The process of designing clothes from concept to collection, is like so many pieces that need to be arranged in a way that a customer loves and make sales.

Throughout the process there were too many things that you might get stuck about designing clothes and how to design clothing line, and this is why I put together this giant post with all the answers in one place.

I want this to be a resource post filled with actionable tips that can come back for reference whenever you need. So feel free to bookmark this page or save it to your pinterest. Also, feel free to take any notes.

With that in mind, Here’s what we’ll cover:

  • How to get started with Fashion Collection inspiration?
  • 15 sources of inspiration for fashion designers to gather inspiration for your clothing line.
  • How to come up with Fashion collection Themes?
  • How to name your fashion collection?
  • How to make a fashion collection cohesive?
  • How many pieces in fashion collection?
  • How to draw fashion collection sketches?

Let’s get started!

How to get started with Fashion Collection inspiration?

Fashion collection inspiration is a process of collecting any images or materials that inspires you to create visual concepts for your clothing line.

The ultimate goal of fashion collection inspiration as a fashion designer is to create visual concepts.

There are actually 2 types of fashion collection inspiration.

Design Inspiration: Where you collect images of random things that you love and pick your colour story and visual inspiration out of it.

Style inspiration: This is where you collect images of clothes that you love and pick elements like design details and trends to play with and apply to your fashion collection.

And then once you got your images,

All you need is a sketchbook.

A place to store your findings and this could be digital or tactile.

Most designers pin any images or materials to their wall that keeps them motivated each time they see it. Or you can use A4 file with plastic sleeves in it. Or a handy sketchbook to stick everything and doodle your ideas on it Or you can create a digital folder and save any images inside that folder.

I personally prefer tactile laid in front of me. If I don’t see it, I forget it. Mostly I like to see on my wall but when I have to travel, I choose an A4 file.

If you want to set up your fashion collection inspiration process, I got a really in-depth step-by-step tutorial on fashion collection inspiration here and I will be walking through the step-by-step process of research and developing ideas for your next clothing line.

Speaking of images, Where to find them?

You can get inspired by almost anything. But if you need a starting point, I got a list of sources for you to get started with your inspiration process.

15 sources of inspiration for fashion designers to gather inspiration for your clothing line.

  • Newspapers and magazines
  • Art and prints
  • Graphics and photography
  • Raw materials
  • Exhibitions
  • Travel
  • Movies and theatre
  • Architecture, interiors and furniture
  • Street style
  • Trends
  • Current events
  • Past years
  • Historical
  • Stories
  • Books

Once you collected the images of inspiration, it’s time to build…

Fashion collection Themes

Basically, you sort your inspiration images into groups that are more cohesive and create concepts around them.

For example, If you see lots of flowers in most images (some artwork on flowers, some floral prints, garden with flowers) You can group them separately and create a botanical theme around it or you can create a wedding theme around it.

This is just one way to approach. If you are starting out from scratch and looking for a quick way, you can check this tutorial on how to create fashion collection themes in the fastest way.

How to name your fashion collection?

I got 3 approaches for this.

#1 The easiest way is to use is Shopify name generator. Just put some word in the search bar and it gives you a handful of names to go with and you can pick the best ones.

#2 This is another quick way called brainstorming method. You need paper and pen to get started.

  • Note all the words that you come up with throughout the process.
  • Start with any object around you. Maybe a Wire.
  • Then what do you remember when you think of wire, maybe power
  • then power reminds me electric
  • then electric reminds me water.
  • Water reminds fish,
  • Fish reminds corals etc… You get the drill
  • Now look at all your words and combine 2 or 3 words until you feel amazing

In my case, I came up with Electric Fish.

BOOM! It’s that easy.

You can check the step-by-step process here and I even made a video about this before.

#3 The third way is Once you got your inspiration images, put them all in front of you and try to come up with words that you feel when looking at your images.

is it looking romantic? brings up a beautiful memory? jot some words and combine them to create a cohesive name.

Useful resources:

How to make a fashion collection cohesive

You can try these 3 tips to make your fashion collection cohesive,

The first tip,

Colour story: when you got a theme to work on, it gives you a visual direction of colours, textures, prints for your clothing line.

You can’t just use black colour on one dress, red colour the other and yellow colour the other because those are your favourite colours.

Nope! It doesn’t work.

You need to create a colour palette of 5 to 10 colours to work on. You can use this fashion collection workbook for step by step process on designing your colour palette.

When you stick to those colours from your colour palette, its gonna give a visual cohesiveness in your collection.

We got a whole in-depth module on creating color palette inside Fashion Collection Lab.

The second tip,

Repetition of fabric: Make sure you use every fabric more than twice throughout the collection. That helps you bring a connection with your collection. By this, it feels like it belongs to one person rather than different pieces piled together.

For example, If you used one type of fabric for a dress, you can use it again for a scarf and then inside a pocket for another dress or you can use it in a jacket.

The third tip,

Repetition of silhouette: Repeat the same clothing item in different fabrics at least once in your clothing line.

This could be a dress that went well in the previous season or a classic that is a must in your customer wardrobe or a completely new design.

People love different options. Chances are if that silhouette suits them, they might pick multiple pieces of the same silhouette in cotton and in lace fabrics.

Bottom line:

What we are trying is to make connections between each garment through colour, fabric and silhouette so ultimately it looks like they came from the same place that makes the clothing line look cohesive.

Useful Resources:

How many pieces in fashion collection?

Most people suggest 12 pieces is the best start, especially I totally love the way Jane from Fashionbrainacademy explained in this blog post.

She also talks about how many pieces you should have in your website and all the good stuff that you should definitely check out.

To me, it’s more of a personal approach that helps me decide the number of styles.

The customer: Who is your customer and how many pieces does she need in her wardrobe for the season. Make a list of every item you can think of. Pick the pieces that motivate you to create.

The budget: What’ your budget to produce this collection? How much can your customer afford?

These two questions give me the direction and limitations to decide on the number of pieces which may vary from designer to designer.

Useful Resources:

How to draw fashion collection sketches?

I got a whole course on how to draw fashion figures for beginners, where I walk you through every single step. which also has around 5000+ student around the world. You can check that here.

Now I’m gonna give you the basic process of how to draw clothes easy

#1 The first step is drawing the croquis

If you are just starting out in fashion sketching or looking to speed up the process, invest in good fashion templates.

Fashionary has a really good range of pre-drawn templates that comes in a handy sketchbook or panels. You can just draw over them easily.

If you are looking for templates that you can use again and again, I love these fashion templates from Zoe Hong.

If you want to draw from scratch and draw your own croquis, try my 10 Days Free Fashion Sketching Course.

#2 Draw the clothes,

this is where you put your ideas from your head onto the paper to see how your idea looks in a person visually.

#3 Apply colour.

One way to do this is to pull out your colours from your colour palette as we talked above and play with them.

Second is, Get the fabrics that suit your theme and colors and render them and play around.

A little tip on colouring is to try different mediums until you found your best one.

Some people are more comfortable using water colours and some love only dry mediums like pencils.

I love mixed media. Like I apply fabric or pattern through Adobe Photoshop and then use watercolour pencils to render the sketch. Unless it is an editorial sketch, I don’t like to spend way too much time in fashion illustration and you can see why here.

Useful resources:

That brings us to the end of the tips on how to design clothing line.

That’s a lot of information and hopefully you have taken lots of notes to implement when making your own clothing line.

To Recap, Here’s what we learned:

  • How to get started with Fashion Collection inspiration?
  • 15 sources of inspiration for fashion designers to gather inspiration for your clothing line.
  • How to come up with Fashion collection Themes?
  • How to name your fashion collection?
  • How to make a fashion collection cohesive?
  • How many pieces in fashion collection?
  • How to draw fashion collection sketches?

Drop any questions and Let me know if this is helpful in the comments below.

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