Behind the Scenes of the Fashion Industry with Annette Lennerup

Today, Jillian is sitting down with Annette Lennerup, a fashion designer, product developer, and teacher with more than 15 years of experience in the fashion space, with education in design from the London College of Fashion. She helps start-ups and small fashion brands learn about the industry and take their design to production.

Annette’s passion for fashion started innocently, pretending to be a designer with her friend while growing up in Sweden, which didn’t have much access to fashion education. Then focused on graphic design, she moved to London where she pursued her dream of working in the fashion industry.

Many challenges are specific to the fashion industry, such as getting your design to production. Even having worked in the space and having contacts, it can still be challenging to have your product come out the way you’d like. With the ocean of information out there, it can be overwhelming to get everything in gear, as it’s a much larger process than anyone expects.

It starts with understanding what you’re designing, who you’re designing it for, what role it plays for the customer, and having a grasp of industry trends before even considering production. From there, there are patterns, fabric samples, colors and Pantones, fitting, and more than all need to be tweaked. No matter the size of the company, these are all the same steps. Often, it can take up to 8 samples to get the right style. All in all, it can take 6 months to get to production. With the impact of COVID, that can take even longer.

Trends have changed with the times too — athleisure has burst onto the market in a way that’s forcing establish brands to adjust and giving opportunities to new brands to find their niche.

It’s a lot to get a design to the production floor, and that’s where Annette comes in. Because she’s been in the space so much and has so much experience, she can provide insider strategy for her clients. But beyond that, she’s an entrepreneur herself–constantly learning and breaking down how to scale a business. How to make your stock last longer than a season, marketing ideas, and other tips are at the intersection of her expertise.

The most important thing, Annette says, is to find a niche that you can thrive in and fill a gap in the industry. Speak with someone in the industry who understands the in’s and out’s. Do your homework before you dive in, because there can be some unique roadblocks in the fashion world.

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Jillian Flodstrom

Jillian Flodstrom

I help small business owners mitigate the feelings of overwhelm, chaos, and confusion when it comes to leading and growing their business.