Developing your own design business

I work in hard goods as a 3D modeler and am venturing out to create my own design business. One service I am planning to offer is developing entire collections for a brand or individual designer. Meaning I would offer fully manufacturable CAD’s along with all the product design work. Is this a type of service you have seen offered through other people? I cannot find anyone who offers this type of service and am wondering why?

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Have you worked in traditional fashion production at all? I’m guessing no.

Perhaps in order to disrupt an industry, first try to understand how the industry works in it’s traditional form.

There’s a reason why this isn’t a widely offered service and it has everything to do with how much more difficult it is to manufacture clothing well than what most assume. That said, there are some companies using 3D modeling - CLO3D and Optitex come to mind, but I have not heard of a single company feeling really successful with the quality of their make, or the smoothness of their process when using a method like this all the way through to production. Invariably they end up switching back to traditional development methods for production and use the 3D modeling for dealing with design side or presentations or other situations where people need to be wowed.

This is not to discourage you, as there is lots of room for innovation in fashion, but first perhaps try this with one style. Work with one designer on one style for free using your manufacturable CADs and bring it to an actual factory and see how getting it graded, marked, cut, and sewn goes? You’ll quickly see the many many reasons why apparel manufacturing is so old fashioned.

Last thought: I bet you can squeeze some rich tech dudes out of a whole lot of money for this work though, because they highly value technology and “disruption” over traditional craft, so feel free to go get that cash.