In the eyes of many consumers, clothing simply comes from the store. Some may have a little more insight to the process, knowing that it takes a designer and a production team before clothing hits stores. However, the process of creating clothing involves more steps and more people than one might think. It all starts with the designer and their team. A designer comes up with an idea for a new garment, and finds a way to convey this idea to their team. This may involve sketches, a mood board, and inspiration images. The designer also has to find fabric options, and pick the type of stitch that will be used to sew the garment together. Once these details have been worked out with the design team, the technical designer creates the pattern (blueprints for how to cut and sew clothing). The pattern and fabric are given to sample sewers, who create a prototype of the garment, to see how the look translates from paper into reality. Then, the designer can make some tweaks and changes, and may have further edited samples made.
Once the final sample has been perfected, it is tried on a fit model. This way, a real person can test how the garment feels, moves, and stretches. This may cause a change in fabric or stitching, and can even start the whole design process over. After the sample deemed ideal to sell, the garment can then go into pre-production. The technical designer makes a final pattern for production, as well as a tech pack. A tech pack usually includes sketches and dozens of garment measurements, a comprehensive diagram depicting the type and location of all stitches, and a list of materials used in the garment. This tech pack, along with all garment materials, are sent to a production house or manufacturer. This manufacturer may be located within the US, or overseas. The manufacturer is in charge of cutting and sewing the garments, up to thousands per order, all within the specifications given by the designer. The manufacturer can also have the garments sent out for detail work, including embroidery, printing, washing, or labeling.
Once the clothing has been through the manufacturing process, each garment is inspected for quality, and is then steamed and packaged. Then, all of the manufactured garments are sent back to the design team for another quality check. Usually, at this point, the design team orders for a photoshoot. This way, all new clothing can be featured in flawless lighting, while being worn by a smiling model. This not only entices consumers to purchase the brand’s clothing, but may also show consumers how to style the product. Finally, after much work, the finished garments are finally ready to be shipped to stores or fulfillment centers, where the consumer can happily purchase perfect products that have been months in the making.