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Anyone who has dreamed of starting their own lingerie line — or any kind of independent fashion label — should visit Spokes ‘N Daggers, the behind-the-scenes blog for Hopeless Lingerie.

Blogger/designer/entrepreneur Gabrielle Adamidis has just launched a new series of articles called “Starting From Scratch” aimed at wannabe designers. It’s partly an advice column and partly a painful look back at her own challenges over the past three years in trying to get her upstart label off the ground.

Gaby has post two articles in the series so far, with a total of 18 planned. Here’s an excerpt:

Creating a successful clothing label is not something you can do a whim. You have to have a passion for the arts, you have to have creative flair, and you have to be a jack of all trades. You need to prepare yourself for an enormous amount of ‘un-fun’ jobs, and accept that the creative part is actually only a tiny percentage of what you will spend most time doing.

Ask yourself if you think you can cope juggling graphic design, sewing, pattern-making, grading, budgets, marketing, advertising, running errands, emailing, packing and event management.

If one of your reasons is for fame and glory – don’t bother starting.

Sobering, and useful, stuff indeed. As Gaby points out, she wishes someone had told her these things before she started Hopeless — although she still would have plunged in!

Gaby’s opinions on the subject are relevant because she has survived many of the usual early tests facing a fashion label and is well on her way to achieving the kind of success that young designers strive for. Her lingerie collections are widely praised by fashion writers (including us) and clients swoon over her gorgeous, original creations.

In fact, even without the Starting From Scratch articles, Hopeless Lingerie would provide valuable lessons to anyone starting out in this business (especially all those hundreds of people with small Etsy shops). This is a label that has survived primarily because of its founders’ passion, creativity and commitment over the long haul. Throw in a loyal support network, a willingness to take some risks, and the resourcefulness needed to get things done cheaply, and you have a foolproof recipe for success.

A case in point is Hopeless Lingerie‘s fourth collection, called The Hunted (which we wrote about earlier), and the dramatic photoshoot used to promote it.

Can you imagine a big department-store lingerie label launching a new line inspired by — get this — director Sam Raimi’s first two Evil Dead movies? Sounds ridiculous, but somehow Hopeless makes it convincing thanks to an inspired log cabin setting, spooky photography and a model who looks extremely vulnerable in her luscious new Hopeless undies.

The campaign is a lot of fun to look at, and it’s proof that you don’t need a planeload of supermodels and a Caribbean locale to sell lingerie.

We’ve reprinted a selection of images from the campaign below. The model is Lulu Wagstaffe and the fotog is Jo Duck. You can find the rest of the credits, and background on The Hunted collection, at Spokes ‘N Daggers or their FB page.

Keep an eye on Hopeless — you’re bound to learn something.

Hopeless Lingerie’s New Collection: “The Hunted”

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2 Responses to “Starting A Lingerie Label: Useful Advice From Someone Who’s Been There”

  1. Zeyneb Rehman says:

    I am interested in beginning my own fashion line. I just want to know is it essential to have qualifications of some sort in relation to becoming an entrepreneur? Or can it still be achievable without that qualification? Because I am a 19 year old university student and I am studying the advanced diploma of tourism, but on the other hand I have a strong passion to begin my own fashion line.

  2. Deborah says:

    I am in the process of starting up an online store. My supplier wants to keep his branding cupboard tags on the product. Is this right and can I still use my logo branding? If not, what’s the use?

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