Originally Posted by elcmens
Having gone through this process over the last 4-5 years I can tell you it is an incredible uphil battle. We started by taking basic classes to acquire working knowledge of sewing and pattern drafting. This is important for both a working knowledge and to develop the vocabulary necessary to interact with contractors.
We then found a pattern maker that we could trust and work with closely to develop our fit and the basic pattern blocks for our line. This is where you start spending gobs of money because if you are not a proficient pattern maker yourself you need to be preparred to go through lots of revisions before you get sometihng to something you are happy with.
You then need to make inroads with every fabric house and contractor in the industrytahtyou can come in contact with. I spent a year while between jobs calling door after door from LA to London and Milan to meet people in the industry and to try to build a working relationship.
I could go on and on but this would turn into a small novel. You are more then welcome to PM if you would like advice by email or phone. Long story short there is no quick or easy way to get into this business. Learn as much as you can and save up your pennies. We spent $30k developing our first block of patterns before we ever saw our first sale.
Best of luck go take some classes and get hungry you got a long road ahead of you
This is a nice story, and not to discount your work done, we are not competitiors, but this sounds pretty glamorizing and overly glorious, IMO; it should not take 4-5 years, nor should it cost the '$30K before seeing a sale'... those are just factors dependent on how much work you want to do, you can make as much money as you want to in this business, whenever you want to. You just need to know what you are doing.
I could complete the same amount of work or show anyone else how to complete this same amount of work in 2 weeks, for less then $30K. That is not to show you up, I'm just saying that when you throw words like 'fashion designer, Milan, London, New York City, drawings, patterns, $30K' together, you're asking for costs that you don't need or need to pay to play.
I won't disclose what I've made in this business, because it comes from varying sources beyond the actual clothing as merchandise, but less than a year ago, I started with $300 that I borrowed from a friend, and I've made XXX times that amount of money on my investment, while selling below wholesale and at prices too low to give an exchange or refund on an item and not take a hit. $30K on a first pattern is insane. I spent $50 for a rough pattern, $30 for a set of swiss curves and hooks, $1.50 on a measuring tape, and $3 for a pack of paper and some pencils, and rolled up my sleeves and got to work. Not every one is going to be able to do that, but there's definitely something out there for people, between the $100 mark and $30,000.