The best time of the year to launch your clothing line varies. In reality, it really depends on when you are ready and all of your ducks are in a row. Have you planned out all of your marketing activities to let everyone know that your line is launching. You should spend just as much time looking into how you will announce your line as any other activity related to starting your own clothing line. Timing of your efforts should coincide with factors like when will your clothing production order make it to your warehouse. I mean firmly know when you garment production order is coming in - meaning you can practically touch it because it is on a plane, boat or in the hands of your shipping carrier. In the real world of fashion, orders are often late so you don’t want to announce your line is available right now in your press activities and it is not. At the same time, beyond the scenes you are sweating bullets because your clothing manufacturer or T-shirt screen-printer promised your order would be ready but now have excuses as to why they are running behind.
You also want to consider the type of line you are creating. If your line or fashion collection will consist of mainly T-shirts, then you may want to launch your fashion line around the first of the year. It is at this time that retailers begin to shop for Spring and Summer. If your clothing line will consist of jackets, coats or say sweaters then you may want to launch your fashion collection in late Spring as retail buyers are now shopping for Fall / Winter merchandise. This is the general rule but many times a lot of smaller apparel retailers are looking for items that they can sell immediately providing they have the budget and they have demand for something that your line has. In the industry you will often here retailers ask, “Do you have any immediates?” Another timing consideration could be releasing your clothing line around the time of major clothing tradeshows like Magic International and other fashion industry apparel shows where buyers are looking to shop from clothing brands. You will not only want to be abreast on national apparel shows but local clothing shows as well.
So think about when you want to launch your clothing line and plan backwards. Take into account production time, shipping time and your design process. Example: Say if you estimate from the time you design something to the time you get it in your warehouse is 4 months. Then you want to release your clothing line say June 1st. Then you want to make sure you get started on your production in February or even January to be on the safe side. The main thing is before any of this begins, make sure you have done all your research and have started your early promotional work of pre-announcing when your collection will be available.
Good luck with your clothing line release!
Article by Michael Harper, Co-Founder of StartingAClothingLine.com And Co-Author of “The Official Step by Step Guide to Starting a Clothing Line.”