How to start a haute couture line? | BluCactus UK (2023)

How to start a haute couture line? While conventional clothing brands focus on outperforming the competition, an haute couture line focuses on demonstrating its business capacity through distinction and exclusivity. However, to know how to start an haute couture line, you must follow specific steps. Any brand that wants to belong to the fashion sector should carry them out.

If you want to start with an haute couture line, you may have wondered how to start. After all, this sector has a very demanding target audience. Because of this, today, we will focus on this topic so that you can understand this sector better.

First, before mentioning the steps to follow, you must know this sector to determine how it works. This way, you will ensure your business’s success and reach potential customers quickly.

What does it take to be a couture brand?

There is no doubt that today’s fashion world is incredible. However, there’s a lot of competition even if haute couture businesses don’t focus on this topic. In the same way, any business that wants to belong to this industry with such high demand must follow a series of steps to succeed. And what better way to do this than by following the following points:

Focus on your brand identity

How to start a haute couture line? | BluCactus UK (1)Identity is essential to start with your haute couture line. After all, it’s what will allow your audience to remember you. A luxury brand must reflect who they are and how they work. This is because each client will look for clothing that allows them to have a personalized look.

In other words, they will only buy from a business to whom they feel a great connection.

To do this, you shouldn’t forget that when a customer chooses a brand, they see it as an extension of themselves. That’s why they are going to select a brand that conveys authenticity.

So, to unleash this point, you must ask yourself what you want to project with your haute couture line and what type of customers will use your clothes. Also, determine the added value you can bring and what will be the best experience you can get to the user.

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Take into account the steps for your structure.

How to start a haute couture line? | BluCactus UK (2)The structure to start a couture line is essential. However, for this step to be practical, you must first define your brand identity. In this step, you must consider elements such as price, licenses, and above all, if you will have partners in your business or will you take it alone.

Similarly, within this structure, there must be a consolidated business plan. For this, there’s nothing better than using marketing strategies. Of course, for a luxury brand, it’s important to define several objectives, so the help of professionals in this area cannot go unnoticed.

How to know if a business plan is positive? The effectiveness of your business plan will largely depend on your product description and your mission and vision as an haute couture brand. Also, all of this must go hand in hand with a good haute couture marketing strategy to create the roadmap to guide you toward meeting your goals.

Take importance to the numbers.

How to start a haute couture line? | BluCactus UK (3)Starting a couture line will be more expensive than a conventional clothing brand. The numbers are significant for the luxury fashion sector, mainly when calculating the initial cost. In this sense, how much does it cost to start a haute couture brand on our blog? You can know the approximate cost of your investment in this sector.

Now, we will mention certain costs that they must bear to start an haute couture line:

  • Materials for the creation of your haute couture collection.
  • Work tools.
  • Licenses and permits.
  • Create your brand identity.
  • Wages
  • Various supplies (telephone, electricity, internet, …).
  • Web design, in case you want an e-commerce site.
  • Investment in strategies for marketing and advertising.

Of course, the initial cost for your couture line can vary depending on the investment you are willing to make.

Determine your pricing strategy

How to start a haute couture line? | BluCactus UK (4)There is no denying that an haute couture evening gown will be more expensive than one purchased from a department store.

However, this doesn’t mean that you can apply a pricing strategy based on the cost of production of your product.

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In general, businesses dedicated to the fashion sector set their prices between 30% to 50% of the initial cost of producing a product.

However, as we have said at the beginning of the post, for clients who follow haute couture, the most important thing is the distinction, so they will be willing to pay whatever price is for a unique garment.

Start with the design of your first collection.

When starting an haute couture line, your collection must be inspired by your brand identity. It’s the only way to attract your potential customers and earn their loyalty.

What do users expect of your brand? If you have not yet asked yourself this question, work on it and show what you really want to convey as a line of haute couture.

Create alliances if necessary

For haute couture lines, there are many ways to create alliances. In this case, your partners must be as involved as you are. Otherwise, it won’t work.

If you want to find a partner, they must be a complement so that both are in tune when it comes to making the objectives of their haute couture line a reality.

Don’t forget that it will be an exclusive clothing line

When a customer pays whatever price is for a garment, they do so looking for “exclusivity”. This word should be remembered every day if your goal is to start with a luxury brand.

On the other hand, luxury brands must demonstrate scarcity as the main characteristic of exclusivity. This way, exclusive products won’t be available to everyone and can only be purchased by the customer who has enough money to do so. So, as the owner of a haute couture business, you must guarantee distinction and prestige to your buyers to be worth their price for any of your garments.

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What are the steps of haute couture?

How to start a haute couture line? | BluCactus UK (5)Because haute couture is exclusive, specific requirements must be met to start as a luxury brand. Of course, the demands have decreased over time, but there are still rules to be approved as an haute couture line:

  • Haute couture typically requires 200 hours of work to create a garment. That’s why so many of them are only for the runway.
  • It’s important to have between one or two workshops in Paris with a minimum of 20 employees.
  • Designers must make an annual presentation of their designs. Each collection must have a total of 30 entirely original day and night designs.
  • Each of the ready-made designs must have the less possible intervention of sewing machines since a garment made by hand will have plus

As a curious fact, during Paris Fashion Week, many brands can participate without being members of haute couture. However, they’re not included in the official calendar. Besides, this list of members is updated each year by a commission dependent on the Ministry of Industry. In it, we can find Haute Couture firms such as:

  • Valentino
  • Chanel
  • Dior
  • Armani

What brands are considered haute couture?

How to start a haute couture line? | BluCactus UK (6)An excellent option to determine how to start an haute couture line is to know how the most recognized brands in the world gained their positioning.

That’s why in this post, we’ll include a list of some of the 2021 haute couture brands that have the most prestige today:

  • Dior, How to start a haute couture line.

When it comes to haute couture, Dior is a brand known to be a good representative of this sector through its clothing. The French designer Christian Dior gave life to this fashion brand in 1946.

How to start a haute couture line? | BluCactus UK (7)

  • Balenciaga, How to start a haute couture line.

Thanks to all its collections, this haute couture brand managed to earn its place. Cristóbal Balenciaga was the creator of this Italian brand in 1917 in San Sebastián.

  • Dolce & Gabbana, How to start a haute couture line.

Founded in 1985 by Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabanna, this haute couture line of Italian origin has shown why it remains one of the favourites among the most demanding customers, creating garments where the originality is always present.

(Video) Follow Head of Atelier, Judy Halil, as she gives a step-by-step demonstration for McQueen Roses.

  • Prada, How to start a haute couture line.

Without a doubt, this brand created by the designer Mario Prada in 1913 is very famous. It’s now one of the most important in the city of Milan and the rest of the world.

How to start a haute couture line? | BluCactus UK (8)

  • Fendi, How to start a haute couture line.

This fashion firm by the designer Adele Casagrande started in 1918 in the city of Italy. Today, it continues to offer exclusivity through its clothing.

  • Versace, How to start a haute couture line.

This list can’t be without this brand created by designer Gianni Versace in 1978, specifically in the city of Milan, Italy. Thanks to this fashion firm’s collections, they now have great recognition worldwide. These are just some of the most essential fashion firms in the world. They all have made it clear why they’re the best for haute couture from their start.

Similarly, one of the secrets of fashion is that these brands have one element in common. Which one, you may ask. Well, it’s the fact that all of them have a workshop in Paris to make their garments.

Who wears haute couture?

Starting an haute couture line requires a great process to get good results. Besides, an haute couture line must show distinction and exclusivity when making a garment. Otherwise, your brand will be another one in the bunch.

Starting an haute couture line requires knowledge of this sector since customers are usually very demanding. This is because entrepreneurs and celebrities are in search of this type of fashion. And since they pay a high price for it, they ask for the unique clothes in the world in return.

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How to start a haute couture line? | BluCactus UK (9)BluCactus international marketing agency serves clients all over the world. Our speciality? The creation of web designs and SEO positioning in online searches. Our group of experts focuses on helping businesses and brands succeed in one of the most competitive sectors in the market, the digital world.

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BluCactus will accompany you in every step that your brand takes. This goes from creating your business’s branding to the creation of content. Our focus is on supporting you with creating your website or the administration of your social media accounts.

This online marketing agency, based in London, seeks to strengthen your image as a brand and take it to the next level. Don’t wait any longer to get the help of the best specialists in digital marketing. Contact us now through our social media or website!

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How to start a haute couture brand? ›

To be considered a haute couture house, brands must own an atelier in Paris with at least 15 full-time employees and present at least 35 looks in a show, twice a year. Each year the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture draws up a list of official couture houses that meet those specifications.

What is the starting price for haute couture? ›

It really depends on the level of embellishment. Day wear usually starts at around $40,000, though it does depend on the brand [Chanel Haute Couture generally costs between $40,000-80,000], while bridal can easily cost $100,000-250,00, depending on the embroideries. WHEN ARE THE COUTURE PRESENTATIONS?

Is haute couture profitable? ›

While revenues are modest relative to its more lucrative beauty and fragrance lines, the house's haute couture division is profitable in its own right.

Can any brand be haute couture? ›

Haute couture is a highly protected term. Not any designer can call themselves a couture designer. There are only 14 designers who bear the label of haute couture. Christian Dior, Chanel, Ellie Saab and Versace are some of the big names who produce haute couture.

How many people can afford haute couture? ›

First of all, there's the phenomenon of haute couture itself. These days only around 200 women in the whole world can afford couture, where the gowns start at over $100,000 (around Rs43 lakh). No house makes money from couture even at those prices so the shows are used for promotion and to make news.

Who buys the most haute couture? ›

During the 1990s Kuwaiti socialite Mouna al-Ayoub and Houston socialite Suzanne Saperstein were vocal about their love of haute couture. Vanity Fair said of Saperstein that she's “probably the world's number one consumer of haute couture.” Today's haute couture client is likely form the Middle East, China, or Russia.

How much does it cost to start a luxury clothing brand? ›

It costs between $500 and $50000 to start a fashion brand, and if you're aiming for the luxury market, you should start at the higher end of this price range. The costs will also increase as your business grows. However, the most valuable thing is experience in the industry and a recognizable name.

How do you become a haute couture model? ›

There strict requirements on haute couture models. Women need to be between 1,74m and 1,80m tall and need to have a certain weight, in order for the clothes to look as perfect as possible. Because of the high and strict requirements, it is very important to take part in an education to become a haute couture model.

How do you become a luxury fashion brand? ›

Getting started with luxury brand building
  1. Get specific about who you're targeting. There's a niche market that cares about what your brand is about. ...
  2. Do things differently. Differentiation is a key focus for emerging brands. ...
  3. Become a status symbol. ...
  4. Create exclusivity. ...
  5. Consistently delivery on your brand promises.

Can I use couture in my brand name? ›

The use of the term Haute Couture is a legally protected and can only be used by the fashion houses which have been granted this designation by the French Ministry of Industry.


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4. Best of the haute couture fashion shows: spring/summer 2023 | Bazaar UK
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5. Fashion Unpicked: The 'Bar' suit by Christian Dior | V&A
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6. Valentino Des Ateliers | Collection Making of Video


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