Private Label vs Designer Fashion Brands: What’s the Difference?

Private Label vs Designer Fashion Brands: What’s the Difference?
Take a deep dive into private fashion labels with this handy guide on what they are, how different fashion businesses operate, and how to start one.
by Square May 01, 2023 — 2 min read
Private Label vs Designer Fashion Brands: What’s the Difference?

Starting a private fashion label is a great option if you’re looking for more creativity, control, customisation and apparel options as an independent fashion designer. Private labelling means you don’t have to design the products from scratch and can put your brand directly onto the product from the manufacturer without any restrictions on the design.

You can delegate the manufacturing of your product to a wholesaler, who then adds your brand label to the product, allowing you to incorporate your designs without needing your own workroom or production line. Let’s take a look at everything you need to know about private fashion labels, from how they operate to how to start one.

How different fashion businesses operate

Private label fashion businesses work directly with a manufacturer to put their brand label on a piece of clothing or accessory made for them. This allows you to create exclusive designs, customise products, and build a distinct signature style for your label. They differ from white-label fashion brands, which buy generic third-party products and rebrand them as their own.

Designer fashion brands design and manufacture their own products from scratch – including fabrics, and patterns, as well as create unique sketches for each line of clothing or accessory. High-end boutiques, artists, and exclusive labels tend to make up the category of designer fashion brands.

By contrast, fast fashion is a high-volume, low-cost type of clothing production that mainly uses mass-market retail. This type of business focuses on rapidly producing clothes to keep up with the latest trends and designs, rather than quality, timeless pieces.

You can use any of the formats to manage your Australian fashion business. Each type of fashion business comes with its own unique set of advantages and challenges. Private labels provide a middle ground where you can control the design while still outsourcing the manufacturing process to a third-party.

How to start a private fashion label

If you’re looking to start a clothing line, we’ve got an in-depth guide on starting your own fashion label. But here’s a quick breakdown of the basics:

1. Identify Your Market Niche: First, you’ll need to decide what type of clothing or accessories you want to create. Research the market and find out which items are in demand, as well as your target customer segment.

2. Choose a Manufacturer: Once you’ve decided on a product you’re passionate about selling, it’s time to find the right manufacturer to bring your design to life! As a private label, a manufacturer who offers timely shipping and in-depth customisation options is ideal.

3. Design Your Product: Now, it’s time to design the actual product. This is the fun part – create unique sketches and select fabrics and materials that best fit your product vision.

4. Make Decisions on Pricing, Packaging, and Distribution: Once you have a finished product in hand, it’s time to consider the cost of production and determine an appropriate price point for your goods.

The main advantage of private label fashion is that it requires significantly less investment than designing and making your own products.

You can also create an online store for free, saving you time and money in the process. Square Online features everything you need to set up and run a fashion eCommerce label, including fast, next-day transfers with low fees, automatic synched inventory management with Square Point of Sale, detailed analytics and customer insights, and more.

Whether you’re a designer fashion brand or a private label entrepreneur, Square Online is the perfect way to get your business up and running in no time. Featuring a comprehensive suite of tools that take the hassle out of selling online, and a fast and secure payments platform, Square Online makes it easier than ever to design and market your own fashion label.

This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice. For specific advice applicable to your business, please contact a professional.

The Bottom Line is brought to you by a global team of collaborators who believe that anyone should be able to participate and thrive in the economy.


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