If you have studied fashion design or are interested in the fashion industry, you have probably come up with ideas for a particular accessory, garment or clothing line. Like most aspiring fashion designers, you want to find a buyer for your designs and achieve success and notoriety in the industry. Unfortunately, it is usually not enough just to come up with a great idea in your head. The fashion industry is intensively competitive and results driven. However, with a lot of hard work and patience, you may be able to achieve the success and recognition you seek.
Things You'll Need
- Fashion sketches
- Patent (optional)
- Sample pieces (optional, but recommended)
Sell Your Fashion Idea
Sketch your idea(s) out on paper. You cannot sell an idea that is merely floating around in your head. If you are not able to convey your vision in a professional and artistic way, hire a fashion sketch artist to recreate your idea on paper. Make sure that your sketches are as detailed as possible.
Apply for a patent if you have an idea for a fashion product that is truly unique. Without a patent, your idea is fair game to anyone who desires to replicate it. Unfortunately, ideas alone cannot be patented. You must create a prototype of your product and explain why it is unique and deserving of patent protection on a patent application. If you are considering a patent application, you should consult a licensed patent attorney because the process is fairly complex. For more information on the patent process, click on the "U.S. Patent Office" link in the "Resources" section below. If you successfully obtain a patent, you can license your product to fashion designers and retail stores for a fee.
Contact fashion labels, both small and large, as well as retail stores and boutiques. If your idea is not patentable or you opt not to apply for a patent, ask to set up a meeting with the label's design department or a boutique's buyer to show your designs. A label may hire you on a freelance basis to create designs for their line based on your idea. The downside to this option is that you may be required to give up all rights and royalties on the finished product. It should be noted that this type of arrangement is very rare, especially if you are a new or unknown designer.
Have sample garments produced based on you design and shop them around to boutiques and retailers. Most retail shops will not take on the task of producing garments based solely on a designer's idea or sketch. In this situation, you would need to hire a manufacturer to produce garments on demand in the event that a retail store places an order for your design.