Ever thought of starting your own streetwear brand? Here we take a look at the 5 key steps to starting your own streetwear brand from the ground up.
How to start a streetwear brand? For those reading this with absolutely no previous experience of working in the fashion & streetwear industry, it might sound like an impossible task. However it might not be as hard what you think. Like any business, starting your own streetwear brand is extremely hard, but with the right guidance it can be broken down into 5 easy steps. The first thing we recommended before diving head first into the world of MOQ’s & manufacturing is to be completely realistic. Your streetwear brand isn’t going to become the next Supreme of Palace over night. Launching your own brand will take endless hours of work, sacrifices, hurdles & commitment. You will need to merge together your own creativity with business savvy skills. There will be constant hurdles along the way. Do you have what it takes to start your own streetwear brand? Let’s break it down with 5 easy steps.
The first thing you need to do is think about what your brand is about. The name, the vibe, the inspiration, the subculture connection & how it might differ from the competition. It’s probably a good idea to do some extensive market research at this stage. Look at what the key streetwear retailers are selling. What are they missing? What’s currently trending on Instagram? Are you going to just do printed hoodies & tees etc or are you actually going to design your own streetwear apparel & accessories line. How much money do you have to start with? We’d recommend starting with at least £500-£1000 and this is still minimal. Stage 1 is all about ideas so don’t get too caught up in your finances, just yet. A mood board is a great way to put all of your ideas out there.
Once you have some ideas it’s time to get creative. Get doodling with a pencil and paper or with some illustration software and bring your ideas and inspiration to life. We’d suggest working on only 3-4 different designs at this stage (if your budget is limited). Focus solely on these. You’re also going to need to design a logo. Don’t worry if you’re not the best when it comes to designing your own designs as our friends over at PM Agency have all your design needs covered. You’re also going to need to think about fabrics & whether you are going to be a sustainable streetwear brand? The colours of your garms is also a key thing to think about. What colours are currently on trend etc etc.
Once you are 100% satisfied with your designs it’s time to turn your dreams into a reality. Outsourcing your own manufacturer at this stage can be a complete nightmare especially with MOQ’s (minimum order quantities) and the fact it’s your very first order. That’s why we would recommend using a respected name in the game such as PM Agency who will take care of the complete manufacturing process for you. PM Agency use their trusted factories and suppliers across the world to offer the full streetwear brand package. These guys can also take care of your inner garment labels & swing tags should you need it.
It’s all well and good having the greatest streetwear brand the world has ever seen, but if you’re not going to market the brand you’re not going to have much look with it. You would be amazed at how much reach you can give a brand without paying a single penny. Clever PR and marketing are the key to some streetwear brands’ success. Social Media is probably one of the best free marketing tool you can have access to. A whole world of streetwear enthusiasts are at your finger tips thanks to hash tags and highly engaging posts. Instagram shopping is also a great way to monetise posts with shoppable products.
It’s also worth a shout getting in touch with a range of streetwear blogs (the link from their site will also actually strengthen the ranking of your site in google, this is known in SEO terminology as a backlink). Don’t be afraid to reach out, the worse thing that can happen is they don’t reply to you so you literally have nothing to loose. Streetwear influencers are also a great tool to get your brand out there. Don’t expect free exposure from those with 100k followers but again don’t be afraid to reach out. Offer some free gear, or negotiate a reasonable price to promote your brand should you have the budget available.
Having your own website for the brand is also key. This can be used to used to list the product themselves. Start an emailing subscription list. Drive traffic through google (SEO) and build overall brand awareness. Also once you have build up a bit of a profile on social media, your customers will kind of expect you to have your own website.
Streetwear & sneaker events such as Crep City, Laces Out, Sneaker Con & Sneakerness etc are also a great way to get your brand out there. These events have a massive following and some really high footfall. A stall at one of these events can start from as little as £20, so it’s well worth it just for the exposure.
Last but by no means least is selling your product. This is probably the hardest stage of them all as now it’s left to the customer to decide whether they like your brand or not. First of all you need to decide on the retail & wholesale cost of your products. Obviously these both need to be more than your cost price (cost of manufacturing & design etc). An industry standard mark up for apparel is around 2.5, so your cost price per unit could be £10, the wholesale price (the price which you sell to retailers) could be £20 and the retail price would be £50 (£20 x 2.5). The question you need to ask yourself is which brands from a price perspective are you going to sit alongside? Are you luxury streetwear, budget streetwear or similar to the staple streetwear brands out there.
Don’t get disheartened if initial sales are slow. Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither was any streetwear brand. The key really is driving as much traffic as physically possible to your website. Don’t just get side tracked with the digital world of retail (e-commerce) though. Again don’t be afraid to reach out to your local streetwear & sneaker store to sell your products. Get in touch with as many buyers as you can. Connect with people on Linkedin. At the end of the day if you have a good product and believe in it, stores will want to sell it. Some stores may mention they were willing to sell your products on a sale or return basis, this basically means they only pay you when they sell something. This can get messy if the store managers etc aren’t tracking when your products sell. It’s a great way to get your brand in a retailers door but we would strongly recommend taking payment up front to avoid the hassle of sale or return.
With extensive experience in product sourcing and manufacturing, PM Agency can offer a range of services for creating all types of apparel and clothing accessories. Our network of designers and manufacturers allows us to work on every step of the process, from initial ideas all the way through to delivering the finished product.
We hope our guide exploring how to start a streetwear brand has really opened your eyes to starting your own brand. If you are looking to start your own streetwear brand we wish you the very best of luck with it. You can get in touch with our friends over at PM Agency via the links above who will take care of all your design, manufacturing, marketing & sales needs.