So after the recent launch party and trunk show, I have got two comments on my pieces except the designs, fit and materials used:
From industry experts – “The pieces are too cheap.”
From general public – “They are too expensive.”
I calculated 2 times afterwards, the price and profit margin is right if I directly sell to customers without considering to go for the wholesale route. In order to give retailers a profit margin, I will have to double my current retail price. At the moment, that’s really the cheapest I can give without much in return. Did a bit research online, talked to other designer friends, and found most small brands are facing the same problems. In order to keep track with sustainability measures, keeping small scales is the way to go, however, customers are not convinced with the premium price and perhaps do not know the production cost is way more than double, sometimes triple of fast fashion mass production cost. The same price for a dress from a small independent design brand may equal to 4 dresses from what could be found on high street. Why would customers buy from us rather than high street goods then?
The things we can compete is really – unique designs (most likely being copied and produced in a much cheaper price), quality (products not just last for 50 washes promised by some high street brands, but for years). Half of the general public do not care where the items are made, as long as the quality seems ok (touch wood those are not my audience).
If you fancy to know more about the true cost of fashion, read this blog on Vogue. ( www.vogue.com/article/what-is-the-right-price-for-fashion )
So what’s special about my designs except all the grand promises about making it returnable and able to be upcycled. What is really matter for my customers? Well, if customers buying directly from me, they will get bespoke design service, items are made to their sizes. I am also happy to collaborate with customers to make their very own prints on their garments. As a photographer who travels, I need easy care clothes. A lot of my designs are made with easy care materials which bounce back in shape straight from the suitcase, or required minimal steam.
Another comment I got from my general public guests is, ‘Can you rent the clothes out?’ Well, yes and no. Although I am not renting the items out under this brand name, but I am indeed renting items out via Tunalien, ( www.tunalien.com ), the sister brand with focus in upcycling, education, selling second hand items and garment rental. We will soon changing the pricing structure on Tunalien. Take advantage with the current membership package ( https://www.tunalien.com/clothing-library/ ), and enjoy clothing rental!