The fashion industry is a highly competitive market. If you’re a designer, you need to do all you can to stand out.
In order to stay relevant, you need a toolset that will help you show off your designs, boost sales, and find customers. That’s why we’ve created a list of some of the best apps and sites you can use to help you stay on top of trends and sell your designs.
Techpacker is a top-of-the-line fashion design program for small and medium-sized businesses. It’s designed to streamline the process of developing and managing tech packs.
As you already know, design specification papers, or tech packs, are one of the most tedious parts of the design process. You may struggle with formatting the blueprint, creating 2D sketches, and even inputting the exact design measurements. For a monthly subscription, Techpacker makes the process quicker by breaking down tech packs into “cards.”
These cards have several uses. You can duplicate, transfer, reuse, and link to them, making the process a lot more efficient. Better yet, both individuals and teams can collaborate on Techpacker.
It’s common for designers to reference colors by their Pantone Matching System (PMS) codes. Yet, if you need to know a color’s hexadecimal and RGB values, or its CMYK equivalents, you must first use its PMS color code.
Fortunately, it’s easy to save time and find a color’s exact code using Pantone Connect. Here’s how to use this tool to find a color’s hex, RGB, or CMYK values.
- Head to Pantone Connect.
- Click Pick, and then enter the color’s PMS code in the search field at the top-right corner of the page. Keep in mind that Pantone numbers contain “C” for coated or “U” for uncoated. Let’s try PMS 3015 C.
- After that, the tool will show you the color chip you’re looking for.
Click the color chip, and a popup will appear, displaying its RGB and hex values.
- To view the CYMK code, hit the Get Physical Sample link, and you’ll see the CYMK code listed there.
Shopify helps you set up an online store. It provides you with an easy-to-customize shop, order tracking, and customer communication tools.
Shopify is also integrated with Amazon and Facebook, so you can access all your data from one location. The site’s clean and simple interface will help you quickly set up a shop and sell your designs online.
Finding a reliable manufacturer that makes specific types of apparel and accessories can be difficult. Luckily, Maker’s Row lets you search for manufacturers based in the US.
It offers a list of thousands of manufacturers, all of which have crowd-sourced ratings. Once you sign up, you’ll get the opportunity to connect with the factories that interest you, helping you find the right partner to make your product.
Maker’s Row offers three pricing tiers: Essential for $35/month, Concierge for $99/month, and Team for $99 plus $15/month for added users.
Brandboom specializes in wholesale e-commerce and streamlines the selling process for anyone in the fashion industry. By creating an account on Brandboom, you can create sleek line sheets, connect with retailers, find new customers, track orders, and collect payments.
A single link lets you share line sheets and lookbooks with buyers. Plus, Brandboom’s built-in design tool lets you create a line sheet without Photoshop or any other complicated graphic design software.
In addition, Brandboom’s handy Connect AI technology helps find the best buyers for you. It will automatically connect you with them, allowing you to expand your brand. Brandboom is completely free to get started, but you’ll have to pay a monthly fee for more features.
If you’re looking for a 3D visualization or pattern-making program, then you should check out CLO-3D. CLO Virtual Fashion aims to bring cutting-edge 3D garment simulation technology to consumers. It presents real-world clothing in realistic and immersive ways.
To get started, you’ll have to download CLO-3D, open the program, and then pick a 3D avatar. It gives you the option of importing your own patterns, as well as drawing them from scratch.
Once you align the seams, you can use virtual fabric to see how your designs will look when they’re finished. As you fine-tune your ideas in real-time, you can also make adjustments to the pattern.
Business of Fashion is an essential read if you want to stay informed in the world of fashion. Fashion design professionals, business leaders, and entrepreneurs use this as their go-to daily resource.
The site features stories from journalists and fashion experts across the world who provide breaking news and in-depth reporting on upcoming designers, innovative technology, and fashion marketplaces.
It lets you read five free articles per month. Complete access to articles and features requires a premium subscription.
WGSN is a great resource for designers, as it forecasts the next trends in fashion. It tracks customers’ attitudes and behavior towards certain styles, helping you gain inspiration for your next design. The essential services that it offers to fashion designers are:
- WGSN Fashion is a trend forecasting database that covers all aspects of the fashion industry. It offers consumer research, market information, and trend forecasts, as well expert guidance in colors, materials, and textiles.
- WGSN Insight is another database that forecasts trends. Through reports, it presents thought-provoking material on trends in the consumer, marketing, and retail industries. Reports can be examined from the perspective of many cities all throughout the world.
Prêt-à-Template is an iPhone and iPad app that lets you draw clothing, shoe, and accessory patterns all in one place. Each template includes perspectives from the front, sides, and rear. This provides you with all the dimensions and scales you need. You can also use its realistic fabric patterns, unique color palettes, and brush sets to produce your drawings.
You can create a stylish sketchbook right from your phone or tablet. This way, you can carry your drawings with you anywhere. You can also sketch rough ideas as soon as they pop into your head.
Based in South Korea, SwatchOn serves designers across the world by offering fabric swatches. More than 150,000 swatches and visual references are available for purchase on the site.
SwatchOn also offers filters that can help you locate the exact fabric you want, and lets you order free samples.
Make Designing More Efficient
With these tools, you can stay productive and ensure that your line succeeds. Combining all (or just a few) of these sites and apps together will give you a well-rounded toolset that will help you immensely as a designer.
Want to treat yourself? Step into the world of designer fashion on these luxurious clothing sites.
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