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When factories get new inquiries they are looking at the big picture. They need to see your preferred purchase order because it will communicate the big picture. They want to know the order quantities broken down by style, fabric, color and artwork. This ideal purchase order is important to them because their overall profit will be determined by quantities. Below is an image of what it looks like and you can download it in excel form by clicking on this button.
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List the order quantities you want to produce

How to start up a fashion line.

The first step for how to start up a fashion line is to create an audience. Have you read an article called 1000 True Followers by Kevin Kelly the founder of Wired Magazine? I believe that, still today, if you have 1,000 True Followers then you are ready to start up a fashion line. Kevin's article starts like this:

"Other than aim for a blockbuster hit, what can an artist do to escape the long tail?

One solution is to find 1,000 True Fans. While some artists have discovered this path without calling it that, I think it is worth trying to formalize. The gist of 1,000 True Fans can be stated simply:

A creator, such as an artist, musician, photographer, craftsperson, performer, animator, designer, videomaker, or author – in other words, anyone producing works of art – needs to acquire only 1,000 True Fans to make a living."

Before you travel to Vietnam with your tech packs in hand to cost out your designs in anticipation of your first big order with Amazon, I suggest you focus on building your "true fans." You've got to attract them with your charm, your ideas, your stories, so that they wake up each day and think of you - wondering what you will talk about next, what pictures will you post next, what new designs you will create next. If you are able to create such a following then you are ready to introduce something they might buy from you - your clothing designs.

If you do it the other way around then you are just another sales person abusing their email. If you are wondering how to start up a fashion line I recommend you read 1000 True Followers first and then ask me any questions you would like about apparel production in Vietnam. Have a great day!

Four Important Considerations about Vietnam

1. MOQ's (minimum order quantities) in Vietnam are high. If you are doing small quantity then you will struggle in Vietnam. Most sewing factories require at least 1,000 pieces per style per color. The reason is that most factories are CMT factories that focus on high volume orders.
2. Prepare your tech packs before you contact a factory. Tech packs are also know as spec sheets or design sheets. A good factory can quote a price based on a tech pack without having a physical sample. If a factory quotes a price without having a tech pack, then you can be sure the price will vary significantly once the first samples are produced. Beware of a factory that says they can quote price without a tech pack.
3. How to find a reliable factory? Bottom line is that you need to travel to Vietnam, walk the factory floor, and meet the owners. It is very risky to place an order with a factory you have never visited nor met the owner. The best way to explain why is by analogy; would you marry a person without having met them? Hiring an agent is an option. Typically they will ask for 8 to 12% commission.
4. Calculate your import duty! The price a factory in Vietnam quotes you does not include the tax you must pay your government to get your goods through customs. To calculate your tax you must first know which HS Code category your garment falls under. You can figure it out yourself or hire a customs broker to figure it out. For example, if your garment has polyester fabric the import duty can be as high as 32%.
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