Before you Start a Fashion Brand

If you want to create your own clothing brand/collection and are wondering…. What will it cost? Where can I find wholesale fabrics/trims? Who will make samples/prototypes for me? Who will manufacture for me? How long will it take? Where do I begin? What is a tech pack? Then its time to educate yourself before you take any steps into this complicated, obstacle-filled industry!


The cost of your product is dependent upon the cost, type and availability of the materials/trims involved, the number and type of seams, the complexity of the pattern, the time it will take to sew it, the number of pieces you will be making, the number of sizes you plan to make, and so much more.

BE SUSPICIOUS of the one-stop-shop manufacturer that says they can make your product for X amount without even seeing a tech pack from you. And most of these one-stop-shops will require very high minimums requiring that you make hundreds or even thousands of each color of each style to make it worth it to them financially. You’ll end up spending a lot more money and time dealing with trying to get the product you want this way because they will be guessing what is in your head. Instead, you should be supplying them with proper tech packs (instructions about the garment’s measurements, materials, stitching, and every detail that you want written in apparel manufacturing language) along with technical flat sketches (blue prints) for each design.

Before you Start a Fashion Brand

A GOOD MANUFACTURER WON'T EVEN WORK WITH YOU WITHOUT ASKING YOU FOR THESE FIRST! We’ve seen hundreds of brands attempt to work with these one-stop-shop manufacturers and spend months and years going back and forth trying to get the simplest prototype right. The brand eventually runs out of money because they took what they thought was a short cut. That manufacturer spends months guessing what you want and inevitably gets it wrong. The shipping back and forth of the incorrect samples alone is enough to break the bank and waste months of time. It’s our goal to help emerging designers/brands navigate the complex world of apparel manufacturing through consulting and education that empowers the brand owner/designer to be their own technical designer and production manager…giving you control of the quality and look of your product. In other words, we demystify the manufacturing process so you understand the steps involved (and can therefore cost your product based on the steps it will go through) and we teach you to create your own tech packs. You’ll be able to contract out each step in the process yourself at AZ Fashion Source, our own incubator factory, or take it to any manufacturer so you can avoid large minimums and save money, time and a lot of headaches. Think of it this way… If you wanted to be a dentist, you wouldn't skip getting an education and just rent an office, buy some dental instruments and start drilling people's teeth! And if you wanted to manufacture a car, you couldn't just draw a crayon sketch of it and take it to Chevy. They would need to know the specs (details about the materials and measurements that you want specifically) in industry language. The same applies to Apparel Design. Owning and operating a clothing line can potentially be an exciting, lucrative business, but it will be a money pit if you don't know what you're doing and it's a very technical business…it's like architecture for the body.

Producing clothing is very technical and is way more involved than just coming up with good ideas. Too many people jump into this business without the proper fashion education and capital necessary and end up spending a ton of money to find that they are unable to produce their clothing or take it any further without a huge investment. In order to get your ideas manufactured, you have to provide tech packs to the manufacturer so they know exactly what you want.

If you haven't been trained in this yourself, you'd need to hire a technical designer and a production manager in order to be able to create proper tech packs needed to give to your manufacturer. This consulting service, will provide a crash course in tech packs so you can act as your own technical designer and production manager when starting your brand…ultimately saving hundreds of thousands of dollars and months of time wasted on miscommunication. In two intensive hours, LabelHorde founder, Angela Johnson, will personally provide a crash course in technical design and how it relates to manufacturing based on her experience while working in the industry in the early 1990's in Los Angeles. She'll share with you the mistakes she made so you don't make the same ones. She will explain how things work in relation to design, production, sales and fashion business in general. You will also walk away with a lot of resources that you'll need to start and operate your business including copies of the power point presentations with notes, tech packs and production forms, lists of must have resources, etc… and you'll learn how to use them. Or you may end up walking away having figured out that this industry may not be for you and you would have only spent a few hundred dollars to find that out now instead of thousands of dollars to find it out months or years later. This consultation is designed to feel like a crash course in fashion manufacturing. Clients consistently state that one consultation feels like an entire semester in a college course.

We know this is a mysterious industry filled with obstacles which are tough for an emerging designer/brand to overcome. But that's exactly why we exist! We love to help take the mystery out of it and empower the emerging designer to navigate the obstacles more affordably and efficiently because we were once in your shoes.