Let’s cut right to the chase.
You need a FASHION designer. You go to one of the many freelancing websites and see the multitudes of “designers” that say they will design your 10-garment clothing line for $1000! $2000! $500!!!! CAD sketches colored up and everything! Wow!
W U T ?
Nope. Sorry, that doesn’t compute, unless you’re hiring child-laborers and/or someone from another country that is willing do tons of hours’ worth of work for pennies (which, if you have any ethics, is not cool, and a little exploitive but that’s a convo for another time).
Designing is so much more than “having good taste”, a “keen eye for fashion”, or having the skillset needed to sketch on Illustrator.
Designing is analytical. Great design is, anyway.
A good designer should be able to:
- If you are a client providing directive/already have an idea of what you want your collection to look like, your designer should be able to sketch out every detail you envisioned. You should be excited with the results.
- If you are a client that has NO idea what you want to create, a good designer should be able to get your “vibe” and design something you’ll be happy with. You should love your sketches.
If you want great designs, that will sell, which is the entire point of having a business (don’t tell me it’s not), then you need a GREAT designer that will:
- If you are a client providing directive/already have an idea of what you want your collection to look like, your designer should be able to sketch out every detail you envisioned, plus an additional few sketch proposals with tweaks to the design. Your designer should be able to understand the basics of pattern + garment construction so that when you are designing, you are not wasting time and money designing a garment that is functionally impossible. It doesn’t matter how “pretty” a sketch looks. It needs to work off the paper and in real life. You might be apprehensive about these changes to your design, but you will be ecstatic when your development bill is cut in half because your designer saved you from an extra few rounds of sampling. This should excite you.
- If you are a client that has NO idea what you want to create, a good designer should be able to get your “vibe” and design something you’ll be happy with. You will love your sketches, because your designer took the time to:
- Have a deep understanding of what you want to say with your brand, and from there begin the analytical work necessary to create something on-brand. Your designer will do this by analyzing what’s happening in your specific market while ensuring the design aesthetic is kept relevant to the client’s needs/wants.
- In addition to designing per the above, your designer should also be able to provide important feedback regarding the market/climate you are designing for. For example, if you’ve had your heart set on a 3″ waistband for your activewear legging, but all signs are pointing to thin waistbands in the seasons to come, a great designer will alert you to this change, and you can collaboratively work together to design a garment that both makes the client happy and is sure to sell in your market.
- A fantastic designer should also take into account your budget. No one likes to talk about this part, because everyone wishes they had endless dollars to spend on developing their collection. But budget is…kinda important, no? Your designer should know what you are expecting to pay for your garment when it comes to production. This is because every little stitch counts – every pocket, every bartack, every buttonhole. So keep it a part of the conversation, no matter how not-cute it is.