The Complete Guide To Starting A Successful Clothing Brand

Are you thinking about starting a clothing brand?

Are you already running an apparel brand, but want to revisit the steps involved?

Are you already running a business in a different field, and want to expand into clothing?

Clothing is a 3 trillion dollars industry, and over one trillion garments are sold worldwide every year. It is a huge market and it is understandable why someone wants to tap into those opportunities. But the competition is fierce, so you want to do it right and you want to get noticed.

If you want to learn how to start a clothing brand, then this article is for you. We’ll go over all the steps involved in starting and running a clothing brand, in what order you need to think about them and what’s important.



Running your own clothing business isn’t a 9 to 5 job. It is not the hours you spend in the office that matters. What matters is what you produce. You are your own boss and you need to make it all happen. You will live and breathe your clothing brand, working 24/7. Everyone has great ideas. The differentiator is that the entrepreneur makes the ideas happen. It will require you to put in the work and follow through on your dream. Are you cut out for this? Is it really what you want?

Read: 23 questions to ask yourself before starting a clothing brand

Getting started

Your clothing brand starts with that initial idea. Maybe you have strong design aesthetics you want to showcase. Maybe you can’t find the clothes you are looking for in the market. To improve your chances of succeeding with your clothing business, you need to connect your concept with a customer need. When you see that gap in the clothing market and you strongly believe in your idea, you should go ahead and make it happen. Determine why you are doing it, what your values are, and who your customer is.

Read: How to define your customer

If you are a visual person or if you want to get what’s inside your head, infront of you, it helps to create a mood board. This can consist of pictures, words, products, trims and material swatches, whatever you find inspires you. Read: How To Create A Fashion Mood Board and get started.

Understand your clothing market

To help you find that unique spot on the market, the spot that only your clothing line can fill, check out the FIND YOUR BRAND NICHE AND UNIQUE VALUE PROPOSITION Workshop.

Also read: How to differentiate your brand from the competition

Make a plan for how to achieve success

You don’t have to write hundreds of pages in your business plan. It can be pretty straight forward and specially if someone shows you how. Check out this How To Write A Business Plan Workshop, including apparel industry templates and 1,5 hour video class to get you going right away.

Clothing brands & branding

If you need help coming up with a brand name, read: How To Pick A Brand Name

Get help with your graphical profile & logo. Visit 99DESIGNS.

Financing your clothing business

Learn how to run a successful Kickstarter campaign

Set up your dream team

Read: Who do you need on your team?


Define the clothing collection

Download a Product Range Plan plus many more templates in the Apparel Entrepreneurship member zone

Clothing design

Check out what you can access in the Membership program

Find fabric & manufacturers

Find Global Manufacturers & Suppliers

How will you price your garments?

Download a Costing Sheet Template in the Member Zone

Creating garment patterns and prototypes

Ask manufacturers to help you with patterns and prototypes

Planning the bulk production

Download Terms of Agreement Templates in the Member Zone

Ship your garments

Manage your shipping with Shipstation


Make sure your clothing brand stands out in the crowd

Try Creative Market to find assets for your marketing campaign

Sell your clothing collection

Start a 14-day FREE Shopify trial

Receive orders to meet the minimum quantity requirements

Download a ready-to-use Order Form Template in the member zone

The customer is the hero

Need help with starting and running a clothing brand but don’t know where to start, what to do or what the process is, read more about how we can help at the Apparel Entrepreneurship website or email me directly at

If you are a funded startup and need help with design and product development, visit KrissCo — apparel business & design consulting firm. We’ll help you make your idea into a product, create tech packs, source materials and manufacturers or with a turn-key solution.