Fashion words aren’t just fancy terms that people in the fashion industry use to show off.
If you haven’t attended a fashion school and wish to work in the field of fashion, you must know some important fashion words to stay relevant.
If you know the most popular fashion words, it will help you have a better understanding of your business and will help you communicate better with buyers, manufacturers, and industry partners.
In this article, we will share with you ten fashion words that you need to know if you are planning to start a fashion business. Several fashion designers and entrepreneurs struggle with fashion terminologies, especially if they are new to the industry.
When launching your fashion business, you will be constantly communicating with designers, manufacturers, suppliers, and product developers. If you have a clear understanding of the fashion business terms, you will be more confident, and it easier for you to conduct day-to-day activities.
Bulk is a common term in the fashion business. You will hear phrases like ‘go to bulk’ or ‘approved to bulk’. This means that you are content and satisfied with the sample materials, and now you are ready to order. ‘Go to bulk’ or ‘approved to bulk’ means that you have approved the factory to start manufacturing your product.
Free On Board or Freight on Board, also known as FOB, sometimes comes up when you receive quotes from suppliers. It generally means the cost of manufacturing fashion goods and the cost of delivering the goods to the nearest port are included in the quotes. This also includes fabrics. But be extra careful with what quotation you agree to, as many manufacturers twist quotes in their favor. Make sure that everything is itemized and mentioned in detail in the quotes. Also, keep in mind that these quotes don’t include the actual shipping rate, government fees, and taxes, import duty, insurance, etc.
If you are in the fashion industry, you will often come across the term haute couture. This is a French term for high sewing and high fashion dressmaking. Haute couture often refers to exclusive designer collections and creations. The exclusivity of haute couture outfits comes from the fact that all the designed outfits are hand-stitched from start to finish. Haute couture is always limited edition and far more expensive than readymade clothes. Haute couture is mainly custom-made according to the wearer’s size. A good example of an Haute Couture outfit can be seen in Hollywood award shows like Academy Awards, Grammy Awards, or Haute fashion events.
Cut Make and Trim, also known as the CMT, is a term used quite often in the fashion business. It means that the factory can cut out the fabrics, sew them together, and add required trims like buttons, labels, zips, etc. So, the next time when you see ‘CMT only’ on the quote from the manufacturer, do not be troubled. It only means that the manufacturer is not going to provide any of the fabrics or trims, and that is something you would have to get yourself.
Ex-factory is the date when your request or bulk order will leave the plant. You should be clear about the conveyance dates with the makers. This is because the ex-factory date will not be the same as the delivery date. You want to ascertain the distance between the plant and the port and what amount of time it requires to arrive at the port by street. So, you must be extra cautious in regards to the conveyance dates. This would help you to avoid issues like missing openings reserved for delivery, cargo, and so on.
Minimum order quantity or MOQ is one of the most common terms that you will hear while starting a small/new business. MOQ refers to the minimum number of orders you need to put for the manufacturers and suppliers to work with you. Also, it varies from vendor to vendor. Some vendors have high minimums for larger fashion brands, while some vendors do not have any minimum bar. It is easier and more profitable to work with vendors with no minimum order quantity. So, if you want a certain number of units to be produced, you have to pay only for the number of units produced. It very well may be a base measure of pieces of clothing that the maker will create. It can likewise be the base measure of fabric you can purchase or have the base number of trims, names, standardized identifications you can arrange.
The critical path is a document in an Excel sheet that you need to maintain to manage your fashion business. With it, you can monitor your production process, manufacturer’s dates, samples, lab dips, and keep track of everything. You must understand the fact it is your responsibility just as the whole business itself.
Sourcing is the process of finding materials and services. In the fashion industry, sourcing is an integral part of fashion design. You can source your materials locally or from abroad. For example, you can source fine quality silk from some other country and trims like buttons or labels locally. Sourcing depends on your idea and requirement.
If you work with Chinese suppliers or manufacturers, then you will hear about the Chinese New Year. During this time, many factories close down for as long as six weeks, and fashion companies face a lot of delivery issues during this time. Just before Chinese New Year, factories rush in to complete orders before the celebration begins. During the CNY, no manufacturing and delivery happen in and out of China. After the Chinese New Year celebration, the factories face a lot of issues like staff shortages as the workers return from the holiday. So you need to be prepared from before if you work with Chinese suppliers or manufacturers. The Chinese New Year falls in January, February, or March — the dates vary, but it generally falls around this time.
Computer-Aided Designs or CAD is the method of designing and building concepts of costumes with the help of software. CAD makes it easier for designers to quickly build concepts and share them with the manufacturers. CAD has made designing easy and accessible, and you don’t need to draw on paper.
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