5 Tips to Launching Your Own Fashion Line
Grey Goose Rising Icon Kiki Peterson may have gotten her start designing collections for Rocawear, Sean John, Apple Bottoms, Baby Phat and more but now she is stepping out on her own. The 19-year fashion industry veteran is set to debut her line for women, K.Miele which is focused on the powerful, independent, bold and sassy woman not afraid to let her light shine. Today K.Miele is giving her top 5 tips for aspiring designers on going from the sketchbook to their own boutique.
A passion for fashion
If you love it, you will give 110% without blinking. All I've ever wanted to do was design, even before I knew there was a career in it. I've been designing for 19 years and I've had so many ups and downs throughout my career, but I have no desire to have a "plan B." My passion drives me to keep going and succeed.
Be your bigge$t inve$tor
Start the ball rolling and don't wait for anyone or anything. Everyone wants to know where you are with your designs or collection and who else is interested in working with you or investing in you. If you haven't invested in yourself why should anyone else? When I decided I was ready to start K.Milele, I just began making dresses. In 2 days I did a photo shoot with a photographer and a model. Then I sent the pictures to every single person I knew. The response I got was overwhelming. I now have financing and the opportunity to present during Fashion Week. The opportunities continue to come. I just had to take the first leap.
Know the business
Every designer needs to go to a resource who knows the business which allows you to concentrate on the product, while taking care of and building the business.
From years of experience I've learned a lot about the business end of the fashion business but it's difficult to have to do it all. The creative side of the brain doesn't always work simultaneously with the business side. I have partners who I can count on to focus their energies on the business aspects so that I can continue to be as creative as possible.
Trust your stylish instincts
With all aspects of business if it doesn't feel right it probably is not.
There was a time when my partners and I had a multi-million dollar deal on the table. The collection we created would have been a huge success but the deal wasn't fair to us collectively and individually. There were other small signs here and there that was telling us the deal wasn't right. So we went with our gut and turned it down at the last minute. We felt good about our decision. We would have ended up in a very bad position had we taken that deal.
Learn on someone else's dime
Before you go out on your own gain knowledge through education or work experience to learn as much as possible. If you go through the cycle you will know what you are up against, what it takes and if you're really up for it.
Looking at the fashion industry from the outside it seems easier than it really is. I've been drawing and sewing for as long as I can remember but once I went to F.I.T. the amount of knowledge I gained was incredible. I never would have imagined previously how much I really didn't know. I still continue to gain more and more knowledge even 19 years later.