Updated: May 27, 2018
I am frequently asked the same question by fashion start up companies.
How much will this cost me to produce this product? (#fashionstartup)
The simple answer is "I don't know? "
This question involves several moving cogs. The variables of the question include...
- Fabric: What, HowMuch, Where
-Manufacturing time (steps in the process)
-How prepared is the company before starting any processes.
Depending on how you design, the more bells and whistles you add will increase the sewing time, fabrics, and development phases. To make it easy for companies to understand, I place a general cost of $100-$2,000.00 for one sample. Then depending on fabrics and manufacturing minimums, catagory your looking at. For example a bridal sample will be much more than a evening gown. Although they will be close in pricing.
Below are the retail prices for the dresses. The one on the left is not fitting the model well, the fabric also looks cheaper. The dress is shorter , overall this is fast fashion. The dress on the right has expensive fabric, the cut is harder to achieve, and the fit is perfect.
The next question is always..."How many styles should I launch with?"
There is no straight answer here. But I do feel that for a properly merchandised line, you want to focus on 4-6 units. Maybe set of accessories. This balance allows customers to mix and match. When they can do this, the product makes sense. Remember, the new customer of yours needs a reason to spend their hard earned money with you.
This is a break down of general financials.
Style development (6 style line): $6,000- $12,000 give or take based on fit sessions.
Photo or look book: $200-$1,000
Production $18,000-$75,000 depending on your marketing and buying structure.
I recommend that start-ups consider doing two collections a year for the first 2 years. It takes anywhere from $20,000-$100,000 just to get product in this small quantity produced. It also can cost you double the amount if you lack the education. Consultants are great additions to help you.