A collection is a line of clothing or products designed and produced for sale to retailers or directly to customers. The collection is usually designed according to the unique aesthetic perception of the designer with silhouettes, colors and fabrics. It is presented in a variety of forms, from fashion shows to websites for a particular season or special event, and is an assortment that reflects a trend or theme.
Collection preparation processes are presented twice a year as interim collections, autumn/winter and spring/summer. Autumn/winter season presentations (fashion shows) are traditionally held in February, and spring/summer season presentations are held in Paris, Milan, London and New York fashion weeks in September.
In addition to the seasonal collections presented twice a year, interim collections are prepared. The presentations of intermediate collections such as travel and pre-autumn (Pre Fall, Cruise/Resort) are made from the presentations of specially sewn collections.
While the Pre Fall collection is a transition from summer collections to autumn collections (winter season), the travel (Cruise/Resort) collections are intermediate collections prepared for customers traveling to warm countries during the winter months.
Intermediate collections can consist of 24 or an average of 80 pieces of clothing, and small collections of 6 or 20 pieces of clothing created in line with a theme are also defined as capsule collections. They are small interim collections released by some designers in December and January. In the USA, this is known as the “holiday collection”. The number of pieces in the collection varies according to the position/style of the company or brand.
Getting Started With The Collection
Any successful and financially viable fashion collection requires tremendous research, scrutiny and planning.
To be successful in the marketplace, designers, manufacturers and retailers must have a clear idea of their customers’ needs as well as their positions. Many designers compare with competing retail outlets to gain an understanding of the fashion stocks and ranges available at each market level.
They carefully study fabric quality, modeling and details, as well as prices and production output. This study provides useful information for planning and selling a collection. The people who will decide on the order of the product groups are the purchasing managers.
Information about customers, sales figures that record how many pieces of each piece of the collection are purchased in the previous season, shipment and stock status, product quality privilege status, and price are important information for purchasers.
The Basics Of Collection Building
- When preparing a collection for yourself or for a specific customer, you must first answer the following questions.
- Who is the target audience?
- What is the definition and main feature/personality of the brand?
- What is the point?
- What message/meaning do I want to give?
- What is the difference? What distinguishes it from others?
- Who are the competitors?
- What are the creativity details?
- Which season should it be?
In order for a design to be formed, it is necessary to have a subject, to catch the main idea, to form a plan, to control the plan and to develop it. The starting point of the design should be the market, the designed product should be functional and original. If it is planned to start production, the sales policy, production capacity, price policy, operating costs, machine park, production methods, that is, technological possibilities, plans for the future and quality control principles of the manufacturer organization to which the design will be presented should be taken into account in the preparation of the design.
Concept and Theme Research
The theme is the dominant subject that determines the fashion predictions, and the message these predictions give is the main concept. The companies that determine these forecasts determine the trends of the future fashion according to the current social and cultural development of the society.
While doing the concept research, the designer comes up with new ideas and designs based on clothing history, concepts, fashion trends, costumes, clothing styles of different cultures, architecture, performing arts, colors, textures and forms of plants and animals, in short, anything he can choose.
Fashion designer Marc Jacobs states that his ideas about his designs are based on people, himself and the movies he watches. Karl Lagerfeld states that designers should not limit their inspirations to fashion, but should also benefit from separate fields such as art, history and music.
The five most important rules when working with fabric;
- The more complicated the design, the plainer the fabric should be.
- Never force the nature of the fabric.
- Design according to the character of the fabric.
- When fabrics of various weights are used together, a more dynamic design emerges.
- Do not design on the sample without seeing the quantity (size) of the fabric.
In fashion design, it is also important to know the fit of the fabric to the human body and how it will fit well in model development. While developing a model, the designer draws a suitable fashion figure according to the style of his designs, the body type he designs and the detail he wants to emphasize. Fashion Designers use two different drawings to embody their designs.
The first of these is the “technical drawing”, which is made to measure and shows the production details, and the second is the “artistic drawing”, where an exaggerated visual expression and presentation is aimed. A striking, eye-pleasing presentation is aimed at artistic drawings. For this purpose, deformations are made in the silhouettes and exaggerated lines are used in dressing the clothes on the silhouette. This situation made it difficult for the modelists and workers to understand the model and sewing details of the garment. Technical drawings were preferred to eliminate this difficulty.
Most large firms identify their customers based on sales and marketing data. These data are supplemented by considering the socio-economic impacts and various factors that influence the consumer’s lifestyle.
For example, it can be a certain age group, ethnic group, region according to its geographical structure, and the product price policy is calculated to work well in the commercial platform.
However, not all pieces in a collection are designed for commercial purposes, the pieces featured in fashion shows are mostly made to attract the attention of the press and strengthen the popular reach of the designer.
Fashion designers conduct market research before creating a collection. For this research, it has been determined that the amount of money that consumers will allocate from their income for clothing, the developments in population and national income, the shifts in age groups, fashion trends etc.
In market research, data should be systematically collected, processed and carried out regularly. Market research covers many factors, from fashion publications to style and color forecasting services, from competitor products to customers’ opinions.
Sales strategy, its simplest definition, is the whole of the efforts to attract the customer to the brand, product and service. In sectors where the competitive market is intense, brands create a marketing strategy in order to deliver their products and services to the consumer as a priority and to reach their sales targets. These strategies aim to achieve both the consumer and the desired commercial success.