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How to Start a Clothing Brand? Ultimate Guide & Strategy

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By Sam Nguyen

CEO Avada Commerce

Drive 20-40% of your revenue with Avada
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If you are a person with a good fashion sense and impressive aesthetic, you must have thought many times about owning a personal clothing brand. However, building your own clothing brand is never an easy task for anyone. In addition to unique design ideas, you also have to prepare yourself for many other conditions for your clothing brand to operate and operate effectively.

In this article, I will share an ultimate guide and strategies to show you How to start a successful clothing brand

What to consider before starting a clothing store

Before starting to do something, we need to consider the factors that may affect the business. So what are the factors you should consider when opening a clothing line?

Is starting a clothing line worth it?

First of all, you need to ask yourself the question: Is starting a fashion line worth it? This is very important not only in starting a fashion brand but also in other businesses. You can be a very creative person; the idea of stylish clothes appears in your mind continuously. But that is not enough. The company in the field of fashion not only requires beautiful clothes, but it also requires you a lot of effort to build a strong brand.

The truth is that the fashion industry always faces fierce competition and hundreds of fashion start-ups are established every day. Do you have enough capital so that your fledgling company can compete directly with other companies? Or do you have a long-term and sustainable business strategy for your brand? Or are you simply willing to devote most of your time and energy to building substantial strides, despite the risks of completing it? Those are all you have to consider whether the fashion brand is worthy of what you spend.

How much does it cost to start a clothing brand?

The second problem after you’ve got yourself a strong commitment is how much money does it cost to start a fashion brand. To be honest, this is a huge question for any business man and woman, but sadly, it doesn’t have a definite answer. I can not tell you that you need this much money to own a clothing brand. That is not realistic.

However, I can give you an estimate as well as a list of a few factors you need to consider when calculating the cost of your fashion brand. To calculate the cost, you have to pay attention to some factors such as brand orientation, production quantity, cost of premises, or sales website design, advertising strategy. Based on these factors and the type of company you are targeting, you will be able to estimate the cost as follows.

  • For small businesses, which means companies that do not intend to expand their businesses or business types that do not have to pay taxes, the cost you have to spend is about $100 - $300. This cost includes products that are not high-quality, and you do not need product promotions.

  • For mid-sized companies (these are companies with good product quality that are expected to expand in the future), the cost is in the range of $500 - $10,000. This includes the cost of producing good quality products, money to buy new designs from artists, shipping, online marketing, etc.

  • For large companies (these are the companies that have diversified and high quality products and want to expand their brands strongly). To target this type of company, you need to spend more than $25,000. This cost will be used to diversify and improve product quality, run large marketing and sale campaigns, store and warehouse rent fee, shipping costs, etc.

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How to start a clothing brand: Step-by-step guide

How to start a clothing brand
How to start a clothing brand

Here are the steps for you to build a fashion brand:

Decide which products you want to sell

For the fashion industry, choosing the product you want to sell is as important as choosing the future direction of the brand. Your product will represent your style and brand orientation. Therefore, if you want to start a clothing brand, you’d better identify the type of clothes you want to sell and to whom clearly.

Choosing a business model for your line

Once you’ve decided what product you want to sell, choose a suitable business model for your brand. There are three main options for you to build your business model in the fashion industry: Print-On-Demand, Private Label Clothing Line, Custom Cut & Sew Clothing Line. Each of the above options has its own advantages and disadvantages. Consider carefully to build a successful business empire.

Organize your brand

Even if you do not have a detailed and complete business plan, you should outline the elements to organize your brand. These factors include:

  • Business location: You will sell goods online or at traditional stores. And where will be a prestigious place for you to start the business.

  • Manpower: you need to have a full-fledged staff in such fields as designer, cashier, salesman, etc.

  • Product catalogue: Help you to list out the products you have for production, storage,etc

  • Sale and marketing: Selecting a suitable marketing and sales campaign will help your products get closer to customers

  • Funds: You need to balance the revenues and expenditures to rotate the capital for the next project

Choose a brand name

An impressive name will attract attention as well as leave a deep impression on customers. So choose a name that is not too complicated, easy to remember and especially it will help your brand have a better positioning in the customer’s mind.

Take your products to the manufacturers

After the planning process is done, it’s time to put your products into production. At this stage the most important thing is to find a suitable manufacturing team. Start by searching and asking about reputable factories or manufacturing teams. Based on the requirements of product quality and budget, a manufacturer is selected to meet the above requirements. After choosing a manufacturer, you should conduct a small trial production of products and take quality tests.

Test your products

Test products
Test products

Now, it’s time for you to check if the market well accepts the product. . Take your products to fairs, schools, upload them to e-commerce sites, social networks. Remember to save the feedback and comments of customers who have used the product. It will be useful for monitoring the status of the business as well as checking the growth of the product. One more thing, always test new products before officially distributing it to the market to be able to grasp the situation and have a suitable sales plan.

Start selling your products

The big moment has come. After a series of ideas and tests, it is about time for your clothes to be sold. However, there are a few things you need to do before launching your product to the market, which are:

  • Decide on the price of products
  • Widely promote your brand and product
  • Decide specific plans for prices and promotions
  • Complete packaging and shipping process
  • Assure customer service
  • Plan ahead with the manufacturer for the next season or if further processing if the product sells well

Scale up

I have to warn you not to think that is done. Another important step that you must not forget is to increase the size of your business. Scale up will help make your business model more sustainable and more developed. To do this, you need to review your business activities in the past. From that result, it is decided whether to continue expanding the business model and which direction to expand.

What makes a clothing brand successful?

A fashion brand considered successful or not is judged by the following factors:


By building a strong brand, your business’s success is almost in your hands. A strong brand will help increase the product’s visibility to customers so that it can reach potential customers. Besides, the brand is not only about the quality of your products, but it also represents the lifestyle and principles that the company aims to.


Clothes with a skewed seam, poor quality fabric will never be able to pull customers back and rebuy your product. That’s why quality assurance for your product is critical. So make sure your clothes really have a stable quality no matter what happens.


For the fashion business, your design is your voice and your declaration to customers. A successful design is one that does not need to be too sophisticated but must have your own personality and especially must suit the target audience that you target. Your business logo can help you to engage your customer and attract your target customer. A logo becomes timeless when it uniquely identifies your brand from your competitors.


Trying to get head-on into designing outfits that will please everyone is an unwise move in this industry. Focusing on a specific customer group will bring you many benefits, such as easy access to the market, affordable prices, less competition, and a stable customer group’s loyalty. So instead of sewing a simple T-shirt with a meaningless shape, you can switch to printing shirts with slogans calling for solidarity to fight the disease in the context of the current COVID-19 epidemic.

Shipping strategy for your clothing brand

Shipping strategy for your clothing brand
Shipping strategy

Last but not least, you need to find yourself a reasonable and economical shipping plan. Shipping is an integral part of the fashion industry, especially today’s technological development. But how to make shipping costs not too high, and products still reach the hands of customers intact is always a difficult problem for brands. Therefore, to plan delivery services for your brand, you must consider the following factors:

  • How to charge customers when shipping: There are a few options for your reference such as Charge your customers the exact shipping fee, Charge your customers a flat shipping fee, Charge your customers’ free shipping over a certain threshold, Charge your customers free shipping based on their location, Charge your customers’ free shipping on any orders.
  • Calculate shipping costs: Shipping cost is calculated based on the carrier’s cost, place of delivery, and destination. There are also some other costs such as size, the volume of goods. You should negotiate with the shipping unit to be able to have the most reasonable cost
  • How to handle returned items: You will have two main options when dealing with returning goods: pre-payment for return shipping or customers will pay shipping if they want to return the item.
  • The shipping unit should cooperate: Choosing a reputable shipping company will help you reduce costs and manage orders better
  • Using the warehouse: This is also an important part of transporting goods. Warehouse is usually associated with shipping units so you can consider the area and shipping time to choose the warehouse
  • Taxes and other fees: Taxes and fees also play a part in the total shipping cost. You need to pay attention to localities’ taxes, fees, and countries to which your products are shipped.


These are our guidelines to help you know how to start a successful clothing brand. Hopefully. these guidelines will help you find the right and appropriate path to grow your own business. You may feel overwhelmed and stressed when taking the first steps to lay the foundation for the brand. But keep believing in the path you have chosen, and you will soon achieve success.

Sam Nguyen is the CEO and founder of Avada Commerce, an e-commerce solution provider headquartered in Singapore. He is an expert on the Shopify e-commerce platform for online stores and retail point-of-sale systems. Sam loves talking about e-commerce and he aims to help over a million online businesses grow and thrive.