This is a full-on guide on how to start a streetwear brand, how to promote it, and make SERIOUS money! Here’s how it usually goes:
So, you’re whacking away at your keyboard looking up different ways to make money. BUT, this time, it’s not about money-making hobbies anymore. It’s serious. You need the real deal – an actual business venture! Then, how about a venture that brings together your love for sneakers, fashion, and money? Well, this is how to start a streetwear brand, online, and ALL on your own!
Streetwear is an unstoppable force and you can see its influence firsthand wherever you go. People rush to the ends of the Earth to cop the new Supreme store. We bow down in front of the awesomeness of the Off-White brand. And, basically, any other streetwear brand can bring us to our knees! It is how it is!
What you’ll find in this guide:
HOW TO START A STREETWEAR BRAND
But, here’s the thing, you can not learn how to start a streetwear brand if you don’t truly understand what a streetwear brand IS!
Although streetwear and the sneaker industry seem like two interchangeable terms, streetwear is an industry on its own. It all started out with people wearing clothes every single day on the streets! They were non-designer and centered largely around skateboarding culture, hip hop, and Californian surf culture!
STREETWEAR: A Brief History
So, what is streetwear? Streetwear is a culture and not just products.
Streetwear came into existence back in the early 1980s with Shawn Stussy – a talented surfer and avid skier. He made graphic tees with “Stussy” on them. He literally went on to sell these shirts out of the trunk of his car! And now, over 40 years later, Stussy is a formidable name in streetwear. When learning how to start a streetwear brand, Stussy is one of those brands that inspire!
In essence, streetwear is about supporting music and fashion, expressing your own identity, and giving a statement. It is a multi-billion dollar industry of casual fashion and footwear! It’s cool, exclusive, and a status symbol. THAT is streetwear.
Qualities of a streetwear brand according to the Streetwear Impact Report:
1. 70% of consumers say streetwear is Cool
2. About 46% like it for the exclusivity
3. 27% value the Status Symbol
4. 57% said they’re Comfortable
5. 24% said they like it for the Community
Before we jump right into how to start a streetwear brand, you have to understand what you’re getting yourself into. You gotta PLAN your moves carefully and precisely. So, we’re going to lay out all the pros and cons that come with starting a streetwear brand. On your own. From scratch. Here’s what you need to know
THE PROS & CONS
PROS OF STARTING A STREETWEAR BRAND
- An easy and guaranteed way to make money in the long run!
There’s money in streetwear. This isn’t anything new at all! And it remains one of the easiest businesses to become a part of!
- You become your own BOSS.
When you learn how to start a streetwear brand, you learn how to make your own decisions.
- Funding can come from your favorite side-hustles!
Just because you’re starting a new business in streetwear, doesn’t mean you have to give up sneaker copping! In fact, sneaker botting WILL be your easiest fund!
- You’ll be doing the thing you LOVE!
There will never be a dull moment in starting a business! You’ll do it with passion and be happy about it.
CONS OF STARTING A STREETWEAR BRAND
- Finding the right supplier/manufacturer can be stressful.
There are a lot of businesses in the game. It isn’t just YOU learning how to start a streetwear brand. It takes a lot of time, energy, and trials to find the perfect supplier/manufacturer for you.
- High overhead expenses & taxes!
First, you’re gonna have to pay self-employment taxes which are often very high! PLUS, overhead expenses come with selling physical products – you also have to pay.
- SO, you might struggle financially (at first!)
It’s gonna cost some money at first. But, everything does! This is why we plan before we start working!
- It is time-consuming and requires commitment!
All responsibilities, duties, and decisions will come from you. It takes a lot of time, commitment, and a whole lotta pressure. But, in the end, it’ll be all worth it!
THE BIGGEST PLAYERS OF THE GAME
Part of learning how to start a streetwear brand is knowing all about the BIGGEST fish in the sea. But, this isn’t rocket science. Lots of people before you did the same exact steps before you, and now RULE the streetwear game. So, let’s learn from the greats!
Some of the best streetwear brands include:
6. Carhartt WIP
Owner: James Jebbia
Founding Location: New York, US
Owner Net Worth: 800 MILLION dollars
Brand Net Worth: 1 BILLION dollars
Brand History: Began in one-half ownership of streetwear brand Stussy then branched out in 1994 to create his own brand, Supreme.
Owner: Virgil Abloh
Founding Location: Milan, Italy
Owner Net Worth: 20 MILLION dollars
Brand Net Worth: 800 MILLION dollar
Brand History: Started his career as an intern in Fendi then became Kanye’s creative consultant. But, his final calling was with Louis Vuitton and founded Off-White!
Owner: Lev Tanju
Founding Location: London, United Kingdom
Owner Net Worth: NA
Brand Net Worth: 13 MILLION dollar
Brand History: Started by living at a few skate houses and reselling skateboards, then went to designing his own! Later on, worked with Marc Jacob’s and then opened up his own brand, Palace Skateboards.
#1 Find Your Inspiration!
So, here’s the thing. Why would you wanna learn how to start a streetwear brand if you weren’t inspired by one from the start! Finding inspiration from other brands you are obsessed with will get your creative juices FLOWING! But, do not plagiarize. That ain’t cool.
#2 Choose a Style & Category
You can’t go into streetwear doing it all at once! You have to choose the style – colors or designs – and the category – like pants, hoodies, beanies, or whatever.
#3 Pick an Audience & Market
Pick the culture that you want to be in – like skateboarding, surfing, techwear, athleisure, and more! That way you can target the people you want in the right market for you!
#4 Name Your Brand & Create a Slogan
When picking a name for your streetwear brand, there are things you should avoid.
– Names that are hard to spell or pronounce
– Names that people will definitely forget
– Don’t pick a name that you will regret after 5 years of growth
Make sure that once you pick a name, register it on Google Domains instantly!
#5 Funding Your Streetwear Brand
Funding is, in essence, everything. If you’ve been botting for some years, you definitely have the money for it! Or use moonlighting on Amazon for extra cash! OR, resort to bootstrapping. This does NOT need funding. Read more about it here!
#6 Design a Prototype
– Draw out your first draft design
– Put together pieces of fabric for the initial look
– Maybe try using a generic product and branding it
#7 Find a Supplier & Manufacturing Location
To learn how to start a streetwear brand, for real, means learning to buy wholesale! Check out some of these suppliers/manufacturers!
– Makers Row
– Thomas Net
For a complete rendition of how much starting a streetwear brand costs, click here.
So, the hardest part of how to start a streetwear brand is basically over! But now, it’s all about the finishing touches! This is where you actually LAUNCH your business and begin to promote it. However, this is the part that either makes or breaks your brand. You can NOT skip this step at all. Or else, all the effort you put in will go down the drain! Here’s what you need to do!
BUILDING A WEBSITE & SOCIAL MEDIA PRESENCE
Can you name a streetwear brand that does not have an online presence? No. Because let’s be real. If you don’t exist online, you do not exist at all. Therefore, learning how to start a streetwear brand also means learning to build an online presence.
So, you can either hire someone to do it for you or use this checklist to launch your own website:
– Pick a domain that’s easy to remember
– Choose an eCommerce platform like Shopify or Squarespace
– Pick a theme and design that fits your brand
– Use proper page structure
Then, make sure you join social media – the platform depends on where your audience is. These days it’s all about Instagram and Twitter, but it all depends on YOUR audience.
INFLUENCERS & COLLABORATIONS
How to start a streetwear brand and get it going on social media? Easy. You gotta find influencers with huge followings to market your products. You’ve seen it happen all over your IG, your Twitter, and even your TikTok. We’re pretty sure you’re very familiar with the concept!
Also, just like we have sneaker collaborations, we also have streetwear brand collaborations! Now we’re not saying you gotta collaborate with the Swoosh – that would be SICK though. But, collaborating with different brands that have a decent following does help promote your own brand.
ALSO, you can send free products to people (with huge followings) to review your products. You may have to pay some people to do that or come to some kind of arrangement. In short, you gotta get the BUZZ going!
So, in reality. starting a streetwear brand comes down to proper marketing and retaining. Get people engaged, get YOURSELF engaged with your people, and get yourself in streetwear circles. Be loyal to the customers that are loyal to you.
In other words, do what you would want streetwear brands to do FOR YOU.
But, if all else fails, you can always go for the much easier and less expensive route – sneaker copping. It requires a lot less and a lot less time. In fact, you can do it right from your bedroom. ACTUALLY, you can still start a streetwear brand AND do sneaker copping at the same time. Being a part of the sneaker industry will make starting a streetwear brand so much easier. So, why not do both? Click on the button below to learn how!