Have you ever considered who you want to know about your label? Who you want it to be available to? Most designers think of (or at least hope for) mass proliferation. When the Kate Moss for TopShop capsule was released it depended on mass exposure to move the most amount of stock possible.
But what are the alternatives? T-shirt label, When Mike Met Pete, uses word-of-mouth to sell its custom, one-off creations. They don’t advertise, but are happy to feature in editorial. sir Paul Smith’s creations, which have become far more mainstream over the past decade, are heavily advertised and editorialised but since his labels’ inception have never been given away – you’ll never find them in a swag bag, and when you next see anyone Price William to the Arctic Monkeys wearing Paul Smith London suit you’ll know they paid for it.
One designer I was speaking with last night takes it even further, he wants next-to-nobody to know of the existence of his label. Independently wealthy, he engages in no advertising and turns down all editorial offers (and as such I won’t mention his label out of courtesy). His clothes have been seen on the likes of Robbie Williams (free swag, though Robbie promised not to ever tell anyone what the label was) and are stocked exclusively in Great Britain’s high-brow stores. It’s fashion elitism, but it also works to make his label even more desirable.
Who knows about your label?