Product development refers to the complete process of bringing a new fashion piece or product to the market. In the fashion industry, many companies have developed continuous practices and strategies to meet the demands of their customers and increase their market share.
The product development process in the fashion industry usually involves several stages that designers employ to deliver their products and designs into the market. Some key components in the cycle include fashion design, manufacturing, marketing, and retailing. While details such as colours, materials, trims, and accessories contribute to apparel production development, it is more important to get the foundation right.
For many fashion designers, the easiest way to start their design process is to follow a brief that is set by either your company or clients. Solo designers who are unsure of setting a creative brief can also choose to attend a product design and development course to refresh their skills.
It is recommended for you to come up with specific aims and objectives before setting your brief. Some of these include the occasion and season you are designing for and your target consumer profile. By identifying these factors, you will be able to decide on the materials to use as well as costing.
As apparel designers, a tech pack is the foundation of your product. They provide the manufacturers with information on how to put the pieces of your product together. A tech pack without sufficient information may cause confusion to the manufacturers, and result in a longer approval time and extra costs. To help your stakeholders streamline the product development process, your tech pack needs to include:
Prototyping is a multi-stage process which involves the design being thoroughly tested and workshopped. Prototyping usually happens before the final production stage, and is built based on the design specs. It is not ideal for you to rush or overlook this stage as prototyping is essential to ensure that the product looks, fits, and performs as it is supposed to.
With the advances in technology in the Fashion industry, prototyping can now be done virtually, hence minimising the physical constraints of a cross-border collaboration. It also reduces fabric and material waste involved in the prototyping stage, as you can fully visualise the product before production.
The best way to ensure that you are getting the best quality materials and prices is to do your research and shop around for a manufacturer. It is not very easy for fashion designers to obtain estimated costs from manufacturers upfront, hence it is important to ask the right questions so that you can understand their workflow and manage your expectations. Some questions that you can ask are:
Even though there are many variables that affect the product development process, a potentially reliable factory should be able to provide you with an estimated cost range after reviewing your tech pack or understanding your design.
As there are many moving parts and vendors that you work with along the way, it is imperative that you stay on the top of everything. Staying organised throughout the process keeps your production on schedule, saves you lots of time, whilst ensuring that your quality product is one that aligns with your vision.
Aside from offering a range of fashion design courses like the Apparel Design Diploma in Singapore, the Textile And Fashion Industry Training Centre also has professional product development courses to help students understand the basics of turning your designs into reality.
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