Designers! Whether you are a fashion fan looking to jump in, or a veteran of the industry, starting your own indie fashion venture is intimidating. Luckily, the internet has great resources for fashion entrepreneurs of every level. Here are my top ten websites for start-up fashion:
Looking to produce locally? I was just introduced to Maker’s Row. It is a beautifully designed site that vets domestic factories for clothing and accessories.
Fashiondex has been around for awhile. The site isn't fancy, but lists lots of suppliers to cut the legwork down for everything from trims, fabric, contractors and publications.
Startup Fashion is a great site for looking up industry terminology, retailers and articles for design entrepreneurs.
The Emerging Designer has fantastic articles on doing business, design competitions or other opportunities to be seen and purchased.
Handbag Designer 101 is for all of you accessories designers. It runs conferences, lists jobs and services and hosts an annual design competition that has jump started many a successful label.
GenArt.org has been around for years and they aim to promote and showcase creative from art, film and fashion. Alumni include everyone from Zac Posen to Rodarte.
WGSN is a paid subscription site, and if you work for a larger firm, you might get access. Otherwise, try for their student or group subscriptions, or follow their blog. They have amazing reports on color, retail display, patterns, product categories, packaging, everything you can think of. Highly addictive.
If you don’t already know Pinterest , you shouldn’t be in this biz at all… Target your image searches for specific inspiration and follow your heroes. It is also good for getting feedback on your own work or attracting new sales.
Marketing and PR:
PR Couture is a wonderfully comprehensive site for learning about the do’s and don’ts of PR that apply specifically to fashion creatives. Learn etiquette, case studies, tips and great resources from Crosby Noricks, one of the best in the biz.
Design Sponge is one of my favorite sites for overall design, but their Biz Ladies column is one of the most helpful I have come across for creative people learning the nitty gritty of business. (Legal? Taxes? E-commerce and SEO marketing?) The language is written from successful design entrepreneurs who have already learned their lessons and can explain their advice in words we get.
Good luck, and onto fame and fortune everyone!