Streetwear Branding: How to Start Your Own Streetwear Brand!
There isn’t just one way how to start your own streetwear brand. Every entrepreneur, subculture, and target audience is different. When starting out, it’s more than forming a business and registering a trademark.
When pondering how to create your own streetwear brand, a strong streetwear branding strategy and innovative graphic design are part of the answer. Once you do that, it’s about building relationships with companies that specialize in wholesale T-shirt printing for resellers. All of this takes place before selling your first item.
Read on for important information for all WealthHunters to learn how to start your own streetwear brand.
Streetwear branding has no rules. And with such a broad spectrum of influence, streetwear brands have an even more broad market. With that said, the first step is to discover your interests.
Streetwear designers like Daniel Patrick and Spanto blend life experiences with individual passion to create their streetwear branding messages. Patrick loved New York and Los Angeles, as well as sports. He used those core passions to inspire his brand. Spanto experienced gentrification, racism, and imprisonment. His streetwear branding for BornxRaised line expressed his experiences and led to the creation of one of the best streetwear brands. Although uniquely different, each brand connects clothing with cultural experiences.
Designer influences are reflected subtly in their clothing lines. In essence, their passions fuel streetwear branding by connecting with their target audience in unique cultural ways.
What subculture(s) does your ideal client identify with?
After defining your ideal client, identify what subcultures they belong to. With streetwear origins rooted in surfing, skating, punk rock, and hip-hop subcultures, many brands connect to their target audience through subcultural trends. When creating your streetwear branding ideas, remember streetwear’s still heavily associated with youthful subcultures. Your streetwear branding strategy must include how your clothing connects to its respective subculture.
When you organically tap into the experiences of American youth, brand attachment begins. This form of streetwear branding will connect with your audience and almost immediately result in purchases. Whatever your background may be, it must be uniquely reflected through your streetwear branding strategy.
How does your Streetwear branding empower and embody its targeted subculture?
The next step in streetwear branding is empowering your audience to proudly wear your brand. What message does the clothing you create convey on behalf of the people who wear it?
Without a doubt- trends accelerate sales and brand adoption. Staying on top of trends helps your streetwear branding efforts remain ahead of the curve. However, to avoid becoming irrelevant due to trend changes, Streetwear branding designers should always connect their design to an unwavering brand message. By encapsulating your target audience’s core beliefs and passions within your Streetwear branding, you create clothing that reflects their true nature.
Streetwear branding messages can be conveyed through social issues, music, or artistic designs. Deviating from your core brand message can result in unwanted consequences, such as the fateful “sell out” label.
Journalist Noor Tagouri collaborated with streetwear brand Lis’n Up Clothing to combat sex trafficking. He told the Huffington Post that streetwear is “a visual representation of [a] cause, with words and symbols along the pieces themselves, turning the people wearing the clothes into walking conversation starters.” Rally support by remaining authentic to your core Streetwear branding message in all releases.
Find a Great Streetwear Graphic Designer
To conduct a successful streetwear branding campaign, you’ll need a great streetwear graphic designer. Finding a streetwear graphic designer is easier said then done, but before finding one (or two), a clear brand vision is necessary. You must have an idea of what you want your brand to look like before your streetwear graphic designer search. The streetwear graphic designer doesn’t create your brand, they translate it into clothing.
The next step is to choose an in-house or freelance streetwear graphic designer. Creative website 99designs provides insight on the pros and cons of both an in-house and freelance streetwear graphic designer.
In-house streetwear graphic designer pros:
- A shared vision
- Dedicated designer
- Exclusive employee
In-house streetwear graphic designer cons:
- Full-time salary
- May require more streetwear graphic designers for heavy workload
- Is limited to own expertise
There are benefits to having a streetwear graphic designer in an exclusive capacity; however, it might cost too much. A freelance streetwear graphic designer can come in handy if your streetwear branding budget is small.
Freelance streetwear graphic designer pros:
- Hired for project only basis
- Can affird multiple designers
- Easily set a scope for a streetwear graphic designer
Freelance streetwear graphic designer cons:
- Time searching for a competant streetwear graphic designer
- Non-exclusive access
- Inflexible availability
Where to find a great streetwear graphic designer
If you go the freelance route, make sure to have a back-up streetwear graphic designer in case of an emergency. In addition, seek out recommendations from friends and family who may personally know a streetwear graphic designer. If you have no recommendations for a streetwear graphic designer, you can find one on websites like Fiverr or Upwork. Each streetwear graphic designer contains reviews, descriptions detailing their respective experience, and a direct messaging option to ask questions. Most importantly, you can view portfolios for each streetwear graphic designer.
Once you find your streetwear graphic designer to enhance your streetwear branding ideas, start small by placing your design only on a T-shirt and a hat. In doing this, you will have samples to show potential customers and investors, as well as products for your streetwear branding campaign. Lastly, keep in mind that your streetwear graphic designer will also help create a logo for your merchandise and online platforms. The initial designs the a streetwear graphic designer creates will be your brand identity and first impression to the world. With that said, find a streetwear graphic designer that matches your streetwear branding vision. If you can’t get on the same page as your streetwear graphic designer, then he or she is not there to help.
Find Wholesale T-Shirt Printing for Resellers
After you start your streetwear branding plan and found your streetwear graphic designer, the next step is to find the right company that specializes in wholesale T-shirt printing for resellers. This will require many research hours in finding good options. The U.S. Small Business Administration has suggestions on how to find reputable companies that do wholesale T-shirt printing for resellers. Two of them are:
- Trade shows in the specific or related industry
- Google (and Bing) It!
Trade shows provide opportunities to meet with companies doing wholesale T-shirt printing for resellers. Registration to trade shows usually requires a fee, but the benefits and contacts are worth it. Relationship building with companies doing wholesale T-shirt printing for resellers is essential to your streetwear branding needs.
Google and Bing are great platforms to use when searching for a company that specializes in wholesale T-shirt printing for resellers. When entering this space, keywords are very important for your searches. For your streetwear branding needs, the rule of thumb is to choose a company that specifically specializes in wholesale T-shirt printing for resellers. You cannot deviate from this rule because they may not provide the services you need. For example, choosing a wholesale service that specializes in USB thumb drives is not a good fit for your clothing and streetwear branding needs. Again, time will need to be reserved for this, but once you have your list of companies that do wholesale T-shirt printing for resellers, you will be relieved.
Questions to ask potential wholesalers
After connecting with wholesalers, and to continue to build an effective streetwear branding campaign, you must ask questions. Social Media influencer John Santos provides some questions to ask companies specializing in wholesale T-shirt printing for resellers:
- Do you ship overseas?
- What are the shipping times and methods?
- Is there a minimum quantity order?
- What countries are you located in?
- How long have you been in business?
- What’s the return policy?
These questions, and others, will help you determine which company specializing in wholesale T-shirt printing for resellers will have fair pricing and terms to provide a high-quality product.
A quick note
Registering your business in the state you want to establish your brand in is very important for streetwear branding. It isn’t required, but you will appear more serious and formal when meeting with others in your field. Register it before approaching a company that specializes in wholesale T-shirt printing for resellers and scouting a streetwear graphic designer. Having all the business logistics done beforehand will save time and future headaches, and most importantly, attract serious candidates that do wholesale T-shirt printing for resellers.
Again, there isn’t one way to approach streetwear branding when starting out; however, certain steps are to be taken to be successful:
- Define your ideal client and messaging for your streetwear branding
- Find a streetwear graphic designer that will capture your vision
- Find a company specializing in wholesale T-shirt printing for resellers.
Following these steps with help you start your own streetwear brand and building a clientele.