If you're a musician who's also into fashion, it may have crossed your mind to make your own clothes. After all, there are a load of musicians that have successfully went on to launch their own clothing brand, and done very well from this. With t-shirts, jumpers, hats, caps and even underwear getting produced, it seems like a good percentage of the musical world is trying to kit us out with their own brand of garms.
But should you start a clothing line? This is what we look at here today.
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Should You Make Your Own Clothes When Doing Music?
There's no doubt that creating their own clothing has done very well for some musicians. That said, there are a load more that have started clothing lines which haven't done very well at all! In fact, many have ended up taking money out of musician's pockets, as the upfront costs of making clothes couldn't be recouped. Not only does this mean that it's a financial risk to start a clothing line, but it's also not something that just any musician can get into.
Before you make your own clothes, if you want to make a success of things, you should have a few things in place:
1. A Way To Set Your Clothes Apart From The Other Brands Out There
This is very important. You can have the largest fan base in the world, but if you don't come up with a good quality product that they can't generally get anywhere else, you'll miss out on a lot of opportunities to sell to people that may have otherwise bought.
If you want to maximize your chances of profiting, you will want your clothing range to reach people outside of your initial fan base. Yes good money can be made selling to your fans, but if you come up with a brand that people want to buy even if they've never heard of your music before, this is the ideal situation. This is when your clothes become more then just merch, and instead become a genuine clothing label. This is what you should aim to achieve.
So think, what can be the thing that sets your clothes apart from all the other brands out there, regardless if they were made by other musicians or not? Get this down and you've already given yourself a better chance of doing well with your clothing line then a lot of other musicians.
2. A Large Fan Base
While this isn't essential for creating a clothing line, having a large fan base in place can help you get your brand out there quicker then if you didn't already have an existing fan base. This fan base will not only be good for buying the initial pressing up of your garments, but they will also help with word out mouth promotion, as well as help you see if there is a need for what you have to offer.
I say it's not 100% essential to have this is place as you can still market your clothes in other ways even without an existing fan base, but they certainly do make things a lot easier. They also minimize the risk that this venture will be a financial failure.
There are also other ways to minimize risk when designing your clothing line, such as:
The Most Important Thing Your Should Do Before Creating A Whole Range Of Clothes
Ok, this is probably the most important thing I will say in this guide, so pay attention:
Before you go and decide you've got the above two things in place and spend a load of time and money designing your clothing range, press up just a couple of designs, and put a few testers out there initially with the rest of your merchandise. That's right, you want to test the market.
The thing is, theory is just that: Theory. It's your best guess, but may be completely different from the reality of the situation. You may think a load of people will go out and buy your clothes because they buy your music and you think you have a good idea, but that may not be the case at all.
The last thing you want is to press up a load of clothes, only for them not to sell because people don't like your idea. Or because it's just not the type of thing that most of your fans are into. Whatever the case, you'll be left with a load of stock and a largely depleted budget for your music career. Not ideal at all.
So if you want to give this idea a go, your best bet is to press up a couple of t shirt designs and jumper designs, then put them up for sale on your website, at your gigs, and possibly in other stockists where your fanbase shops. From here you can see how they sell, and will get a much better idea if it's worth pressing up a full clothing range for your music.
So, should you start a clothing line as a musician? Well only if you've a great idea to make you stand out from the crowd, and ideally if you've enough fans to help push your initial launch and get your clothing out there. While this second point isn't highly essential as you can get your clothes out there in other ways, it's a great way to recoup initial costs, and a great way to get word of mouth promotion out there from happy customers.
If you decide to start your own clothing line, please let us know how it goes in the comments section below. If you've already got your own clothing line, show us in the comments below also.
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