Collection Development and things for you to remember

Published, 4 years ago

Within the fashion industry there are a number of stages that designers must go through before a piece is even worn by a customer. Collection development is just one of those stages that before you even get started or begin thinking about the manufacturing of your collection, you need to consider what process you’re going to go through in order to develop your fashion line.

Fashion Designer Alessandra De Simone has provided some of her top tips below as well as some advice on things to look out for during the planning process.

`Tis the season

First of all you and your team must never forget what season you’re working on. Yes it might seem a strange point to start on but this does happen.

For example, you design something that is very beautiful and a perfect piece for your collection but not wearable in a certain season (i.e. Denim shorts are not a good idea for a winter collection).


(However, as a clause to this point. It’s important to bear in mind that if your brand needs these collection pieces for catwalks and shows etc., then it’s enough to produce just one or two variants, suitable only for the runway. Anything more simply becomes a waste of money).

Sticking to the rule above means that you also have to consider your choice of fabrics. This is essential in order to set a collection. Again thinking about your seasons, light fabrics are ok for spring/summer but not ok for a fall/winter collection.

You have to think ahead. Think about your ability to sell pieces within your collection. For example, dresses can sometimes be too light or too heavy for the season so can be more difficult to sell. The right piece has to be designed and the fabric just right and then marketed in the right season in order for the collection to work.

Think about your audience

Never forget that clothes will be bought and worn by real women. So everything that we believe to be fabulous on a model, may not fit in the style or shape you want on a real woman. You have to think about your audience, different sizes and body shapes. For a number of obvious reasons it’s better to think about this during the creative process of a collection, rather than once manufacturing has begun.

Don’t forget cost

Cost is an important part of the process when considering your brands budget. Very often collection clothes are luxury and expensive and this can create trouble during the production process. So when laying out your plans and looking at developing your collections it can be a good idea to think about the material cost of each item in order to avoid problems later.

Often it’s not possible to produce collection styles on wholesale because they are too expensive, i.e. garments made of fur, leather etc, or with expensive embellishments such as beads, sequins, metal studs, crystals etc and so lots of these materials will be substituted with cheaper materials making the result a much lesser quality piece than what you originally intended.

Having an understanding of your costs upfront will help your decision making process when it comes to production.

decision making process

Fashion Production

When you have identified your collection pieces and secured your budget you can start and move into the area of fashion production (or, as suppliers call it, “bulk production”). This where you’ve made the decision that your collection pieces are for thousands, sometimes for millions of people, so you have to think about a singular garment replicated many times, in different sizes and in different colour variants.

First of all, it’s essential to develop sizes very carefully. You want your garments to be comfortable, you want them to be worn by everyone, and as well we know not everyone is the same. So the fitting must be accurate. You have to create a size report for the suppliers which is precise and we mean precision to the millimetre.

You need to also work with experienced suppliers who must be technically prepared and knowledgeable about fabric shrinkage. In order for garments to fit perfectly the workmanship must be accurate in order to avoid flaws (avoiding costly mistakes).

It’s also sometimes useful and appropriate to adjust your size grade according to the country you’re marketing and selling in.

Second, it’s very important that the quality standards are the same for all of the production process. It’s vital that in this case, factories uses QI (quality inspection) to check the garments one by one and ensure the quality is in compliance with the standard required by your brand. Of course be under no illusion that this process will come for free – the cost element to this is something you will need to bear in mind as it will affect the final price of each garment. But price doesn’t compare to the guarantee of high quality for your fashion brand.


It’s part of the process that plays at the back of our minds continually. Deadlines are very important in fashion production because, it doesn’t matter how good your production and quality control aspects are, if your pieces aren’t delivered in time it can create huge problems, especially for your clients.

Why? Because fashion is an industry linked to seasons so a late delivery can have a negative affect on the selling process.

In order to avoid late delivery, it’s better to have a strict production plan. This must be updated every week in cooperation with your suppliers and clients. It’s also fundamental to know all of the holidays/vacation days of each country you will be working with (for example if you’re planning on operating in China have you taken into account the Chinese New Year – taking place at the end of January/beginning of February where you will find during this time all production processes coming to a complete stop, including offices and factories closing). Production plans ultimately help to keep everything on track and provide everyone with an update to what stages pieces are at and what stage needs to be prepared for next. It’s about keeping control whilst still having an element of flexibility if needed.

Production Plans

There are many factors to remember when it comes to collection developing. It’s about being able to keep all of the plates spinning in the air, from working with your team on your next collection, to thinking about your audience and your suppliers. Quality assurance and deadlines play an important part in helping you to establish your brand, your statement and if you can deliver what you set out to deliver at the highest possible standard.

Top ten tips to remember:

  • Never forget to make a production plan (this is useful also in collection process)
  • Constantly be in touch with your suppliers and clients
  • Be sure communication is always clear from both parties
  • Add details to your production notes and comments in order to help suppliers do their work
  • Encourage the use of photos and sketches to explain your notes and comments
  • Be fast to find solutions and solve problems
  • Be prepared and informed about new fashion trends, colours, fabrics etc.
  • Make sure you do your research! Go to fashion fairs, find out about new brands and entrants into the market and gain style inspiration
  • Be open minded and ready to learn from everybody
  • Be focused and never lose patience.

Hopefully these tips and advice will show some of the strategies you can put into place to help your collection development process flow even smoother. If would like more help or further details in this area, please don’t hesitate to contact us:

If you are interested in finding out more about Fashion Designer Alessandra De Simone, please find her details below.

image1 1

Twitter : @AlmaAlessandra
Facebook: @adesfashion
Pinterest : Ale Alma

Thanks for reading.

Liked what you read? Share the article!

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pocket
Share on whatsapp
Share on linkedin

Get Noticed with Fashion Rider.

Get the recognition you deserve. Portfolio, Jobs, Social Media promotion and much more. All in one membership. 

You might also like

Sustainability: 8 easy steps to make your brand more sustainable

In an environment where people are becoming more aware of the real damages of climate change, it is important to keep your brand green and sustainable. Read on for some great tips on how you can improve your brand’s eco-sustainability.

Read More

Relax, recharge, and let your business reap the benefits

Relaxing is a vital part of your success as much as hard work is, and so we at Fashion Rider present our brand new recharge page to help you relax and recharge, to give you the best chance of success!

Read More

Have you thought about creative competitions?

Creative competitions are different from most other contests. The prize isn’t just a money prize, but the opportunity and experience of entering. In this article, we go over the reasons why and which competitions you may like to enter

Read More

10 exciting events to look forward to in 2021

Events have an important role in the world of fashion and other creative industries. This is why we bring you the 10 exciting events to look forward to in 2021

Read More

Why Your Luxury Time Piece May Need a Watch Winder

A Look at the World of Automatic Watch Winders If you know anything at all about high-end timepieces and how they work, then you’ve likely …

Read More

Why 2021 is a great time to start a freelancing business

With the desire for working on own terms, starting a freelance business has become an attractive prospect. Know why 2021 is a great time to start a freelancing business.

Read More

How to Slash Your Monthly Expenses

Your monthly income will only stretch so far. If you often grab a cup of coffee on your way to work, treat yourself to many …

Read More

Innovative adaptive designs on the rise

In 2019/20, the charity Scope reported that there are 14.1 million people in the UK living with a disability, making the availability and range of suitable fashion …

Read More

How to Diversify your Services & Stand Out From the Crowd

When you are a freelancer or small business owner, you need to think about ways to stand out from the crowd. The problem is, there are more and more people offering the same services you do. So, here are too few steps to diversify your services to stand out from others.

Read More

We use cookies to offer you a better experience and analyze site traffic. By continuing, you consent to the use of the cookies following our privacy policy. You may choose to opt-out through our privacy policy page.