Boss Lady

How to start a women’s clothing line


Admit it: No matter which TV network broadcasts “Project Runway,” you can’t stop watching ordinary men and women survive eliminations by being more creative than other contestants. You’re just as talented, but you’re not quite ready to appear in a reality show. You need a different way to start a women’s clothing line, and we can help.

What must you provide? The talent. The energy. A “never give up” attitude. Ready to get your ideas on the market? Follow these steps, put in some serious hours and see what happens!

Step #1: Decide on your design focus

When designer Jenny Wang was interviewed by Marie Claire magazine writer Marina Liao, she talked about the need for petite, trendy tops, skirts, pants and dresses priced under $200. Having identified that niche, she set out to develop a collection for that market. Her story may inspire you:

Step #2: Don’t obsess about money

Having money in the bank can’t hurt but most new designers have more imagination than cash. We suggest taking advantage of our research into the cost of starting a women’s clothing line. This easy read may give you the confidence you need to make good on your commitment.

Step #3: Assess your technology

According to, you won’t need a warehouse full of equipment, fabric and tools to launch your line, but you will need samples. A commercial sewing machine, threads, notions, scissors, pins, chalk and the usual array of sewing tools should do the job.

Step #4: Develop samples

Allow yourself plenty of time to complete your samples because first impressions are critical. Finish seams and hems beautifully and don’t skimp on buttons, zippers and tasteful touches. Your line is your brand and each garment should be designed to show you are capable of creating a tastefully curated collection.

Step #5: Yes, you need a business plan

But you don’t have to invent the wheel. The folks at Brain Hive Consulting have created one for you. Pick and choose from the elements in the template that suit your needs.

Step #6: Enlist friends and family to be your models

Having whipped up 20 pieces, each of which is the size 6 friends wear, hire a photographer to shoot “your collection.” If you are financially strapped, your local community college’s photography program may be able to help you shoot your “catalog.”

Step #7: Edit your images

Even the most beautifully shot photos may need editing before they’re ready to show off. Pay attention to file sizes and crop each photo to get rid of backgrounds. The star of each shot is your garment. Every photo you include should be at least 300 dpi so they’re big enough to show detail but not so huge downloading them takes forever.

Step #8: Launch your website

If technology isn’t your thing, consult an authority like WPBeginner to figure out the best resource to help you establish a web presence. Add short descriptions of each item that are salted with search engine optimized (SEO) words that get browsers to your site.

Step #9: Put an accounting system into place

You need to be able to take orders, and if you intend to rely upon credit card payments from people buying your fashions, you’ll need a primer on how this works. Review the information on this website to start completing sales as soon as you go live.

Step #10: Market your brand to the world

You’ve probably already got multiple social media tools at your disposal, so take advantage of them, using Twitter, Facebook, Whatsapp and other conduits to announce the introduction of your new fashion line. Need help with this? Grab marketing tips from websites like UHURA:

Go forth and shine! Starting a fashion brand is going to be fun, challenging and we can’t deny that sleepless nights are likely to be part of your immediate future. Keep up marketing efforts by introducing seasonal specials to intrigue browsers and always deliver a quality product that’s priced competitively so you invite repeat business.

And don’t stop dreaming about being on Project Runway. Bravo (the show’s current network) is always looking for talented designers. Your website, filled with photos of your unique designs, could be what it takes to get the attention of folks casting future seasons.

About Business Woman Media

Our women don’t want to settle for anything but the best. They understand that success is a journey involving personal growth, savvy optimism and the tenacity to be the best. We believe in pragmatism, having fun, hard-work and sharing inspiration. LinkedIn

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