September 1, 2016

Starting a brand? All you need to know

Just about every designer dreams of starting their own brand […] by Elisa Pervinca Bellini

Just about every designer dreams of starting their own brand. The secret is always to start off the right foot. What are the essentials to grasp before launching oneself into the fashion world? We asked seven professionals in the sector to share their advice.


PRODUCTION - RICCARDO VANNETTI Tutorship Director at Pitti Immagine.

How does one choose the most suitable manufacturer? First of all, it's necessary to examine the characteristics of a manufacturing platform, looking at the projects that a company has worked on, or in which it is still involved. The manifacturer must have a sound empathy towards the idea itself.

What types of contract are available? In the classic production licence, the company's owner takes a brand under licence with a view to both production and distribution. The firm might then use its own sales platform or turn to a showroom. Whoever opts for this kind of contract does so because they're making a long term investment - normally from 5 to 10 years - and in this case it's possible for the manufacturer to ask for a stake in the brand itself. There are also contracts with support for designers regarding communication and design aspects. But in this case the manufacturer makes an even longer-term investement that can last as long as 10 years or more. Alternatively, one can draw up simple production contract where the owner of the brand is responsible for distribution.

How can a designer protect themselves in a relation to the manufacturer? I wouldn't speak of protection, since it's a constructive collaboration with the company. This is where a project like Pitti Tutorship comes in useful, by expressing and maintaking the right relationship between creativity and the work of those who turn it into a product.

How much does it cost to start a production?
It all depends on the type of collection and the single garments to be producted. A first collection is usually very expensive, since all the paper patterns have to be creafted from scratch. On can even invest up to 4000 or 5000 euros for a single garment.