From thought to floor IV- Are you a trend setter or ordinary!
Okay kids, so far I have addressed the creative process for research and development on a dime. The next step is really what will define your brand. I always suggest doing some market research to figure out what your consumer demographic, pyschographics, and sizes will be. If you have the money to spend you can subscribe to Prizms by Claritas. If you have no budget for this I use the U.S. census and read news for the related areas.
For example, if you are developing a artistic line in L.A., you may want to consider how many stores or brands are just like yours? Do you already have consumers that will buy once the product hits the floor? How will you get people to pay attention to what your creating? What is the annual income of your consumer? How often do they shop for clothes? What do they do for a living? How many kids do they have? If they are teens, who is paying? Are your plans realistic?
I find that majority of fashion companies are very ordinary. Not many could be considered prolific. One issue that I see is copycat design. Many markets have people who competitive shop. Taking pictures and images of other labels clothing. The company will tweek the garment to fit what there market may want. This does explain creative similarities between lines and competition. However I see this a a detriment to the longevity of fashion as art. For example, you can erode a profit margin by trying to get the best possible price for the consumer. In order to sustain this, companies move our jobs to overseas markets. They copy more to pay for less designers. Less work in the U.S. and poor communities.
The highly creative designer that makes works of art vs. fashion for masses will usually stay pretty small. These designers have more control, smaller market segments . But these designers have loyal consumers. I fall into this category. I want my clothing to be high quality, custom, and artistic. This takes some planning! I create less designs and smaller amounts are produced. It is not readily available at any store or mall U.S.A. I believe so much in my work and my name that I want to produce the best of me. I do not want to be a millionaire. I just want to make clothing that inspires people to be who they are from the inside out.
I challenge people to really define what they want the end goal to be. This will help them in design, market research, cost structures and distribution. Are you trend setting and out of the box? Or are you a follower?
Some Prolific Designers