We believe January is one of the best months of the year. This is the month you are focussed, determined and motivated to achieve your professional and personal aspirations. To set yourself up for a successful year it is important to harness this fresh energy and make the most of it. So if starting a fashion label has been your dream, here is our 10 point checklist for you to work through in the coming months. We see hundreds of new fashion labels launch every year by people from all different walks of life and professional experience – so it certainly is possible! Here is what you need to do: 1. Identify your passion We have seen that people who have the most success with their fashion label comes they are truly passionate about what their label represents/provides. If you are a little bit hazy on the “why” behind your concept then we would recommend diving deeper into this until you find a concept that you are passionate and excited about. Your passion will then shine through everything you do and keep you motivated when things become challenging. 2. Budget This is a difficult one to piece together as there are so many variables, in fact people often call us wanting to know how much it will cost. The answer to that is a 5 hour conversation to point you in the right direction. In fact we have been asked this question so much that late last year we launched a fantastic ½ workshop on the real costs of starting a fashion label including offshore v onshore manufacturing costs to give you a real picture before you get started. We have another of these coming up soon so please let us know if you are interested and we can let you know when the next one is on at firstname.lastname@example.org. So where to start? Start researching and complying a list of projected expenses, ideally find someone who has launched a fashion label before and discuss the list with them for some real life input. Your budget is not a set and forget document, as you go through each step of the process keep updating this so you always know where you stand. 3. Education No matter whether you have had some experience in and around the industry, or have studied fashion at Tafe, if you haven’t launched a fashion label before then there is certainly more to learn! You are starting a whole new business after all, and although you may have had a taste of certain aspects before, it still may not prepare you for the complexities of actually launching a fashion business. Business aspects aside, you will need to understand minute details about what it is you are wanting to create. From stitch types, buttonhole types, variations in fit, sizing, fabric and the list goes on. Keep...Read More
Social media is a large part of many new fashion labels marketing strategy. A lot of people will refer to social media as a free tool, as yes, you can open an instagram account for free. But I think this is the wrong way to look at it, as it isn’t really free, it takes TIME which is either yours (which has value!) or you are paying someone to spend the time on it for you. Either way to have any success it takes commitment and investment. There is a lot to cover when it comes to instagram, I know its just pretty pictures and captions. But those additive, engaging posts don’t happen by accident. So we have broken it down into three blogs. The next is all about the admin side of things – setting up your profile for success. But first let’s get the foundations right. Define your brand Before you jump into the platform it is important to really find your brands voice. Is it your voice? Or is it your brands voice? A lot of people struggle with this point. Is your label, YOU, are you the brand, is it YOU specifically that you are selling? Or is it a brand that stands on its own two legs and has its own personality and growth. The answer to this will determine whether you write captions with “I believe that” or for instance “Here at Sample Room we believe” etc. Ok – now we have answered this. What is your brand voice? Give your brand a very clear personality. Really know who your brand is, like it’s a living person of its own! This needs to be developed at the same time as you develop your target market’s personality. Who would your target market respond well too? We will leave defining your target market to another blog. Does your brand use casual or formal language? Are they obsessed with the environment or the latest trends? Cement this now, and keep it handy to refer back to. As having a clear voice throughout your instagram page is important, this is how people connect with you (your brand). Define your visuals/interests Now that we know our tone and language base, what are we talking about? What colours do we love? What is the general style/aesthetic of the brand? What consistency can we have that allows our followers to glance at our feed and know its our account without looking at the name? Are there pictures of the ocean and environmental efforts filtered throughout your feed. Or do your always lean towards warm/pink images. Yes – it’s time to mood board. Firstly, purely for aesthetics, and then secondly for topics. What value can you give? What do you give your follower that keeps them coming back for more? Is it quick facts about...Read More
During our Fashion Label Launch Pad Program our mentees gather for monthly group calls to discuss any niggling questions that have been presented to them on their new fashion journeys. This month’s hot topic in discussion was how to manage and prepare for fabric shrinkage. When choosing fabrics for your collection it is highly important to understand the fibres that the textile are made of and how they react in certain conditions (ie. washing), all to ensure your garments stay in the best shape possible. Fabrics that are made from plant based fibres (linen, bamboo) or animal coats are highly susceptible to shrinkage, whilst some synthetic fabrics do not shrink at all. Denim or dyed garments are especially prone to shrinkage. Just like how every pair of jeans has a different feel and stretch, there isn’t consistency. Even different rolls of the same fabric can possess a different shrinkage to the next. Here at Sample Room, we carry out a meticulous shrinkage testing process to ensure that the end result is perfect. Ultimately saving on time and costs for our clients. Read on to see the steps we implement during this stage. 1. Make pattern based on assuming there is no shrinkage 2. A Sample is made to fit as is (shrinkage is not yet factored in) 3. Alterations are then carried out 4. The garment is measured by Sample Room after it has been made and pressed 5. All measurements are recorded The client can then take the sample to an industrial laundry, or home to wash as they choose. 6. Client brings garment back into Sample Room 7. The garment is then pressed and measured again 8. Using a percentage formula Sample Room determines how much the fabric has shrunk and pattern is scaled accordingly If you are looking to use a denim or dyed fabric for your garment, it is important to let Sample Room know to ensure the process is completed in a timely manner. Denim shrinkage process: Client sends fabric in Metre x metre square is sewn This is done in cotton thread so as not to be washed away Fabric is sent off to be dyed/ washed Fabric comes back to Sample Room to be measured and pattern is scaled up to accommodate the shrinkage. If you would like to learn how to develop and launch your own range. Join our Fashion Label Launchpad. Resources:...Read More
Planning the first photoshoot for your new label? Here are our do’s and don’ts to ensure every shoot is a success!
You’ve spent months upon months pouring blood, sweat and tears into creating the perfect garment for your collection, and soon it will be time to release your product to market! Even though your garment might look a million bucks to hold in your hands, it is imperative that the rest of the world fully understands the look and feel of your brand. Investing in a professional, sleek and captivating photoshoot is just one of the ways to get you there. Read below for our list of helpful pointers when sourcing talent, photographers and locations to ensure that every shoot is a success. Firstly, before any photoshoot you need to have established a strong vision of your brand identity. If you’re at this stage, read an earlier blog of our’s for pointers here. So much subtle information can be derived from the photography that surrounds your brand. Whether through print media, or online across store website or social media, customers can gauge the quality of your product, price point and suitability just off one photo. So let’s make every image count! The subject of your photos is completely up to you. Sourcing a model for a product photoshoot can often be an effective choice. There are a plethora of agencies available to you by simply jumping on the internet, but make sure you do your research! We highly recommend reviewing social media pages and websites for any feedback before selecting an agency. This goes for the selection process for photographers as well. Make sure they specialise in fashion and portraiture too. There is a huge difference between a portrait and landscape photographer! Ensure you are selecting a model that represents the look and feel of your brand. They will be comfortable and practiced in delivering the right look you are searching for. Before booking your model, discuss the possibility of a fitting trial prior to committing to anything. If they are able to come in, meet in person and have a trial, this is another step in ensuring you have made the right choice for your brand. Details, details, details! It is so easy to be swept away in the excitement of your product, but always remember to pay attention to the finer details; outfit choices, styling, props and location. These are further points that need to be ironed out when creating your mood/ vision board. Your photographer, makeup and hair stylists also need to understand your vision prior to the shoot. Do not expect anyone else to understand your brand without clear direction. When you book your photographer, have a clear understanding of their fee structure and what your booking entails. Will you receive all photos taken? Or will you only receive the ones that have been edited? Contracts and filing of all correspondence is recommended to ensure all parties are on the same page prior to the day...Read More
When creating your new label from the ground up, there are many aspects to take into consideration in order to shape your label into a business that represents who and what you stand for. From sustainability, to the locality of the materials sourced, you, the designer, have the artistic freedom to structure a label how they choose according to their values. Ethical accreditation might be something you have heard before… but what does it really mean to be an ethically accredited label? Sample Room is proudly an ethically accredited company, working alongside our good friends at Ethical Clothing Australia, seeking to create a safe and fair workplace for all our staff. The process Sample Room has taken to embody ECA accreditation: Sample Room first completed in-depth documentation provided by ECA, where we gained a detailed understanding regarding our legal obligations. Through the process we needed to detail step by step our operation’s supply chain, outlining each stage from cut, make and trim (including all value-adding processes) to ensure it is up to ECA standards. ECA has a formal audit process which then commenced once the paperwork was deemed compliant. This audit was carried out by third-party compliance audit body TCF Union (TCFUA). Our application was then forwarded through to ECA committee of management for final approval. Once Sample Room’s ECA accreditation was approved we continue to practice and uphold the ECA values. Practising our outlined workflow to our supply chain. Sample Room regularly works closely with Ethical Clothing Australia to ensure industry standards are continuously met. Who are Ethical Clothing Australia? ECA is an accreditation body that works alongside local fashion, textile and manufacturing businesses to ensure supply chains are fully- transparent and legally compliant. Workers within the TCF (Textile, Clothing and Footwear) industry can often fall vulnerable to unregulated workflow, unrealistic deadlines and occupational health and safety issues. ECA exists to protect workers against such variations and hold business accountable. “Show That You Value The People Who Make Your Products” There are a range of benefits that come with being ethically accredited. Collections within the TCF industry that are ethically accredited possess a clear competitive edge, whilst showing your customers what you value, and contributing to a stronger more ethical industry in Australia. Reference https://ethicalclothingaustralia.org.au/steps-to-accreditation/ https://ethicalclothingaustralia.org.au/about-us/...Read More
Our Mentee: Felicity Barras owner of The Feather Bird After finding a gap in them market, our past mentee Felicity Barras designed a range of gorgeous gender neautral children’s wear. Here is more about Felicity’s new label ‘The Feather Bird’ and time spent as part of Sample Room’s Fashion Label Launch Pad Program. What is your range about? The Feather Bird is a Melbourne based gender neutral children’s clothing label offering a range of fun and playful basics that can be worn by all kids. We are passionate about gender equality and the importance of facilitating this in children from birth. We believe that allowing kids to wear and play with whatever they want is an important step towards creating a more equal future for our children. The idea for The Feather Bird came about after we identified a gap in the market. We noticed that gender neutral children’s clothing typically falls within one of two categories: ranges using whites, greys and earthy tones, and the other featuring bright patterned t-shirts with feminist slogans and prints. Both of which we love, but we hadn’t been able to find a range of high quality basics that are comfortable, practical and encourage all genders to wear bright pastels…so we decided to make them! Who is it for? Our first range covers sizes 0-4. Made from organic cotton, not only will our clothes look great and feel soft on your young ones skin, but they are also gentle on the environment. We hope to see many young boys rocking our pastel pink and purple garments! What did you do for a career before you started your label? Before starting the label I was (and still am) an Occupational Therapist working in brain injury rehabilitation. I am currently on maternity leave from this position and launched The Feather Bird just in time before the baby’s impending arrival! What is the biggest thing you learnt whilst working through the development process? The biggest thing that I have learnt is that there is just so much involved in starting a fashion label, and that’s where Sample Room has been invaluable. They make sure that nothing is forgotten and walk you through each step of the process. There is definitely no way that I would have been able to develop a range and launch without the support and guidance from Sample Room. What would you do differently if you did it all over again? I think the main thing that I would do differently is to back myself a little more, and just be more confident in my ability to design, launch a range and bring my dream to life. I was lucky that I had the encouragement of Julia and the team at Sample Room backing me and making up for my lack of confidence! How can people buy your product?...Read More