Whether you are a celebrity, self-proclaimed fashionista, or business owner, there is at least one way the rising trend of the graphic t-shirt applies to your life. Even if you have always been one to turn down a classic shirt with a screen-printed graphic, it’s never too late to change your ways. Even I used to look down upon this trend. Then I tested the waters with graphic designing in my own fashion business. I learned how it could significantly improve my sales, brand image, and how society views my designs.
If you are the owner or staff member of a fashion startup that has followed my entrepreneurial series, which details key components of establishing a successful fashion line, I’d like to share my tried and true tips to grow your business with a single fashion item.
As Project Runway host and fashion icon Heidi Klum puts it, in the fashion industry, “One day you are in, the next day, you are out.” Or even worse – you were never “in” to begin with. This has been the case for my fashion line ever since I first began designing. I never understood why my designs weren’t successful and how I wasn’t making millions after investing blood, sweat, and tears into my business. This is where the graphic t-shirt comes in.
For a couple of months, I consistently published my fashion illustrations and artwork on my business social media sites. On these sites, I showcased elements of my aesthetic vision as a designer. After receiving many positive responses, a social media follower requested to purchase the original of my most popular work of art posted on Instagram. After that moment, I decided to print my design on t-shirts and merge my artwork with my fashion design.
After testing out different t-shirt samples, fits, various colors, and designs featuring my works of art, I reached the final step of printing them. I launched my graphic tee line on my online store. With the launch of this new fashion piece, I gained confidence in that one surprising element of fashion. It led to one of many small entrepreneurial victories, more so than all of the runway shows and collections that I’ve spent tens of thousands of dollars on.
Below are a few tips on ways you can incorporate this low cost trend in your online store or business that will have your customers lining up to purchase affordable designer pieces from your fashion brand.
Not a Clothing Business? No Problem:
If you are a business that designs and produces accessories, jewelry, or other products, find a local printing company that prints on various products other than t-shirts. Many will offer printing services on sunglasses, mugs, scarves and other fun trinkets on which you can print a graphic design or your logo.
Screen Printing is Not Exclusive to Common Retail Stores:
Yes Forever21, I’m talking about you. Many luxury and runway designers would automatically turn down screen printing their designs because it is typically associated with accessible retailers such as Forever21 and H&M. However, celebrities such as Rita Ora and Chloe Moretz are flaunting printed graphics onstage and on the red carpet. With these big names, graphic tees have reached new heights in the fashion world. High-end designer brands such as Helmut Lang and Haute Hippie are now offering t-shirts with abstract and custom graphic designs through their high end retailers such as ssense.com and Nieman Marcus.
Wearing A Graphic Tee Doesn’t Have to Look Casual:
Trust me, when I first began graphic designing and sampling these t-shirts, I had a fear of them looking cheap when actually I wore one. After doing some research, I discovered both street style and red carpet photographs of celebrities and bloggers styling these shirts with suits, heels, statement jackets, and layering them with jewelry. This changed my opinion on how to wear them. Your new default party outfit can consist of a full suit with heels and a graphic tee, and you will turn heads!
Visit jessicafaithmarshall.com to discover my designs and latest collections! Also, follow my brand on Facebook and Twitter. As always, stay up to date with the latest fashion entrepreneur tips and trends from Fashion Mingle.
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