3 Tips to Building and Testing a Cohesive Collection

Presenting a collection is a way of telling a story. The story may be simple or elaborate, but with the right point of view or framing – it can differentiate your brand from the pack. Below are 3 different ways to think about building a cohesive collection and telling your story.

1. Try doing one thing…and do it well

Every artist has a unique style. Whether it is the DVF wrap dress or the Burberry Trench, sometimes, you can establish your brand with one piece and branch out from there. Have a design you have already identified as a winner? Why not launch a collection and blow out that piece? Funky cut-out peplum tops your thing? Create a collection  of different color SKUs and patterns, or change small details like sleeve length to see what resonates. If one particular color and body does best, you are ready to launch your next collection with theme #2….

2. Try a color theme and get reactions

Black and white are always a safe bet and sometimes a particular color emerges as the must-have for the next season – why not test your designs in one of these colors? If you know off-white is the thing for spring, consider launching new constructions of favorite designs with an off-white theme. Tell the color story and tie it to a moment of inspiration, but don’t forget to take notes on how the color resonates with shoppers!

3. Test subtle separates and full pieces

If you have tried the first two themes, gather your learnings and launch a larger collection with your best sellers. Don’t forget to take note of shoppers’ messages to see if there is additional feedback you should take into account before you design your next collection. Collections can be a way to continue the stories of past collections and create a larger story about you and your brand.  This final collection will help you find the true best sellers and craft your brand design narrative.

A few notes on easy merchandising…

Custom patterns and prints and they are a great way to differentiate your brand and tell your story. But it is also important to provide complimentary solid colored pieces that may be easier to merchandise with your  collection. If there is a construction theme that unifies all the pieces, this may be a good way to introduce some simpler pieces and test what sells best.

The main goal of presenting a collection is to always have a story or narrative to tell you customer. This story helps shoppers learn about your brand vision and helps tie them into your story. The ultimate goal is to have shoppers become a part of your world and live in your garment as your #1 fan.

Get planning now with this free collection planning tool then sign up to become a designer and get testin’!


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  1. This is a topic that’s close to my heart… Many thanks!
    Exactly where are your contact details though? http://bing.Co.uk

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