today's episode focuses on product and more specifically answers the question on how to build a fashion collection. I know a lot of listeners out there are just starting out on their fashion journey, so I thought this would be a good topic to talk about and demystify some of the processes in building a collection. And if you are just starting out, there are some affordably priced templates in my website shop, which I consider the three main ones to get started, a costing sheet, a critical path, and also a specification sheet. These are interactive Excel sheets that I used in my own business to keep track of product. For example, the costing sheet you can put in your target selling price and margin and it will calculate back to your target purchase price. And the critical path you can enter in the delivery date and it will calculate right back to when you should start researching and all the steps in between. So if you want to spend less time on the admin and more time on designing, I mean, that's probably a given right? You can find those at belindahumphrey.com in the shop.


So onto the question, where to start when designing a collection is a common question I get asked. So I wanted to give four tips today to get you started.


Number one, decide on how many pieces. So, starting small is always lower risk, it's lower risk in terms of finances and just time management. Even starting with one piece could be an option and if you wanted to look more into that there's Episode 28, where I talk through the case for starting your collection with just one piece. But often a collection is around 10 pieces.


Number two, analyse your competitors or brands that you aspire to. The easiest way, obviously with the world at the moment is to go online and see what products make up their collections. How many items do they have per collection? What colours or prints are they using? What categories or items is the collection made up of, for example, how many tops versus the bottoms.


Number three, design in outfits. This part is an essential one, try to build outfits with garments you're designing. Looking at outfits from the runway can help you to work in this way, actually. Choose a look and work backwards dissecting what items make up that look, then you can do this when you're working on your own collection. Visualise the end look and work backwards to make sure the pieces you're putting in will give you this look.


Finally, there should be a consistent theme for the collection and this is where a mood board can help. You want to have a clear visual message. And that's usually achieved with a tight colour palette and a restrained or very considered use of print or pattern.


So hopefully that's given you somewhere to start when you're designing. But always keep in mind what your ideal customer will be looking for. And if you're needing some extra support with putting your collection together or have some other questions on your product development journey, I'll be starting my one hour zoom strategy sessions again from May. It's one hour where, you can ask me anything about the fashion industry and sustainability and you can find more information about that in the shop as well at belindahumphrey.com . And finally, as always, you'll find the show notes and any links on the website too, in the podcast section. Thanks so much for listening. See you next time!


Thanks for listening to the Fashion Unearthed podcast. If you want to get in touch head over to belindahumphrey.com or you can find me on Instagram @belindahumphrey_


Disclaimer: Whilst every effort is made to ensure that information is accurate at the time of recording, much like the fashion industry itself, this information may change. 


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