Fashionistas – want to make money in your own fashion business? I can help you as a marketing consultant, proud FIT (Fashion Institute of Technology) graduate, and fellow fashion lover.
Get inspired by this list of creative and profitable fashion business ideas including new businesses; fashion designing, starting a clothing line, fashion styling, luxury consignment, media, retailing, and online options too!
List of Fashion Business Ideas
- Fashion Designer Women’s Apparel – Use your creative fashionista style to design and sell your own clothing line. The fashion business can be profitable for designers of sportswear, separates, dresses, and suits for women.
- Children’s Clothing Designer – Opportunities abound in children’s clothing designs. The global children’s wear market is worth over $300 billion dollars and 6 billion for high-end designer kidswear.
- Baby Clothes Designer – Little babies are big business! The baby apparel market worldwide earns over $135 billion annually. Check out my list of business ideas aimed at babies here.
- Handmade Fashions – The handmade market is booming. Fashion entrepreneurs are creating handmade, and sustainable apparel and selling online sites such as Etsy, Amazon Handmade, and Facebook Marketplace.
- Bridal Wedding Dress Designer – Wedding wear earned over $59 billion last year. Capitalize on this opportunity by designing custom wedding gowns, veils, footwear, bridesmaid dresses, wedding favors, and jewelry. Also, you could create a wedding fashion for men and boys.
- Knitwear and Sweater Designer – The knitted fabric market is one of the fastest-growing in the fashion sector. As such, consider designing knitwear, sweaters, hosiery, leggings, and socks as a career.
- Eyewear and Sunglasses – Designer sunglasses are a lucrative and growing market.
- Fashion Illustrator – Use your artistic talents to draw fashion images for advertisements, packaging, store signage and websites.
- Fashion Author – If you have a flair for writing, you could be a fashion author penning books that are biographies of famous designers and photographers.
- Magazine Publisher – Combine fashion writing and imagery into a printed publication for distribution.
- Fashion Blogger – The average monthly salary for online fashion bloggers is $1,000 with a few earning millions! Fashionista magazine details the top earners here
- Fashion Vlogger YouTube Channel – Make videos of style tutorials, clothing brand reviews, and outfit suggestions.
- Fashion Podcasts – Love to talk about fashion? Explore starting a fashion podcast such as these voted best fashion podcasters by Harpers Bazaar.
- Fashion TV Show – My guilty secret is fashion TV shows – especially Project Runway. Use new media such as Instagram Lives to air your own fashion TV show. Get inspired by this list of top fashion TV shows at Bustle.com
- Fashion Journalist – Become a fashion reporter and write for magazines, websites, and television. Having a degree in fashion media, communication or journalism can be an advantage.
- Pattern Maker – Create patterns from fashion designers’ sketches or existing outfits for seamstresses to produce. Alternatively, you could design and sell patterns to home sewers. It requires skill and patience.
- Custom Made Clothing – Create couture outfits, made to measure for individuals.
- Sewing Store – Make money with sewing by becoming a teacher, creating a website, selling sewing supplies, books, and patterns.
- Fashion Photography – Fashion photographers are among the highest-paid in the industry. Start your business by exploring options locally such as taking photos for independent designers and boutique shops to post on their websites and social media. Here are hundreds of my creative photography business name ideas
- Sleepwear Designer – Designer sleepwear is a lucrative market.
- Lingerie & Bra Designer – Create and sell lingerie fashions including bras, shapewear, hosiery and socks.
- Activewear Designer – Athleisure is a huge trend in women’s apparel market. Good looking comfortable wear is no longer just for exercise class. Learn how to launch your own activewear brand in 5 steps at Syletica.com
- Fashion Event Producer – Stage runway fashion shows and trade shows to promote designers collections.
- Fashion Business Coach – Help fashion companies with their branding, advertising and business operations including financing and production advice.
- Fashion Graphic Artist – You can specializing in fashion advertising, and also offer photo retouching for fashion images.
- Photo Stylist – Style models and actors for photos, videos and films as a wardrobe consultant or costume designer.
- Personal Stylist – Celebrities, politicians and other professionals need fashion experts to dress them for important appearances.
- Image consultant – Both men and women hire fashion professionals to help advise them on the best silhouettes and styles for their skin color and physique. Designing capsule – mini collections – are trending now.
- Personal Shopper and Wardrobe Consultant – Help busy people buy the right fashions for their wardrobe by becoming a personal shopper. Expand your profits by offering closet organization services.
- Travel Wardrobe Expert – Frequent travelers have specific clothing needs. Design and sell travel clothes and packing guidance.
- Public Relations Representative – Use your creative writing and business marketing skills to become a PR agent for fashion brands to promote their lines in the media.
- Modeling Agency – Open an agency teaching people how to be models then offer their services to photographers.
- Fashion Model – Today’s fashion brands want to hire models of all ages, sizes, and ethnicities.
- Import and Export Clothing – Facilitate the buying and selling of clothing internationally by distributing foreign brands and exporting your countries fashions.
- Fitting Alterations and Repair – There is lots of money to be made in properly fitting and repairing designer outfits, wedding gowns, and suits.
- Bathing Suits & Swimwear – Create fashionable and unique swimwear (and coverups) for beach and poolside for women, men, and children
- Maternity Designer – Pregnant ladies need a special wardrobe and multiple sizes range throughout their pregnancy. Supply their needs by designing, opening a retail store, or online boutique selling maternity clothing.
- Sports Performance Wear – Develop specific garments for functionality for runners, hikers, and bikers
- Team Uniforms & Medical Scrubs – Sports teams, both professional and amateur, want sharp looking uniforms. You could also design and sell medical scrubs for doctors and nurses.
- Shoe Designer – Designing and selling shoes is a huge moneymaker that is growing steadily. Learn how to start a shoe line from the experts at Italian Shoe Factory.
- Sneaker Designer – One of today’s hottest shoe styles are sneakers. Create your own line or customize popular brands with laces and accessories. Since styles change rapidly consider opening a sneaker consignment store – here’s how.
- Silk Scarf and Mens Tie Designer – Tap your artistic talents and design silk scarves or ties. You could create one of a kind works of art and sell on handmade marketplaces such as Etsy.
- Leather Belt and Buckles – Custom leather designs of belts, buckles and other leather goods to sell in your own leather shop.
- Handbags and Purse – Design and retail your handbag creations, or resell designer – new or vintage handbags and purses. Here is how to start your handbag business from home from the experts at Crystal Clutch.
- Luggage Designer – Retail your creations for luggage, briefcases and carry-on cases.
- Restorer of Vintage Designer Handbags – As an appreciation for vintage designer bags increases so does the need for restoration services.
- Jewelry Designer – Express your artistic side by designing jewelry either fine (diamonds and gold) or costume fashion jewelry. Or sell established lines of direct sales companies – here is a list of firms from Work at Home Woman
- Watches and Time Pieces – Sell, resell, or design custom timepieces.
- Perfumes and Cosmetics – Fragrance is a part of fashion. Here are my most profitable beauty business ideas
- Hair Accessories – Sell hair combs, barrettes and headbands. Get tips from successful hair bow entrepreneur here
- Ethnic and Native Outfits – Create special fashion with traditional styles for dance performances and special events.
- Window Display Merchandiser – Create eye-catching storefront displays and design store layouts
- Web Designer Online Fashion Boutiques – Design and build fully functioning online eCommerce shops for fashion designers to sell their collections.
- Western and Equestrian Wear – Sell cowboy wear, boots, and horse riding costumes and gear.
- Hats and Millinery – Start a hat or cap business. Get professional startup tips from the headwear experts at Acme.
- Evening Wear – Formalwear, gowns, and tuxedos – design, create, sell, or rent.
- Fashion Design School – Teach aspiring designers on how to design apparel and start their careers in Fashion.
- Custom Made Jeans – Custom denim clothing is in demand. Start an online custom blue jean company – more info at Entrepreneur.
- Promotional Wear – Produce apparel (t-shirts, aprons, jackets) with company logo imprints for business trade shows
- Fashion Boutique – Open a brick and mortar fashion boutique.
- Lingerie Shop – Open a retail or online lingerie business and offer bra fittings and custom made bras. Get tips from lingerie designer Tracey Reed.
- Menswear Store – Custom made suits and shirts
- Children’s Clothing Store – Brick and mortar, online, and consignment options.
- Baby Store – Open a shop devoted to baby fashion and home decor for babies. Here is my list of more business ideas aimed at babies.
- Consignment Store – Brick and mortar or online. Check out my list of catchy thrift shop name ideas here
- Reseller – Flea market vendor or online at fashion sites such as Poshmark and Thredup. Sell imported collections.
- Vintage & Thrift Clothing – Physical or online.
- Costume Shop – Create and sell costumes for theatrical productions and entertainment.
- Plus Size Clothing Store – Stock fashions for Women’s sizes
- Petite Women Store – Many smaller women find it hard to buy age-appropriate clothing in their size.
- Big and Tall Men’s Shops – Sell larger clothing, suits, belts and shoes for tall and big men
- Franchise and Direct Sales Fashion – Buy a franchise from this list of the best fashion franchises at Franchise Chatter
- E-Commerce Store – Online boutique and dropshipping. Here are my tips and sources to find wholesale products to sell online.
Learn from the pros at Oberlo – a division of industry leader Shopify.
- Print on demand T-shirts – Graphic tees are in demand and you can open an online store where customers pick a design and you print shirts for each order. I recommend Shopify easy to use affordable store designs.
- Speciality Adaptive Clothing – Design and sell clothing that is accessible for disabled, seniors and elderly which is easy to get on and off and comfortable to wear. Get inspired by this successful online adaptive clothing retailer
Let your love of fashion be your livelihood. There are tons of opportunities for creative entrepreneurs to succeed in the fashion industry.
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Author: Marsha Kelly
She is a serial entrepreneur and consultant for small business owners. She left the corporate grind with an arsenal of business strategies and the resolve to create her own opportunity. As it happened, she started, grew, and sold her first small business for more than $1,000,000.
Now with several successful businesses under her belt, she focuses on sharing her business advice on her blog: Best4Businesses.com.
Read more about Marsha Kelly here…