notes to self for designing new seasonal collection

  1. Know the customer.  Describe in detail who the customer is.
  2. Establish the calendar.  Determine the collection presentation and work backwards — make/publish a seasonal calendar showing target presentation week and what needs to happen to get there.
  3. Research initial trend direction.  Spend time researching brand sights to determine initial style direction. Shop brick/mortar for merchandising ideas.
  4. Create Mood Board.  Highlight categories, colors, theme and direction to create seasonal feeling.
  5. Start fabric market research.  Visit shows, mills, collect fabrics.
  6. Understand retail price points.  Design into selling price levels.
  7. Determine collection breath.  Determine and define each category and sub-category.
  8. Set target sample quantities.  Given categories, determine ideal number of samples by sub-catetory.
  9. Set up conceptual silhouette line sheet by category/sub-cat with target quantity.
  10. Create tech packs.  On going process.
  11. Record fabric data.  Content, construction and price idea.  Establish a fabric ID.
  12. Design small groups/themes where possible/appropriate.  Design with targeted price levels in mind.
  13. Create signature pieces.  Make a couple of attention pieces to create wow factor, independent of price.
  14. Edit the line.  Take out pieces not completely compelling.
  15. Tag and ID each sample.
  16. Photo each sample.  For record keeping and line sheets.
  17. Capture live images through season.  Shopping retail, mills, factories, street, office — shoot and collect live images.
  18. Create line sheets complete with images and style numbers.
  19. Present collection making sure to articulate inspirations, overall stories, sub-stories, and customer attraction.
  20. Evaluate results.  After sales, absorb what worked and what didn’t for future consideration.