Fashion is an industry that never goes out of style. The trends may change, but the sense remains. If you notice, some of the trends have already been a hit a few decades ago. But each time they emerge, a new addition to style is introduced. This is how designers make new garments for you every season, and This is how an idea is sold.
With every new coming season designers have to work hard to create new styles and new look for their customers, they have to go throw a very long process to make their ideas and designs alive garments and outfits people are able to purchase.
The design process, is relatively long and require a lot of hard work, task management and organizing, depending on the size of the company this process may be long or short, in average it takes between 18 and 24 months in typical situation, and involves the following steps:
- Researching future fashion trends. Some designers conduct their own research, while others rely on fashion industry trade groups who publish trend reports that project the particular styles, colors, and fabrics which are expected to be popular for a certain season in the future.
- Sketching preliminary designs. Although most designers initially sketch designs by hand, a growing number now make use of computer-aided design (CAD) software to translate these hand sketches to the computer. Using CAD software also allows designers to view designs of clothing on virtual models and in different colors and shapes, which will save time by eliminating the need to make as many adjustments later with prototypes and samples.
- Visiting manufacturers or trade shows to procure fabric samples in order to decide which fabrics to use, how it's constructed, dyed, printed … Etc.
- Creating a prototype of the article using cheaper materials and then trying the prototype on a model for design adjustments.
- Adding any embroidery, piece prints and accessories attachment.
- Making samples using the actual material and check them for final review, eliminate weak designs, and focus on good ones, then marketing them to clothing retailers and displaying them at fashion and trade shows. When retailers at the shows place orders for certain items, these items can then be manufactured and distributed to stores.
The process may be altered depending on the company needs, requirements and capabilities as well, but this casual outline is known to be good start for outlining a fashion design process in many companies.