Step 1: Thoroughly Research the Fashion Industry and Competitors to Find Your Niche
When my friend Amy first told me she wanted to launch a line of eco-friendly workwear for women, my first piece of advice was to carefully study the market. Find existing brands that align with your vision or target the same customer. This will help you identify gaps or opportunities to differentiate yourself.
For example, when husband and wife team Kit and Ace launched in 2014, they noticed a lack of technical, performance fabrics in everyday luxury clothing. Coming from the lululemon family, they drew inspiration from athletic apparel and incorporated those technical fabrics into their high-end casual wear. This unique approach allowed Kit and Ace to disrupt the market.
Along with studying the competition, you need to become an expert on your ideal target customer. Defining your target customer will inform every decision - what styles you design, how you brand and market the line, where you sell.
Get as specific as possible on demographics like age range, income level, gender, location. Go beyond surface level and understand their lifestyle, values, aesthetic preferences. What brands do they currently buy? Where do they typically shop? What are their pain points with current fashion options?