Biz How-To’s: Starting A Vintage Clothing Line

by Cat on October 4, 2011

We featured Nicole Frobusch from Nixie Clothing recently. Like most of us starting creative businesses, hers was a one step at a time. Today she’s back to give us some insight on how she is is launching her women’s clothing collection for Fall.

Please let us know why you started a kids clothing line.
I launched the wholesale market in 2006 but started the idea after the birth of my two daughters in 2000-2004 and the lack of finding interesting (not mass produced) and comfortable clothes which didn’t harm them or our environment.

What would you say was the most challenging aspect to launching your clothing line?
The biggest hurdle was to find seamstresses who would sew my work as it is very complicated cutting silk scarves and vintage fabrics, instead of using fabric on the roll. Also the quality of finishing the garment but who looks for long enough finds….

Do you have any design background or education?
Not a formal one. I studied GESTALTUNG in Germany but my Italian Mother worked in fashion and I grew up with it.

Tell us how you have been promoting your clothing line.

I did my first trade show in London Bubble in 2006. Other trade shows followed, which is the best way of promoting.

Please let us know how you organize your work.
We have two Collections a year so the designing then the pattern making and the decision making of what designs make it into the collection. Then the production, which is done by several of our lovely seamstresses. Our Workshop is now in a shop in Hackney London where we sell the line but also store everything. Not to forget that I only work when my children are at school and the rest of the time I am Mummy.

How do you balance both design and business? Any tips on organizing priorities?
The designing is such as a small part of the business now but the best. There are two Collections a year they always start with an vague idea and then develop into sketches and the actual designs. I am very lucky as I work with a lot of creative people. One of them is photographer Tara Moore who decides the atmosphere for the collection for the shoots. The marketing is important but fun when you are excited about a new Collection….. It’s creating a database for core people to contact, which takes time. Trade shows are an excellent platform to start.

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