Starting out in fashion goes beyond a sharp eye for style; it's fundamentally about forging meaningful relationships within the fashion manufacturing network, from designers and developers to manufacturers who bring designs to life. This world is vibrant and full of opportunities, ranging from local artisans to global wholesale giants, along with specialists in ready-made garments and fabric production in places like India.

To navigate this space, getting to grips with the industry-specific language is essential. It boosts your confidence and helps you move through the fashion landscape with ease. To assist you, we've put together a glossary. It's designed to familiarize you with key terms, from the nuances of local and international manufacturing to the specifics of wholesale, ensuring a smoother journey in the fashion realm.

Fashion Vocabulary Guide: Key Terms Decoded

  1. Assortment: A curated selection of diverse products offered by a brand or retailer, showcasing a range of styles and options.
  2. BOM (Bill of Materials): A comprehensive inventory of all materials and components required to construct a specific item, serving as a critical reference for production facilities.
  3. Colorway: A term denoting a specific color or pattern variant available in a fashion style.
  4. COO (Country of Origin): The designation indicating the country where a product was manufactured or produced.
  5. Cut and Sew: This phrase describes the process involving the trimming of fabric and its assembly into a finished garment, often referenced in discussions about manufacturing costs.
  6. Cuttable Width: The measurement of fabric that is usable for garment construction, indicating the effective width for production purposes.
  7. Direct to Consumer: A retail strategy that involves selling products directly to the end user, bypassing traditional distribution channels such as wholesalers.
  8. Duty: A government-imposed tax levied on imported goods, calculated as a percentage of the cargo's total value, which varies based on the product type, material composition, and country of origin.
  9. Fit Sample: A prototype garment created by manufacturers to test and adjust the fit, structure, and overall design before proceeding to mass production.
  10. FOB (Free on Board or Freight on Board): A pivotal term in international logistics indicating who is responsible for freight charges. It denotes the point where product ownership transfers from seller to buyer.
  11. Grading: This is the method of resizing a base pattern to create a comprehensive size set, adapting a single design to fit various body sizes.
  12. Greige: A term for raw, untreated fabric directly from the weaving or knitting machine, awaiting dyeing or finishing.
  13. Gross Margin: Calculated as the difference between net sales and the cost of goods sold, this figure represents the profitability of your products before other expenses are factored in.
  14. IMU (Initial Markup): This refers to the projected profit margin on goods sold at their original retail price, indicating the financial cushion built into the pricing.
  15. Keystone: In wholesale, it's a pricing strategy where the retail price is set at double the wholesale cost, ensuring a 50% profit margin for retailers.
  16. Lab Dip: A fabric sample dyed to a specific color standard for approval, ensuring consistency in the color of the production materials.
  17. LDP (Landed Duty Paid): A comprehensive importing approach that includes all costs associated with bringing goods from abroad to your doorstep, covering shipping, customs, duty, and insurance.
  18. Ligne: The traditional measure for the size of buttons is crucial for designers and manufacturers in ensuring the perfect fit and look of garments.
  19. Omni-Channel: A strategy that merges all available sales channels to reach consumers seamlessly, ensuring a unified shopping experience across platforms.
  20. MAP Pricing (Minimum Advertised Price): A pricing policy employed with wholesalers to control the retail pricing of products, ensuring consistency and brand value.
  21. Markup: The additional charge on the cost of products designed to cover operational expenses and generate profit.
  22. MOQ (Minimum Order Quantity): A common term used by manufacturers and suppliers to set the lowest limit on order quantity for production runs.
  23. Pre-Production Sample (PP Sample): A prototype made by manufacturers for final checks and approval before the start of mass production.
  24. Prepared For Dye (PFD): Describes fabric treated to be dyed or printed upon, ideal for custom coloring or patterning in production.
  25. Retail: The final price point at which a product is sold to consumers, encompassing costs, markup, and profit.
  26. Sell-Through: A metric comparing the quantity of merchandise sold to the total inventory initially available, indicating product demand.
  27. SKU (Stock Keeping Unit): A unique identifier for each product variation, essential for tracking sales data and inventory management.
  28. Specs (Specifications): Detailed instructions and measurements provided to manufacturers to ensure products are made accurately, typically included in Spec Sheets.
  29. Strike Off: A test print on fabric intended for approval before commencing the full production print run, ensuring design accuracy.
  30. Sublimation: A printing technique where designs are transferred from paper to fabric using heat, allowing for vibrant and detailed fabric prints.
  31. Tech Pack: This document is a thorough blueprint containing all necessary details and instructions that a factory needs to start production, prepared by a technical designer.
  32. Tolerance: The accepted range of variation from the final approved specifications for measurements, allowing for slight deviations in production.
  33. TOP Sample (Top of Production Sample): A sample from the actual production run used as a quality and accuracy benchmark.
  34. VAT (Value Added Tax): A tax applied in certain countries on goods and services affecting international sales and shipments.
  35. Wholesale: The practice of selling goods in huge quantities at lower prices to retailers, who then sell them to end consumers at a markup.
  36. X-Stitch: This term refers to a type of stitch commonly used in embroidery or decorative elements of clothing.
  37. Yarn-Dyed: Fabric that is dyed before being woven or knitted into the final textile.
  38. Zibeline: A luxurious fabric that stands out for its smooth texture and elegant sheen, often used in high-end outerwear and formal attire for its warmth and sophisticated drape.

This glossary serves as a comprehensive guide through the intricate world of the fashion industry, illuminating terms that bridge the gap between emerging designers and established professionals. With this knowledge, navigating the ever-evolving world of fashion becomes not just possible, but a journey marked with insight and innovation

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