How to Get Started in the Fashion Design Business

A close eye to detail is a common trait among fashion designers as well as for enterprising business owners. If you are curious to what steps you should take to start your own fashion design business then keep a close eye on these steps too.

This article will provide you the steps necessary to get started immediately.

You just might be the next “Ralph Lauren” the clothing industry has been waiting for. Well wait no longer. Here are the steps to start your fashion design business.

  • Step 1 is to decide what type of clothes you want to make.
    Do you want to design jeans, a denim line, or maybe a t-shirt collection? Will it be for men, women or children? Choose a specific area and focus on it until build a name.
  • Step 2 is to think about financing.
    You may need to seek resources other than a bank. Normally banks disapprove financing for start-up clothing businesses unless you have collateral. Find an investor instead or sell property. Get creative.
  • Step 3 is to have a business name.
    Visit your local city clerk office and register your business name. A business name gives you an identity in the clothing industry. Open a bank account as well and name it under your business name.
  • Step 4 is to get a trademark.
    Make sure no one else is using the trademark name you want to use. Register it with the United States Trademark office. By the way, doing your own trademarks saves you on lawyer fees.
  • Step 5 is to set up your working place and collect your necessary equipment.
    First, purchase a fashion design software. It’s a lot cheaper than fashion school. Make sure you include in your list of equipments the following items: a fabric swatch book, a textile pantone color book, a specification and measurement book, and an apparel production source book.
  • Step 6 is to collect your sketches together and showcase it.
    Make a portfolio and get approvals and comments on your work from family, friends, as well as from experts. Then choose a design and give it to a seamstress or a manufacturer. Next decide if you want your clothing design mass produced or to start with a few pieces.
  • Step 7 is to get manufacturers to work on your terms.
    To do this, you’ve got to understand how production works. This is important because untimely delivery means you are loosing business.
  • Step 8 is to get a good brand name.
    Your brand name should standout from your fashion design competitors. It should be unique and catchy.
  • Step 9 is to market your product and start taking orders.
    You’ll need to get a sales tax license to operate. Just get the ball rolling. Start with family, friends, relatives and neighbors. Create a website and advertising gimmicks. Use photo shoots and models for your cloth lines. Try to put your line in local stores.


  • Guled Ali said on March 31, 2009
    hi. i am 24, student at the London College of Fashion (LCF). i found your info on starting a fashion business very useful, can you give me more info on this or can you tel me where i can get some free info. THANK YOU.
  • LATISE VAUGHN said on March 22, 2010
    hello i am interested in fashion design i have some wonderful sketches and have received excellent approvals from every person who has viewed them. I would like some more information on this topic thank you...
  • trina johnson said on April 30, 2010
    i want to start a fashion design business in florida, U.S.A
  • H MARSHALL said on August 24, 2010
    Hi, I have done all the above regarding setting up my own fashion label.. I want to know how do I get my products through department stores?? Thanks for your help
  • Aniket sharma said on March 31, 2011 currently preparing for my designing exam and am a student of class xii. I plan to start my own business but I dnt want to prepare for BBA instead go for designing...please suggest if this is a rite step? How can I further go about it? P.s am an Indian and kindly take that point in consideration...
  • Barr Faith said on August 22, 2013
    Hi, I'm a Lawyer but I have great passion for passion and I'm thinking of switching to fashion designing, Help me on things I need to know. Thanks. Oyo Sate, Nigeria


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