How To Start A Sneaker Business – Confused about how to start a sneaker brand? Our complete guide will make it easy for you to understand how to make sneakers from start to finish.
The thought of having your own sneaker line – designing & making it from start to finish seems like a lot of people who are obsessed with sneakers, but are often discouraged when they hear how difficult it is to launch your own brand.
How To Start A Sneaker Business
“Sneakerheads think this is easy, but I was in a warehouse in Italy and they said, ‘If this is so easy, then everyone will be doing it,'” said John Geiger, 31, who launched his own sneaker brand.
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With this Complete Guide to Starting Your Sneaker Brand, we plan to de-code the entire process. The Italian Shoe Factory has been helping Sneaker designers to create & launch their private label brands since 1995. Over the years we have seen the startup go from concept prototypes to showcasing their products in top boutiques around the world. Through learning from that experience, we share this Guide to help you easily move from concept to launch in a matter of weeks.
There’s been a recent rise of smaller shoe brands that straddle the line between sportswear and high fashion, including No One, Sonra, and John Geiger’s eponymous label. Through this Guide, you will get answers to questions like: How to start a sneaker brand? How to launch and run your own sneaker brand? What are some of the challenges? How much does it cost? How do you market your sneaker line? Find out how smaller shoe brands are finally breaking the code and how you can too.
Before starting, it is important to do some market research, this will help you identify your potential customers and target market. It is important to understand fashion trends and stay up-to-date with seasonal trends. Also you should note that your findings will also help you determine whether you want to have a shoe brand for men, women, or a unisex brand. Having a basic understanding of The Business of Fashion will give you the upper hand when designing your shoe collection. Some popular blogs to stay up to date with trends are BOF, Footwear News, Complex, Sneaker Freaker among other footwear magazines.
When thinking about how to start a sneaker brand, it is important to look for gaps in the market and wait for demand while still maintaining the design elements and vision of your shoe design.
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It is important to do an analysis of popular shoe lines and find gaps where you can differentiate your marketing strategy and approach. Below is an example of a quick search on Google trends, a tool that helps you see the growing trend for the google search keyword for ‘Leather Sneakers’.
While we all aspire to someday gain tremendous success with the likes of Nike, Adidas or Puma, it is important to dig deeper and know who your real competitors are once you have identified your niche. This will help you identify that there is a demand for your niche and you can then differentiate yourself from your design elements, product quality, branding and marketing and ethical values.
For example, If you’re aiming to build a high-quality luxury sneaker brand that’s affordable and doesn’t break the bank, then here’s a list of new-age brands that fit that criteria:
Creating a design requires creativity, brainstorming, and organization. Whether you are new to shoe design, or already familiar with the creation process, design takes time, patience, and inspiration. Most importantly, a moodboard can help.
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Moodboards allow artists, designers, and stylists to visualize their products, then organize their thoughts and ideas into concrete concepts on the board, which they can then look back on when creating the original design. This can help with organizing ideas along with market trends and branding to help in the creation of a salable product that customers want to buy.
Building a moodboard can be as simple as gluing a photo to a pasteboard but it is very important to consider the elements, expressions, emotions, and values of the components included. In this guide, you’ll learn to carefully consider style, content, and purpose, so you can create a moodboard that adds value to your project. This should help you organize creative thoughts, find inspiration for new projects to make them more relevant and interesting for customers, and communicate ideas or designs with others to receive feedback and input.
Once you’ve created a mood board and have your perfect shoe design in mind, it’s time to start sketching. It’s okay if you’re not a professional sketch artist, basic drawing references from existing designs and sketches and modifications are welcome when contacting us. You can also hire a professional Shoe Designer who can help you create sneaker designs as per your guidelines. Once the design is ready, it’s time to create a spec sheet or Tech Pack to share with the manufacturer. The Italian Shoe Factory offers a handy Tech Pack Guide and a winning template. Most manufacturers request Pack Tech to provide you with an accurate production quote. However, basic sketches and reference images are also good to start a conversation with us.
Come up with a catchy brand name for your shoe line that will attract interest. It can be your own name or you can come up with something that will resonate with your target niche. Once you come up with a brand name, the first step is to check if the domain name and social handles are available. Although, registering your business and obtaining a trademark is important, it is not necessary in the early stages of prototyping and sampling.
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When starting a sneaker brand, it’s important to find an experienced manufacturer who will guide you from the initial concept phase to production. With new Shoe Manufacturers & brand owners, it is often a chicken & egg problem. New brands want to test the market with small quantity orders, while Shoe Manufacturers need large quantities and MOQs to talk to you.
Remember that shoe manufacturers need volume to make money. Small orders just can’t cover the time and cost of development. For example, the development process for a 500 pair order is the same as for a 25,000 pair order. Order minimums are based on material minimums. The minimum order quantity (MOQ) for materials such as suede leather can be 1000 square feet. This is enough leather to make about 500 pairs.
The good news is, Italian Shoe Factory offers a Startup Package which is basically an end-to-end solution to guide you from the initial sneaker prototyping stage to help you test the market with small batch production until you are ready to develop your brand. with confidence.
This stage is very important to get your final production right. The resulting sample can be used to visualize your product design before going into production. It can also be used for online marketing, to show buyers at trade shows and runways, or directly to consumers for pre-orders.
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The list above is just a summarized version of some of the steps needed to successfully develop a new shoe design in preparation for mass production.
The answer depends on the style of shoe you want to make. Depending on the manufacturer and the country where you want to make your shoes, the cost of prototyping and sample making can range from 1,000 to 3,000 US dollars per style. Prices may vary depending on the complexity of the design, materials chosen, hardware and decorations (if any), or if special shoemaking techniques are required.
Production process is more than just assembly of shoes. It is often a misconception that a single manufacturer takes care of all the steps involved in the manufacturing process of a sneaker. For example, the outsoles are produced in a single factory, the material comes from the leather factory and the ready-to-wear production is made by the last factory. Therefore, you can think of the Shoe Manufacturer as an orchestra conductor whose job it is to bring the various moving parts of the shoe manufacturing process together to assemble and craft a high quality product.
The Shoe Last is the starting point of every shoe design. The last is the shape of the legs made of molded plastic, carved wood, or cast aluminum. Used in both the development and production of shoes, the last arrangement of the size, silhouette, and outline of the shoes. The last is critical to the shape of the shoe.
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The last shape determines the fit, performance, ergonomics and styling of the shoe. It’s also what makes the shoe suitable for playing basketball, hiking, or running a marathon.
When discussing the last attribute, you need to know the general terms. The majority of measurements are volume rather than the traditional length and width associated with shoe fit.
In addition to the Upper design, you also have the option to customize it
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