Manufacturers are essential actors in the making of a ready to wear collection: each manufacturer has a specific know-how (tailor, flou, knitwear, corsetry, etc.). According to the type of pieces you want to produce, you’ll have to choose the adapted manufacturer(s).
Where to meet manufacturers?
When you don’t know anyone or don’t have any contact in the industry, meeting trustful manufacturers can be tough. To meet professional manufacturers, the most adequate places are fashion trade fairs, organized by production areas:
- French production: the Made in France exhibition
- Eastern Europe, Turkey, Maghreb production: the Première Vision Manufacturing exhibition
- Asian production (China, India, etc.): the Apparel Sourcing exhibition
- Another gold mine is the Manufacturers platform, a website that identifies all of the manufacturers in the apparel and textile fields.
Which manufacturer to choose?
The first thing to do before choosing a manufacturer is to identify your own needs (what design, what know-how is required, what quantity, which timing, etc.) in order to contact the most adapted ones. You can then choose manufacturers which references and clients have a comparable market positioning to your own brand.
How to test a manufacturer?
Once you have made a shortlist of manufacturers, you can test them with giving them a prototype to make. This will allow you to test the quality of their work as well as their ability to honor the time table they’ve given you. To do so, you will have to develop a test design brief for one of the pieces from your collection, and send it to all the manufacturers in your shortlist. Once you receive the prototypes, compare them and choose the manufacturer that meets your expectations the most. Choosing a manufacturer is a very important step as they are a key to your brand’s quality and image.
On the fashion market, there are also product development offices offering to take on all those steps for you: collection development, fabric and supplies sourcing, prototyping and collection making. These companies usually have their own manufacturer networks and manage a good coordination during the whole process of making your collection.
MonDéfilé is one of these actors. We propose customised services to help you create and produce your collections. We have now worked with a number of fashion brands (from emerging designers to more established brands) and have built a strong network of manufacturers all around the world (France, Eastern Europe, Tunisia, China). Their complementary know-hows allow us to produce ready-to-wear collections for women, men and children, as well as leatherwork and lingerie.