Milan, New York, Paris, Berlin – there are lots of stylish, fashion capitals around the world, but none has quite the same long-lasting appeal or watertight reputation as London.
Just look at the many outstanding designers that London’s given us, from Vivienne Westwood to Christopher Kane, for proof.
Whilst this rich heritage and vibrant scene makes it an exciting city, it also means fashion entrepreneurs looking to break into London have their work cut out making a name for themselves.
Competition is fierce and there’s not a lot of room left for new brands or business, but it’s not impossible to carve out space in Britain’s iconic capital.
Here are a few top tips for successfully launching a fashion startup in London. Take a look.
#1: finding gaps in market
As with any industry, identifying gaps in the market and unfulfilled customer demands is an unbeatable recipe for success in fashion.
And even in the cramped, busy city of London, there are opportunities waiting to be grasped – you just need to do some research and find the one that suits you.
For example, look at the rising demand for British-made cotton and knitwear within the luxury fashion world (the growth potential in this area is huge) and think about how you could capitalise on it. Don’t forget to check out emerging trends, like wearable tech, as well.
#2: securing a brand headquarter
London is a super inspiring place to run a fashion business, but that also means it’s extremely competitive. The biggest challenge for new brands is being noticed ahead of the more well-established names of the British fashion industry.
That’s why it’s essential you find the perfect location and property for launching your startup. Get your shop in the right area, within easy reach of your target customers, and you’ll be able to rival the Oxford Street giants.
Start your search using an online database, like Shop Property, to quickly browse shops for sale in different locations within your price range. Once you’ve narrowed down the results to your top five, arrange viewings and consider which local area would suit your brand the best.
#3: market your brand correctly
Luxury fashion is changing rapidly. Whereas it was once a fairly closed off industry run by an elite group, the rise of online influencers has opened it up to a whole new audience.
Now bloggers and Instagram stars have just as much or even more power than Vogue to win customers and sales for brands. Take advantage of this when marketing your new business.
Figure out which social media channel will resonate most with your target audience (Instagram or a blog, Twitter or Facebook) and focus your attention on growing a following. Create lots of content, drive traffic through PPC and establish relationships with luxury fashion influencers. It won’t happen overnight but you’ll eventually end up with a loud, recognisable brand presence.
Do you have any other top tips for fledgling fashion brands looking to make it in London? Leave a comment and let us know.