I random came across this article here. Figured I would share and just wanted to let you know I didn’t write this, but still has a lot of great information.
Everyone wants to start a clothing brand these days. From the outside, it seems easy enough—make a couple of T-shirts, maybe sell them online, and then rake in the cash, right? Wrong. For every successful brand, there are way, way more that go under long before they even get a chance at the spotlight.
Running a clothing label is one of the most time-consuming and expensive undertakings someone can attempt, and there are plenty of ways it can go south quick. Do you think your stuff’s not getting the shine it deserves? Maybe you need to pay attention to these 10 Reasons Your Clothing Brand Sucks.
10. You have no identity
If you can’t sum up your brand in one sentence, you don’t have any idea what you want to say. A good brand starts with a vision, and the clothes should reflect that. Creativity is also about problem-solving in a way—even if the problem is “no one is making clothes that I would wear.” Like having good style, the clothes you make should also be an accurate way of getting your vision out there. If you don’t know how you want to present yourself, imagine what that means for your brand.
9. Your friends won’t even co-sign it
The first step in making a great brand is getting your friends to adopt it. If your stuff is really dope, or your crew is that strong, that shouldn’t be a problem at all. But if people give you negative feedback, or say “no thanks,” it might be a sign that it’s time to go back to the drawing board. Your friends should support you, but you should also use them as a test market. Will they take it if you give it to them or do they insist on buying it to support your new venture? If they’re not trying to pay for your gear, why would complete strangers?
8. There’s a lack of authenticity
You make tees and hats that claim NY or L.A., but you live in Peoria, IL. Your brand talks about “heritage” when it’s been around for four months. Your graphics appeal to people who are “bout dat life” when you have discovered that phrase through Tumblr. Good brands are real, whether their inspiration comes from hip-hop, pop culture, or simply a desire to make quality things. Just be real about what you make and who you are, and if the stuff you make is good, that’ll speak volumes.
7. You’re a rebel without a cause
Rebellion is cool and subversive imagery has always played a part in streetwear and fashion, but as jeffstaple said: “Struggle makes for a good story doesn’t it? So nowadays, we just say ‘F*CK IT,’ ‘F*CK THEM,’ ‘F*CK ‘EM.’ But what exactly are we ‘f*cking?’ WHO are we flipping the bird to?”
If your #struggle isn’t real, what are you complaining about? There’s plenty of things out there that are far from kosher, or ripe for commentary. Look at artists like Kidult and fashion designers likeShayne Oliver—both have made waves in the style world for infusing a bit of knowing rebellion in their work, while still coming off as real.
6. You’re a one-trick pony
All great brands start somewhere. Ralph Lifschitz sold ties before he became Ralph Lauren. Shawn Stussy made T-shirts as a side project to his surfboard hustle. What these two legends have in common was their ability to adapt, and think bigger. Plenty of streetwear brands have made one “hit” item that sold out everywhere, and then went under. Not everything you make has to be hyped to death, but it has to be consistent. Don’t let sales numbers determine your creativity. Don’t ruin something that people flocked to in droves by making that your flagship product, that’s a quick way to make something cool really corny.
5. Copying without saying something is just plagiarism
It’s one thing to ape brands and flip logos and imagery to be funny and/or subversive. A sense of self-awareness and humor is what made streetwear cool in the first place. But don’t get it twisted, there’s a difference between a wink and a nod to another label and straight-up copying. With the former, you’re transforming something that exists and making it into something completely different—almost like sampling. With the latter, you’re just making a corny version of something already out there in an effort to make a quick buck.
4. You depend too much on “marketing”
Getting the word out is important sure, but what’s paramount is your product. Get that right first, before worrying about how to get people to see it. Word of mouth is the best way to get people talking, and if your stuff is cool, people will start hyping it up organically. Isn’t that much better than spending thousands of dollars on corny parties and BS tactics like buying Facebook posts or tweets?
3. Your ideas are better than your execution
We get it. We live in an age of instant gratification. Instagram, Snapchat, whatever. We’ve been made to think that it’s all about “the now.” This can be harmful, because when it comes to clothing, sometimes dialing it back can help a lot. We’re not saying you need to get focus groups or anything, but great ideas don’t always mean good products. A graphic might look cool in your head, or a design for a shirt might look awesome when it’s a sketch, but plenty of times translating something from mind to matter means stuff gets lost in the process. Samples may come back messed up, screenprinting companies may not be as good as you thought they were. Before you release any product, you should make sure its up to your own standards. Would you buy this? Is this something you’re truly proud of, or do you think there’s a couple of things you can still fix?
2. You don’t bring anything new or unique to the table
Brands, like people, need to have charisma in order to succeed. That’s what makes one T-shirt cooler than another, or one pair of jeans preferable to another pair. Charisma has nothing to do with how a garment’s made, but everything to do with how it makes you feel. When someone looks at your products, your store, and your brand, it should elicit an emotion, whether it’s excitement or curiosity. A logo or good name can pique someone’s interest, and if the goods back it up, then what you have is a really good brand. But if you can’t figure out a way to make your stuff stand out, chances are it’s not going to be interesting enough to get anyone to care.
1. Your product isn’t as good as it should be
At the end of the day, the product speaks for itself. If you promise quality and stuff tears in a month, that’s a problem. If you’re claiming to represent a certain lifestyle or culture and no one in that particular clique is down with your brand, that’s another one. Maybe you need to rethink your graphics, your cuts, manufacturers, or maybe even the entire brand. There’s nothing wrong with starting over, as long as you learn from your mistakes.
*Post taken from Complex.com