prince_du_ciel (prince_du_ciel) wrote in egl,

Designer Rant

I'd like to do some production costs of a small clothing buissness or chain.
I'd really like other designers in classes or currently working, to post the standards of your buisness or projected buisness for your area.
Just so the members of EGL gain some perspective on the workings of the fashion industry.

While lolita brands are large enough to get some deals, they are still not at the level of say, the Gap or Levis or whatever.
This was the information I was asked to gather to price a garment in my desing class. Which IS taught by a designer who's worked for many Vancouver based design firms and clothing lines. All prices are in Canadian and are estimated costs, often the lowest price available to a small buisness, fabric costs are wholesale.

This is how I calculated the predicted cost of a velvet skirt similair to a Baby or AP design.
Edit: Design is similair, I'll admit fabrics were on the high end. I was experimenting with couture techniques and fabrics. You could probably cut down the fabric and notion prices by half.
velvet -3 m- 10$m= 30$
lining- 3m- 5$m= 15$
Lace 1- 3 m- 4$m= 12$
Lace 2- 3m- 6$m= 18$
Thread-2 spools- 2$each= 4$
Serger thread-4 spools- 4$= 16$
Buttons-4 at 5$ = 5$
Invisible zipper-1= 1.50$
5 pattern peices- 10$ a peice= 50$
production costs = 10$ roughly per garment
shipping costs = 10$ per garment to be a nice round number. That'll include all shipping costs through the production of the garment.

So total production costs are = 171.50$

Overhead & Employee costs:
Rent, um no idea, locally I'd say, 2,000$ a month.
Employees, min wage for BC canada, 8$ an hour. Min of two employees on for one store. 16$ an hour. full eight hour shifts. 4 employees throughout the day. 256$ paid to employees Minumum daily.
Don't forget your taxes, insurance, buisness lisence, utility costs.
Oh, also don't forget to pay your designers and add on a loss fee so when things go wrong you have a buffer. Oh don't forget marketing! And the costs of hiring a forecaster. And a web domain that can handle the stress of a shopping cart and high traffic. Don't think an internet website is expensive? Why did LolitaSnap etc shut down? Bandwidth costs money. And youalsohaveto pay a web designer to maintain the site.
Oh and you know, making a profit would be nice so you can expand your buisness.

These are the costs of a small independant clothing line. The more distributed you get, less the costs are over all. ALL, I repeat, ALL lolita brands, are not big enough, to reap the benifits of a large clothing line. They do not have Million dollar surplus and the materials used ARE good quality often top of the line materials.
Add in the inflated prices of the japanese market, lolita clothing is priced Insanely well! This is why they almost all refuse to ship over seas and only the most expensive and WELL established brands have enough profit to make that leap into other countries.
When the brand price goes up, it's often reflected in new fabrics, more expensive fabrics. Or if the price holds steady and the detailing maybe falls a bit or the same pattern is continually used but say, the fabrics become more personalized and the lines come out more frequently (coughmetacough) they're most likely shifting how the buisness is run and becoming more mass produced rather than relying on other local buisness, which is ultimately cheaper, but only if you have are going to be ordering enough stock to over shadow the shipping costs. Specially if you get the wrong fabric and have to send it back. That'll eat up your profit REAL fast and you Better hope you break even.

So I repeat. You are getting enough bang for your buck, when it comes to lolita brands.
You are NOT paying for the name as much as you think you are. Specially when almost ALL lolita brands are cost roughly the same.
Go buy guuchi, That's, paying for a name.
Go look at the differences between Banana Republic, The Gap and Old Navy. All the same company. But ultimately, different prices due to continually cutting corners the lower in target market the brand name Is.
Same company. Different target market. Product reflects in loss or gain in quality.

That is my designer rant for the day.
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