A Designer’s Tips on How to Build and Manage a Strong Team for a Clothing Business

In Fashion Design, Fashion Marketing Tips by Jessica Faith Marshall

Fashion Week is the peak of excitement in the fashion industry. Designers showcase collections they’ve been preparing for months; editors and stylists attend presentations and runway shows to select pieces for magazines and clients; buyers are checking off their buys of the season; and the trends seen on the runways and street style set the tone for trends in other industries and society.

Because of the chaos of fashion week that occurs twice a year, designers require solid teams. These teams typically consist of many members who possess dedication, loyalty, and passion for the industry. These members should love what they do, and have the same desire to grow your business that you do. Checking off this list of characteristics while hiring members, whether they are industry members or family and friends, will help you grow your business to its full potential.

Although your goal may be to rock every fashion week there is, it’s more important for you to have the best clothing business team members in place. There are several people you need to consider adding to your business to lessen your load as the designer and manager of the company. See the list below for details.

Design & Photography | Jessica Faith Marshall jessicafaithmarshall.com

Build a Strong Foundation for your Clothing Business with the Right Components

  1. The Designer: If you’re running a namesake line, keep your position as designer. Since you’re an emerging designer, you want people to associate your image and lifestyle with you brand. However, if you have a business with many growing divisions and markets, consider hiring multiple designers with your aesthetic to maintain all of the aspects and vision of the brand.
  2. The President/CEO: As you may know, being a designer is a full-time job. The collection alone-not including maintaining the entire brand image and direction-is an overload on your daily checklist. Hiring someone to oversee your employees, partnerships and collaborations, finances, and contracts will maintain the business aspect of your line while you maintain the vision. Consider hiring a reliable family member, such as Joseph Altuzarra’s mother as the CEO of ALTUZARRA or my line with my mother as the CEO.
  3. The Stylist: As the designer, you create the vision and create many ideas from scratch from your inspiration. A stylist edits the vision, the music, the environment, the looks, and the accessories. Stylists also give a second opinion on behalf of customers and buyers. My stylist has helped edit an entire collection’s vision for me while contributing to the ideas to make the overall vision purchasable. This is a powerful position in every fashion brand; choose your stylist with great care.
  4. The Public Relations:  It’s important to prioritize maintaining an online image as you emerge into the market and industry. You must also prioritize connecting with your brand’s growing online audience through social media, blogs, and websites. By focusing on these public relation factors, you will see increased sales and more customers the more often you maintain it. Keep in mind that many emerging designers do not have the finances to hire public relation and social media specialists, which means that this position typically hops around from the designer to president to stylist.
  5. The Sub-Contractors: If you’re not familiar with the term sub-contractor, you better learn it now. Hiring employees to draft patterns and sew samples is expensive. So is hiring a seamstress and a brand-exclusive model.  Hiring these fashion industry professionals from agencies and companies that work for multiple designers are far more realistic. This will also encourage you to never settle.

Follow me on Facebook and Twitter to see my latest fashion design processes and business practices. You can also view more of my collections on jessicafaithmarshall.com. Remember that you can reach out to me and other fashion entrepreneurs right here at Fashion Mingle.

About Jessica Faith Marshall

Jessica Faith Marshall is the founder and designer of her namesake brand, Jessica Faith Marshall. Since the beginning of her career, her brand has received press coverage in The Austin American Statesman, InFluential Magazine, The CW Austin, and other publications. She was recently selected as the winner of the Susan G. Komen Project Pink design competition against twenty other adult designers. Now, her business is currently based out of New York City where she continues to contribute as an intern for FashionMingle.net, and release seasonal collections in fashion weeks around the country.

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