How to Start a Fashion Designing Business in India?

  • Setindiabiz Team
  • February 16, 2024
How to start a fashion designing business in India?
How to start a fashion designing business in India?

Wondering how to start a fashion designing business in India? This blog is your go-to resource for venturing into this dynamic industry. From essential steps and legal requirements to securing funding, building a strong supply chain, and effective marketing strategies, we cover everything you need to know to kickstart your fashion business successfully. Our blog offers actionable insights, practical tips, and expert advice tailored specifically to the Indian fashion industry landscape, empowering readers to navigate challenges, capitalize on opportunities, and achieve their entrepreneurial dreams.

The fashion designing industry is among the fastest-growing industries in India. Its domestic valuation and market size exceeded Rs1,000 crores and Rs.20,000 crores respectively, in the year 2021. Its net worth is 0.2% of the net worth of the global fashion industry, which is led by Eastern and Southeastern Asian markets. The industry has managed to sustain the growth in its revenues for almost half a decade since 2017. This includes the pandemic years of 2019 and 2020 as well. According to Statista, a leading website on market analysis, the fashion industry earned a total revenue of $3,761 million in 2017, which increased to $16,853 million in 2021. The growth was driven by accessories, jewellery, cosmetics, clothing, and footwear markets in India, with an accumulated size of thousands of crores.

Types of Fashion Designing Businesses

Fashion Designing Businesses in India are largely unorganized, with fast fashion manufacturing and retailing businesses accounting for a majority of the market share. Besides, smaller businesses like custom tailoring shops and boutiques also design and stitch cost-effective clothing for their local customers. If you are planning to start a new business in the fashion design industry, there are several options available for you to choose from, some of which include:
  • Brand Stores: Such businesses usually design, manufacture, distribute, sell, and market their products themselves to promote their brand voice in the market. The value and credibility of the brand help such businesses build a loyal customer base through years of operations. You can sell your product design to a 3rd party manufacturer and retailer to introduce your product in the market while promoting it yourself to enhance your business or personal brand.
  • Fast Fashion Businesses: Fast fashion businesses are retailers known for their rapid production and distribution of inexpensive clothing collections that closely mimic current fashion trends. These companies prioritize quick turnover of styles, often releasing new collections weekly, and mass-producing clothing at low prices through global supply chains.
  • E-commerce Businesses: Such businesses sell personally designed products to their customers via online mode, usually a web-based platform. They deliver their products to the customer’s doorsteps through a network of distributors and delivery channels. E-commerce businesses are the most trending type of business in the fashion industry, owning to the convenience it offers to shoppers.
  • Custom Design Businesses: Custom fashion design businesses specialize in creating unique and personalized products tailored to the individual preferences and requirements of each customer. Unlike mass-produced items found in traditional retail stores, these businesses prioritize craftsmanship and individuality, working closely with clients to bring their visions to life. They offer a wide range of bespoke options, allowing customers to express their style and personality through one-of-a-kind creations.
  • Recycling Businesses: Recycling fashion design businesses specialize in creating innovative and sustainable products by repurposing old and worn-out materials, thereby reducing waste and minimizing environmental impact. These businesses prioritize cost-effective design solutions that utilize recycled materials such as fabrics, textiles, and other resources, transforming them into stylish and functional clothing. By embracing a circular economy model, recycling fashion design businesses not only contribute to reducing the fashion industry’s carbon footprint but also promote eco-conscious consumer habits.

How to Start a Fashion Designing Business in India?

The pandemic has made the challenges faced by fashion designers in operating their businesses crystal clear. The slowdown of production, interruptions in supply chains of raw materials, and a shortage of labour in the pandemic hurt smaller businesses the most. Although the online mode for the sale of designs and products was quite helpful for these businesses, there are certain tips to keep in mind for future-proofing your business, some of which include:
  • Conduct Thorough Research and Analysis: Before starting a business in the fashion design industry you must conduct thorough market and industry research so that you can make informed choices and decisions about your business in the present and the future. Even after setting up your business successfully, you must continue to conduct market research and prepare reports at regular intervals. This will help you reflect and improve the status of your business.
  • Choose your industry: Businesses in the fashion design industry can either operate at a smaller scale as fast fashion or custom design stores or at a larger scale as high-end brand stores. Choosing your industry would depend on your professional knowledge and experience in the field as fashion designing is a craft for only the highly skilled and experienced to master. Other significant factors to consider are the potential investors and investments for start-ups in the field. As success is a key ambition for entrepreneurs, analysing the rate and pace of achievements becomes an important task before starting a business.
  • Get Funding: Securing funding is a crucial step in starting a fashion design business in India. It involves sourcing funds from credible and authorized sources such as financial institutions and banks. Additionally, individual investors may be approached, especially for smaller-scale ventures. Adequate funding ensures that the business has the necessary capital for initial investments in equipment, inventory, marketing, and operational expenses, laying a strong foundation for sustainable growth and success in the competitive fashion industry landscape of India.
  • Choose your Target Buyer: Different designers may sell their products to different buyers according to the nature of their business. The sale of designs can be between two businesses in case 3rd party manufacturers and retailers are involved, else if the designing business conducts all operations from manufacture to sale, products can be sold directly to customers at business-owned stores or websites.
  • Prepare a Detailed Business Plan and Strategy: Developing a detailed business plan and strategy is essential for navigating the challenges inherent in launching and sustaining a fashion design business in India. Through thorough market research and analysis, defining a unique selling proposition, and meticulous financial planning, entrepreneurs can lay a solid foundation for success. Additionally, focusing on product development, effective marketing and branding, strategic sales and distribution channels, and proactive risk management ensures resilience in the face of industry fluctuations and economic uncertainties.
  • Choose your Location: There are certain factors that you must consider before choosing a location for your fashion design business. These include the proximity and affordability of supply chains for raw materials, low cost of input and raw materials, low cost of transport, low rent on properties, dense population or network of your target buyer or customer, abundant availability of affordable labor, safety, and sanitation of the location. If your business is to be operated online, check for network connectivity in the area.
  • Ensure the Availability of Infrastructure, Logistics, and Machinery: In case the designer is also the manufacturer and retailer of the products, it needs to be ensured that the necessary infrastructure like factories, heavy machinery, retail stores, etc are available and functional for the business to begin its operations. Additionally, to ensure the availability of infrastructure such as factories, heavy machinery, and retail stores, it’s crucial to prioritize logistics and operational efficiency. This includes establishing streamlined processes for production, inventory management, and distribution to meet consumer demand effectively. Investing in technology and systems for inventory tracking, order processing, and customer service can enhance productivity and customer satisfaction.
  • Build your Supply Chain: Based on the cost of transportation, the cost of input materials, the abundance of suppliers, and the competition in the suppliers market, you must build the most effective and efficient supply chain for your business. Building an effective and efficient supply chain involves identifying reliable suppliers, negotiating favorable terms, and optimizing logistics to minimize costs and streamline operations. Conducting a thorough analysis of transportation costs, input material prices, and supplier competition helps in making informed decisions about sourcing and procurement strategies.
  • Choose your niche: The fashion design industry offers a wide variety of niche products that you may choose to design, sell, and manufacture. These include clothing, footwear, accessories, jewelry, and many more. You may operate with a single or multiple product niche. However, it is advised that you begin your business by designing products in a certain category and expanding your operations over time.
  • Choose a name and logo: The name of your business should be such that it communicates your personal or business brand voice, your area of operation, and the specialty of your product. Keep in mind that it does not deceptively mimic the name and logo of an existing business as that will violate Section 4 of the Trademark Act, 1999. Do not forget to register the name and logo of your company as a trademark, when applying for its incorporation. You may avail of services at SetIndiaBiz which carries years of expertise and experience in registering trademarks for several new companies at an economical cost.
  • Choose a mode of operation: Designers conduct business operations like selling and marketing their products in both online and offline modes. However, consumer data in recent years suggest that customers have been more active on online shopping platforms, compared to offline shopping in the fashion industry. In 2021, approximately 97.5% of the purchases were made online, mostly by mobile phones.
  • Choose a legal status: Fashion designing businesses may register as an OPC, LLP, partnership, or a private limited company based on the nature and scale of operations and the ultimate ambition of the designer. If the designer wants to get recognition in the industry, he may either set up an OPC or sell his designs under a registered trademark to manufacturing companies. Sabyasachi Mukherjee and Manish Malhotra are apt examples of the same. Businesses may also operate as public or private ltd companies provided profit earning is their primary ambition, for example, Titan operates as a Public Ltd Company. Partnerships are desirable only when mass production is involved and brand creation or profit earning is not an aim.
  • Register and Incorporate Your Business: To begin operations in India as a separate legal entity, your garment business must be licensed and incorporated. SetIndiaBiz provides you with a one-stop solution for the registration and incorporation of your business. Building an effective and efficient supply chain involves identifying reliable suppliers, negotiating favorable terms, and optimizing logistics to minimize costs and streamline operations. Conducting a thorough analysis of transportation costs, input material prices, and supplier competition helps in making informed decisions about sourcing and procurement strategies.
  • Get necessary approvals and licenses: Post registration and incorporation, as a new company you must obtain the necessary licenses, some of which include a Business license, Trade license, GST registration, Tax registration, Trademark registration, EPF, and ESIC registrations. You can avail of our services for all post-incorporation formalities at an economical cost.
  • Draft a Business Policy: A business policy tailored to a fashion designing business encompasses guidelines and procedures specific to the industry’s unique challenges and opportunities. It delineates standards for product design and development, quality control, sourcing of materials, ethical manufacturing practices, and brand representation. Additionally, it may address aspects such as intellectual property protection, collaboration with suppliers and manufacturers, and sustainability initiatives to ensure the business operates ethically and responsibly within the fashion industry.
  • Recruit Skilled and Experienced Employees: Recruiting skilled and experienced employees is paramount to the fashion designing ventures, where creativity, technical proficiency, and industry knowledge are essential. Designers, pattern makers, seamstresses, and other specialists contribute unique expertise to the design and production process. It’s crucial to seek individuals with a strong portfolio showcasing their creativity and proficiency in design software and techniques. Additionally, experienced professionals bring valuable insights into market trends, fabric sourcing, and production methods, contributing to the overall quality and innovation of the brand’s collections.
  • Construct Customer Feedback and Grievance Channels: Establishing robust customer feedback and grievance channels is vital for a fashion design business to maintain customer satisfaction and loyalty. This involves implementing multiple touchpoints such as online feedback forms, customer service hotlines, email support, and social media platforms to gather input from customers regarding their experiences with products and services. Additionally, creating dedicated mechanisms for addressing grievances, such as a formal complaint resolution process or a customer service team trained to handle issues promptly and courteously, is essential.
  • Launch Your Business: Launching a designing business involves orchestrating a carefully planned debut that showcases the brand’s identity, vision, and products to the target audience. This encompasses various elements such as organizing a launch event or fashion show to unveil the inaugural collection, creating buzz through strategic marketing campaigns across multiple channels including social media, traditional advertising, and influencer partnerships, and ensuring seamless availability of products through online and offline retail channels. Leveraging press releases and media outreach to garner publicity and securing collaborations with retailers or e-commerce platforms can expand the reach and visibility of the brand.

Fashion designing businesses are creative ventures for stepping your foot in. The earning potential rests on the designer’s potential to create original designs for a variety of fashion products in the industry based on consumer needs and current trends. Besides, the foreign market for Indian fashion products remains new and untapped for Indian businesses to expand into. SetIndiaBiz has specialized in providing company registration and post-registration services to all kinds of businesses, including fashion design businesses, for the past several years. Our services are backed in quality by a team of professional and legal experts in the field, and our costs are most convenient for clients inside and outside India. Besides services, we also offer guidance to our clients with respect to legal and tax compliances post-incorporation.



Q1: How to Start a Fashion Designing Business in India?

To start a fashion business in India, begin by conducting thorough market research to understand the industry landscape and identify your target audience. Then, develop a comprehensive business plan outlining your brand’s vision, unique selling proposition, and financial projections. Next, secure funding through loans, investors, or personal savings. Once you have the necessary resources, register your business, obtain any required licenses or permits, and set up your workspace. Finally, focus on product development, marketing, and building a strong network of suppliers and collaborators to launch your fashion business successfully.
When starting a fashion design business in India, it’s essential to comply with legal requirements such as registering your business entity, obtaining necessary licenses and permits, and adhering to tax regulations. You may need to register your business as a sole proprietorship, partnership, or private limited company, depending on your preferences and the scale of your operations. Additionally, ensure compliance with intellectual property laws to protect your designs and trademarks from infringement.

Q3: How can I secure funding to start my fashion design business in India?

Securing funding for your designing business in India can be achieved through various channels, including bank loans, government schemes, venture capital firms, and angel investors. Prepare a solid business plan outlining your financial projections, growth strategies, and potential return on investment to present to potential investors or financial institutions. Additionally, consider bootstrapping by using personal savings or crowdfunding platforms to raise initial capital for your venture.

Q4: What strategies are used to promote a designing business in the fashion industry?

Effective marketing strategies for promoting a fashion designing business in India include leveraging social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest to showcase your designs and engage with your target audience. Collaborating with fashion influencers, bloggers, and celebrities can also help increase brand visibility and reach a wider audience. Additionally, participate in fashion events, exhibitions, and trade shows to showcase your collections and network with potential buyers and industry professionals.

Q5: How do I build a strong supply chain for my fashion design business in India?

Building a strong supply chain for your designing business in India involves identifying reliable suppliers, negotiating favorable terms, and optimizing logistics to minimize costs and streamline operations. Conduct thorough research to find suppliers that offer quality materials at competitive prices. Develop strong relationships with suppliers and manufacturers to ensure timely delivery of materials and maintain consistent product quality. Implement supply chain management technologies and systems to enhance visibility, coordination, and efficiency throughout the supply chain network.

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