B.A.G. Concept Shares 8 Tips for Starting A Handbag Line


Interested in starting a handbag line or making your existing development and manufacturing operations more efficient? B.A.G. Concept, a New York-based handbag consultancy offers a comprehensive range of services for emerging designers at every step of the development and production process. They gave us 8 important consideration for starting your handbag business.

1. Determine Product Need

Your product idea needs to be desirable, which means have a target market and selling point. It's important to do trend/market research when first designing your line in order to make sure there is a customer for your product. Once you see a gap in the market, you'll get a better understanding of the type of product you should create.

2. Understand Your Price Point Price point is an important decision to make when developing your product line and another reason why you must do market research! What is your target price point? Will you need to make any changes to the design/material in order to get close to your target price point? And, how will you compete with others in the market are all important questions to figure out.

3. Do Concept and Mood Board Development Start with a mood board / concept board for inspiration when designing your collection. This should include hardware, colors, materials (fabrics or leathers), shapes/structures that you like, any other details such as stitching or edge painting.

4. Create Sketches and Technical Drawings 

Start by sketching and then move on to technical drawings. The drawings should include include exact measurements, bag look, functional parts, material selection, hardware selection, fabric selection and any other relevant details to be included in the design.

Depending on the size of your collection it is always good to have more sketches than what you think you'll move forward with in production. Most emerging designers start with about 10-20 sketches and adjust it from there. You will most likely cancel styles once they reach prototype and sample stage.

 5. Develop A Prototype 

It's important to start with a prototype in order to get a feel for your bag. You'll also get to check the overall look and structure of design. The prototype is usually made in left over bulk leathers or sometimes felt so it is easy to make corrections. It's different than a sample in that you are seeing the structure for the first time and can easily adjust the size, details and hardware before the sampling stage is done with your final leathers.

6. Create A Sample

Final sampling is done after the designer submits corrections from the prototype and any changes that need to be made before samples are completed with actual leather and materials of your choice. It is recommended that you have all your changes finalized before this stage so that when buyers view the samples, they see exactly what will be going into production. When you show a sample that still needs adjustment, the buyer may not be able to visualize what the final style will look like and therefore may not order it.

7. Determine Your Production Numbers Determine what size production run you want. When you are first starting out, 25- 50 pieces per color and per style to test the market feedback is a good target number.

8. Consider Manufacturing Options

It’s important to analyze manufacturing abroad and in the United States. The start up costs are much higher for making patterns/samples in the U.S., but on the other hand producing overseas requires high minimums. You’ll have to ask yourself whether you have time to travel to China to interview factories and if you can afford to produce in New York for your initial samples and long term production.

About B.A.G. Concept

B.A.G. Concept is a premium fashion products consultancy that works with emerging designers. They offer an integrated service package from concept to production which includes design, technical design, material sourcing, sample manufacturing and more. Based in New York and Shanghai, the company has manufactures and suppliers across the country allowing them to work with a global range of customers.

Learn more at B.A.G. Concept and to discuss services, contact Victoria Horning at Victoria@thebagtrading.com.

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