3 Surprises When Starting Your Own Fashion Line: My First Experience

fashion design

Here is what I’m learning as I launch my first fashion line!

How does one start their own clothing line? The first step is deciding to do it…and to be 100% committed to your vision. At least, that is how my current experience started. With my background in interior design and my personal love for fashion, merging my interests felt natural. The desire manifested itself for over a decade with a drawer filled with sketches, fabric samples, magazine clippings and proposed silhouettes.  In fact, I still have a handful of cocktail napkins where I scribbled concepts and ideas from the year 2001.  The timing may have been off in the past.  However, with a bit of grit and determination the stars strategically aligned this year.

I am beyond thrilled to officially announce my new clothing line, the Asher Marie Collection. Coming Spring 2015, the resort and lifestyle collection will deliver globally-inspired pieces at an affordable price point, graciously complementing today’s most dynamic women!

Asher Marie fashion

So how did the name come about? ‘Asher’ is my son’s name, meaning happy and blessed; and ‘Marie’ is a long-time family name with deep personal reference of grace and strength. Asher Marie fused together offers a piece of me and my family and a vision for my customers of strength, beauty and grace. I hope my pieces will inspire and deliver a bit of joy through color, pattern and silhouette and encourage women to be independently beautiful!

As I navigate designing, sourcing, and supplying my new clothing line, a few figurative ‘trips on the runway’ occurred. Below I include a few of my experiences that may help you:

Be conservative. Originally I was looking forward to introducing the Asher Marie Collection with fifteen or twenty inaugural pieces. However, after consulting with fashion industry veterans (including authors of NY Times best sellers and couture experienced designers) I realized my inaugural collection should be limited to less than a dozen pieces.

Not just fashion design. Creatively conceiving a few designs is not your only job when you launch a clothing line. It is up to you to source materials, check with textile suppliers, price fabric by the yard, find a sample maker, research stores and distribution expenses, and the list goes on. If having your own fashion line is your dream—be ready to be hands-on for business operations. You absolutely need to be all in and adopt a strong work ethic before you start any creative concepts.

Fabric! Speaking of business operations and fabric sourcing, all decisions were complete and materials scheduled to order over the summer. Then I received a call that the one of the fabrics we selected was only obtainable in bulk supply and not available for our limited initial collection.  Strike one.  Within days, I also learned that three additional fabrics had completely sold out.  Strike two and back to the drawing board.  Overall, this delayed production of our samples. I had to be resourceful and flexible in selecting quality replacement fabrics that wouldn’t compromise my overall vision. Fortunately, we found stunningly beautiful substitute materials – but accepting these changes early and moving forward without too much emotion has made the line even better.

fabrics

Many fabric choices are available today!

Please stay tuned for a behind-the-scenes breakdown of more details as we navigate our way! Plus, a sneak peek of the debut collection, fun fabrics and the launch of the Asher Marie Collection website in just a few short weeks.

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