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How to approach fashion clothing manufacturers and get a reply back

fashion clothing manufacturers

It’s not easy to find fashion clothing manufacturers but getting them to reply to you is a whole new level of challenge, most entrepreneurs are not prepared for. When they are ready to start working on their idea they struggle to know where to search to find factories. But once they find a few – […]

How to Start a Handbag Line?

To start a handbag line in such a competitive retail marketplace is a brave endeavour and definitely not for the faint-hearted. All aspects of its development need to work harmoniously in order to create a ‘perfect storm’.

5 Challenges Fashion Entrepreneurs Overlook

Here are 5 categories of challenges in fashion business that fashion entrepreneurs fail to focus on at the start of a new brand/business/product launch. This article will help you figure out what you can do about these challenges.

How to design a commercially strong fashion collection

Utelier Blog - how to create a commercially strong fashion collection

Launching and running a product based fashion brand more often than not revolves around the creation of collections. The quality of these collections and the consistency of that quality and presentation, is often what sets successful brands from the rest.

E30: Ways to Finance Your Fashion Business from Start Up to Scale Up

The biggest cause for fashion brands to fail before they have even launched or later down the line and cease trading is a lack of finances. Building a fashion brand is not cheap and having enough to cover day-to-day operations and cover development and production for two seasons at any one time is essential. But […]

E20: Katie Deming MD, Founder of MakeMerry sensitive skin bra brand

sensitive skin bra

E20: Katie Deming MD, Founder of MakeMerry sensitive skin bra brand “Sometimes we are positioned to see a need that no one else is seeing” – these are the words of oncologist Katie Deming MD who turned her hand at fashion entrepreneurship in order to solve an unmet need of her clients for sensitive skin […]

E19: 3 common mistakes to avoid if you want to create a successful fashion business

mistakes to avoid to create a successful fashion business

What sets successful businesses apart from the not-so-successful ones is not the money they had to begin with or the quality and the ideas they built a business upon, but their ability to identify and recover from mistakes. Episode Notes In this episode, Dessy shares the three biggest mistakes she has identified that she’s made […]

E18: Catherine Erdly: Fashion Retail Strategy for Growth

Fashion Retail Strategy for Growth Meet Catherine Erdly – a fashion retail specialist passionate about helping creatives get comfortable with numbers. Because let’s face it – numbers don’t lie and if you don’t know your numbers – you won’t be in business for the long term. Episode Notes: In the course of the conversation, the […]

E15: Unfolding the fashion retail industry with Cally Russell

fashion retail industry cally russell

This is Unfolded is a new “brand” and a new form of shopping rolled into one. Though the concept is not new, the way the founders are doing retail is challenging the fashion retail industry for sure. Interested to know more….? OK – here is some more… Episode notes: The team behind This is Unfolded […]

E11: Why fashion brands must stop calling themselves “sustainable”

sustainable fashion brand

“Sustainability” is on everyone’s lips and brains, yet almost everyone calling their brand “sustainable” fashion brand is effectively “greenwashing”.  Regardless of the size, regardless of what and how much they are doing. If you are working on launching your brand or already in business and calling your brand “sustainable” then you need to stop and […]

E8: Who should you work with – specialists or generalists?

You may think it is an easy one but you’d be surprised how many fashion entrepreneurs knowingly or unknowingly opt to work with the wrong kind of professional. Then – is it any wonder that they don’t get what they asked and paid for? There is a saying that goes ” you get what you […]

E7: Three Post-Pandemic Fashion Trends to Watch Out For in 2021 and Beyond

The fashion industry is forever changed as a result of 2020. Some of the new post-pandemic fashion trends emerging will have a long-lasting effect, others will be temporary. Either way, those brands that are agile and able to adapt, will be the ones to come out of this latest economic downturn stronger and some even […]

E3: Why finding a manufacturer is so hard

Despite how much information can be found online, it is as hard as ever, for fashion entrepreneurs to find a good manufacturing partner to work with.  More often than not, this is due to fashion creatives not knowing how to do proper research, how to communicate what they are looking for and what criteria to […]

E2: 3 Key Steps to Fashion Brand Success in 2021

As we grapple with pandemic-charged change in the fashion industry, as well as, in business and society in general – the fashion market has become even more saturated and easily accessible. 2020 saw many big brands fail and countless new fashion startups. How many of them will survive? What will it take for them to […]

E1: Quick Introduction

E1 Quick Introduction Hey there! Welcome to the very first episode of the Fashion Insiders Podcast with Dessy. After much time planning and thinking about it – this podcast is finally here and out in the world. A very personal project and an audio journal of sorts – this fashion podcast is for struggling fashion […]

Why using leftover fabric is good for the fashion industry


Leftover fabric, deadstock materials, surplus stock…these are words that a decade ago were not part of the fashion vocabulary. If you had included them in a fashion conversation, you would have raised eyebrows. Yet today, they are as much part of the vernacular as any other fashion term. It is no wonder that fashion is […]

9 Effective Ways to Launch and Grow a Fashion Brand Online

launch and grow a fashion brand online in 2020

To launch and grow a fashion brand online seems like a glamorous way to make a living. Fashionistas and those with an eye for style would be perfect for this job. Unfortunately, there’s more to selling stylish clothes, shoes, and accessories in today’s overcrowded online space. Most businesses usually start small. To launch and grow […]

The 9 C’s vital to how to grow a fashion brand in 2020


Knowing how to grow a fashion brand is always useful, least of all because it can be very costly. I often say that launching and growing a fashion business is akin to throwing money into a black hole. You always need to put in more and the returns are rarely apparent and immediate. But in […]

The future of the fashion manufacturing supply chain, after the Corona Virus Pandemic

fashion supply chain

The future of the fashion manufacturing supply chain is hanging in the balance. A time bomb ticking quietly unnoticed. The current situation of worldwide quarantine, a result of the COVID19 Corona Virus pandemic will undoubtedly have a long-lasting effect on almost every aspect of life as we know it. The fashion industry will see heavy […]

How to Clear Excess Stock and the Importance of It to Your Fashion Brand

excess stock fashion rail sale

In product-based businesses, the issue of excess stock is often a problem that is overlooked. It is, in fact, one of the silent killers known to the fashion business. Being aware of it and actively managing “it” is imperative for the health of any fashion business. Keeping it as low as possible is the ultimate […]

9 easy ideas to increase sales for your fashion brand

increase sales for your fashion brand

Many fashion brand owners and entrepreneurs I speak to often complain about lack of sales and ask “how do you increase sales for your fashion brand”? They blame the economy, social media and everything under the sun. Their brands and businesses suffer, struggle and often close because of no sales. The reality is somewhat different. […]

The Secret Sauce to a Successful Cohesive Fashion Collection

cohesive fashion collection design

Designing a fashion collection is relatively easy. Anyone can do it. But creating and putting together a cohesive fashion collection that sells requires you to know the secret sauce. Say YES if you want to know the secret ingredients? Because we live in an age where we all want the recipe and a step by […]

The Top Seven Fashion Pricing Strategy Mistakes Brands Must Avoid

Fashion pricing strategy is one of the most challenging areas for fashion apparel and accessories brands. For the most part, the challenge is due to product (SKU) complexity, relatively limited item comparability within (especially small) brands and frequent flow of new collections. Pricing fashion products historically has involved more art than science. Being that most […]

Points of Measure: Helping Fashion Startups Succeed


Graduating with both a degree in Accounting and Apparel Design, it is no wonder that Natalie Smith married her love for exactness and passion for fashion and creativity. “Points of Measure” was the result of these converging interests. An online fashion education platform, helping fashion startups how to DIY, and just overall lending support and […]

How to Build Fashion Brand Trust Faster

fashion brand trust

In today’s oversaturated market, to build fashion brand trust, stand out and build or create a loyal following is not so easy. Not impossible, but not easy compared to even a few short years back even. For any business to survive not only do you need to have a good product that fills the hole […]

How to Launch Your Fashion Brand According to Your Niche (Part 3)

fashion niche grow your fashion brand

To launch a fashion brand to a specific niche of customers or market is an age-old tested recipe for business success. To grow your fashion brand is a whole other story. In this final instalment of our 3 part series, we show you how to do it and why it is important in fashion to […]

How to Launch Your Fashion Brand According to Your Niche (Part 2)


To launch a fashion brand to a specific niche of customers or market is an age-old tested recipe for business success. In these 3 part series, we show you how to do it and why it is important in fashion to follow and apply what already is proven to work well. In part 1 of […]

How to Launch Your Fashion Brand According to Your Niche (Part I)

When starting a fashion business, much like starting any business, there are some rules that apply and are there for a reason. Rule number one is to know your niche. That knowledge is the foundation for any successful business (be it a product or service-based) because it has an influence over every aspect of the […]

4 Popular Ways to Become a Jewellery Designer

If you’re looking to become a jewellery designer, there are plenty of ways to go about achieving your goal. While there’s no one “right” way to ensure success, there are several early career options for aspiring designers who are looking to make their mark on the jewellery industry. How do you decide which route to […]

Top 5 Reasons Why Not to Discount Your Fashion Brand Products


The 2008 global recession has a lot to answer for. Aside from so many fashion brands and retailers closing doors and filing for bankruptcy, many barely survived by adopting a discounting strategy and reducing their stock inventory by heavily reducing the retail price of their products. The discounting strategy fiasco wasn’t a one-off. It lasted […]

5 Ways Startups Can Use Tech Packs to Cut Costs and Save Time

Tech packs! Love them or hate them, if you’re in fashion – you simply need them! Like anything in life, the quality of the outcome depends on the quality of the input. In fashion, this is truer than in most other industries. Without a proper brief, a visual and verbal accurate communication, the end result […]

Why do so many fashion brands fail?

fashion brands fail business

For an industry as dynamic and fast-paced as fashion, why do so many fashion brands fail? A topic that’s covered more and more of late, in the wake of so many retail stalwarts and iconic fashion brands filing for bankruptcy. The fashion industry is famous for its smoke and mirror image. Things are never how […]

How to Grow your Fashion Business by Stepping Outside the Box

To grow your fashion business you need to not only be visually creative but also be creative with how you conduct business, your strategy, marketing and all aspects that cumulatively contribute to the success of a business. Following “tried and tested” methodology is no longer a guarantee for success. So what now then? Too many […]

The Rise of Ethical Fashion Manufacturing

The terms “ethical (fashion) manufacturing” and “sustainability” have become the buzz words of our generation. But are they just a marketing gimmick or do brands and customers really care about the issues? One of the many great things about the internet era we live in is access to information. Everything and anything, 24/7. It is […]

Make mercury retrograde the COO of your fashion business

mercury retrograde good for business

Have you heard people blame all their troubles on Mercury retrograde? I used to think it was just a phrase people used until I looked into it a little more and learnt there was some logic to passing blame on Mercury. But the more I read about it, the more I realised the genius of […]

Solo Entrepreneurship – the Good, the Bad and the Ugly.


Starting a business on one’s own is never easy. But starting one in the fashion arena is a particularly steep hill to climb, full of lessons and paved with expensive mistakes. After a long and successful corporate career, Hema Selvaraj decided to do just that – launch a jewellery brand. Here she takes a look […]

The Fashion Switch: The New Rules of Fashion Business

fashion switch fashion business

The Fashion Switch is an essential easy read for anyone interested to start a fashion business or even for those who are already in the industry. It is insightful and practical, peppered with case studies and examples of business mistakes or wins.

The Basics of How to Start a Fashion Business

fashion business

Starting your own brand can be the most exciting thing in the world. Designing your dream line and the prestige of selling your collections in renowned stores are surely very enticing. However, the reality of setting up shop will be something entirely different to your initial perceived idea. Read up and find out what is vitally important to know before you start.

7 Most Common Fashion Business Mistakes

Fashion business mistakes are easy to make and hard to correct. Seemingly small, they can fast lead to the death of your business in a matter of months or less. We look at what they are and how to avoid them.

Business Crowdfunding for Fashion Brands

investing for self-employed

Many emerging designers are making the decision to crowdfund their projects – a great post-recession fundraiser – to create a product that they love and know their target consumers will also love, and buy.

Simple Fashion Branding Basics for Start-Ups

Utelier - fashion branding basics

Once upon a time, not that long ago, the word “logo” was synonymous to “brand”. Fast forward a couple of decades and today a “logo” is merely a shadow of a “brand”, but nowhere near what a “brand” is. Yet – not many people seem to make the distinction and realise this. Especially start ups.

Finding Investors for Your Fashion Business

Utelier- investors

If you have decided that finding an investor for your fashion business is the best option for you, here is some advice on how to prepare yourself to find the right one; whether you’re looking for a venture capitalist, an angel investor, a super-angel or a growth investor.

Marc Worth: Ten Commandments for Your Fashion Business

Utelier - Marc Worth - Ten Commandments

At the Enterprise Nation’s Fashion Exchange event on Wednesday 16 September, Founder of WGSN and CEO of Stylus, Marc Worth shared his advice with fashion entrepreneurs on running a successful fashion business. It was a day filled with entrepreneurial spirit, and fashion professionals sharing knowledge and experience, and making new contacts.

6 things to remember when launching a fashion business

launching a fashion business

Well done! You’re about to launch your fashion business, there is so much you need to focus on and your mind is busy with endless to-do lists. We’ve compiled the key things that you need to bear in mind to give you clarity, and act efficiently and effectively.

3 Top Tips for Better Fashion Product Pricing

Utelier - fashion product pricing for profit

Fashion product pricing is essential, yet tricky to get right. To make your fashion business work, one of the key things you must do is make a profit. Learn what is required in order to get the price right outright.

Becoming a Franchisee of a Fashion Business

Utelier - Becoming a Franchisee of a Fashion Business

In his previous article How to Franchise from a Legal Perspective, Tahir Basheer discussed franchising, specifically from the franchisor’s perspective – i.e. the brand owner. But what about guidelines for the franchisee?

Fashion Insiders Launches The Toolkit Series

Utelier Toolkit Series

Over the coming months, in addition to our regular interviews with our network of designers and manufacturers, and industry news scoops, Insider will introduce a regular series of articles on how to set up your own new fashion business.

Multi-Cultural Business Challenges

Utelier - multi-cultural business challenges

The fashion industry is multi-national, multi-cultural and multilingual, with the latter approached in a technical manner and interpretation often ignored.