Hurdles faced by new fashion designers

Updated: Jan 10

The Indian fashion industry is starting to make a mark on the global stage. This is not only because of a few seasoned designers who used to rule the runway, but also because of a new class of emerging designers who are grabbing people’s attention with their distinct styles.

But starting one’s own fashion brand is not easy. Emerging designers face many hurdles.

Hurdle 1: Funding

Building a fashion line requires a lot of capital and it’s a risky investment. Most of the talented Indian designers create brilliant designs but fail to make it big because of the lack of marketing. Marketing involves advertising, promotions, media etc. This can be quite expensive and most designers cannot afford to spend this kind of money. And finding investors for this venture Is not too easy.

Hurdle 2: Distribution via multi brand retailers

Coming up with an amazing label and producing the final product is just half the job done. Designers have to find retailers who can distribute these designs. This can turn out to be a pretty big challenge. Finding the right retailers (Indian or retailers) can be quite a task. Once they find these retailers, they could also struggle in managing their sales due to lack of streamlining tools. This can lead to excess inventory.

Hurdle 3: Outdated processes

Designers are forced to use manual, inefficient back office processes that cause delays, making it difficult to hit targets. Orders are placed over emails or phone calls and products are listed on excel sheets. There is no single platform or tool that can help organise the entire process.

Hurdle 4: Connecting with Customers:

The Indian Fashion Industry already consists of a large number of proficient designers. This makes it a huge challenge for new designers to come in and make a name for themselves. It is very important for them to make a direct connection with their end-users. Only if the customers believe in the brand, will these designers be able to make sales. Making this connection will also help retailers in selling these brands.

Hurdle 5: Finding the right manufacturers:

Since quality of the products designed has always been a critical aspect in the fashion industry, it is imperative that designers find good manufacturers. Manufacturing your own designs can be a very expensive affair. For designers who can’t manufacture on their own, outsourcing to other companies is their only option. But keeping an eye on the quality can be a big hassle.

Hurdle 6: Lack of Analytics tools:

To maximise profits, designers need to track and forecast their sales. However they have no real time visibility into performance of products across geographic territories. This makes it difficult for them to figure out what products are doing well and what aren’t.

This is just a gist of the hurdles faced by these designers, and as designers seek to reach markets far and wide, the hurdles are only likely to increase. Our goal, at Project SatatKi is to help address concerns of emerging independent designers by connecting them with the right people all along the process. 

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