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Brainstorming Your Very First Collection

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Brainstorming Your Very First Collection


So many of us have wished to start a fashion label/brand,or ever thought of getting into the fashion industry simply out of pure passion. What is the very first way to go about designing a collection? Where should I grasp my inspiration from? How much is enough research, and more?

Due to the public’s demand for the new, and with ever-increasing pressure placed on them. Designers must dig deeper and search further for ways of interpreting new inspiration into their collections.

Let’s take a look at few of the steps involved in brainstorming your very first collection:

1. If you’re a solo designer, create a brief/plan for your own self consisting of the following. A collection’s occasion and season. A muse/idol/inspiration, target customer profile, a target market, the kind of fabric and material you’d be willing to use. Wholesale and retail prices, and practical outcomes of your very first range.

2. All good designs start with RESEARCH and INSPIRATION. It enables you to investigate and learn something new or discover something from the past. Often designers travel around the world to get their eyes on new places and gather inspiration. You can be inspired by anything and everything you see. For instance, save or download an image that you like the most. Pinterest is an amazing place to start! You could also visit the nearest art gallery, museum, a local exhibition to research and analyze. Eventually getting inspired to create a product that you fancy.

3. RESEARCH and INSPIRATION can also be broken down into several categories. Making it easier for the designer to understand and visualize a collection well. Firstly, construction – you need to figure out the structure and shape of a garment, a color palette, exploring different textures of fabrics. For example – surface ornamentation, print, etc., looking up to historical references from different cultures for design inspiration, modern trends in fashion, and more. Create a mind map of all these things that can help you explore the latest fashion news and facts.

4. Choose a CONCEPT or THEME. Go back to point number one and ask yourself the very questions you had during your BRIEF. There can be several approaches to decide on a theme: create a story consisting of a central character/create a concept board with images you like and are willing to incorporate somewhere in your collection/create it in an abstract way i.e. research on new words/terms/visuals on the internet and other media sources and link it with what you’re thinking, such as photographs you’ve taken at an art show, an interesting term you came across in a fashion magazine, etc.


If you want to seek inspiration from a celebrity’s very own fashion line, we have REESE WITHERSPOON, the founder of Draper James. A clothing line launched in 2015 where she infuses the southern style, parties, and traditions she loves with the contemporary flair and charm.

In terms of inspiration, Reese noticed a boom of cultural growth in the South and simultaneously felt a void in what both fashion and lifestyle brands were offering the world. Draper James was Reese’s way of celebrating the spirit of the South and telling those authentic stories and messages she grew up with in Nashville.

Reese started Draper James to honor her Southern heritage and, in particular, her grandparents: Dorothea Draper and William James Witherspoon. She wanted to take everything she loves about the South—the grace, charm, and style—and bring it into people’s homes, no matter where they live. As the brand has grown and evolved, every product and story they tell. It continues to be steeped in Southern charm, designed for real life, and unapologetically pretty.


The Totes Y’all bag was one of their first and most recognizable Draper James handbags. As stated by their team, Reese has an amazing sense of humor, and during one of their design meetings, the expression “totes y’all” came up. They all laughed and knew it would be a hit. The Totes Y’all bag has been a brand staple in the fashion industry ever since.

Inspiration and a tremendous amount of research create the base for any brand, no matter the field. As a designer, it should be your duty to keep yourself fueled with creativity and the curiosity to know and learn more and more, within and outside your area of expertise. Its always good to know what you don’t know!

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