starting a clothing line

Discussion in 'Shoes and Apparel' started by tumalow2, Feb 22, 2011.

  1. tumalow2

    tumalow2 New User

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    hey everyone I am in the very early stages of creating a mens tennis clothing company. right now we are getting some prototypes screen printed here in the u.s. basically our goal is to uphold the quality of modern tennis clothes but bring back the affordability many of us used to enjoy. The reason I am posting on here is because I always read this forum and trust all of your opinions and I want to know what you would like to see happen in the world of tennis apparel. For example more flash? or less flash? less expensive? do you like where adidas/nike and the other major companies are headed with their designs and fabrics? anyways thanks for reading this and any feedback/ideas you have
     
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  2. FEDERERNADAL13

    FEDERERNADAL13 Hall of Fame

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    I love the Roger Federer Nike range, so I like the classical look. Maybe some polos?? Lower prices would be nice. Let me know if you need a tester for the products, okay? Good luck with your company!
     
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  3. serve stopper

    serve stopper Rookie

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    I think that it is a great idea for you to start a business. I think you should do something with all of the team apparel. I look through a lot of them and they all lack design. Also don't do all the regular colors like blue and red. I would do like orange and green and colors that you don't see often.Low price is great :) Good luck
     
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  4. roddickrafa17

    roddickrafa17 New User

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    thats great that you are making a new clothing line. you could really listen to the voices of tennis players and figure out what the people want. my opinion is dont go to extreme with colors or designs. too extreme=people not wearing it. keep it classic but you still need to have that flash to make people want to have it. look at some of nikes older clothing. now there are some simple, classic clothing but with some flare. be creative and good luck!
     
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  5. Djlpenguin

    Djlpenguin Rookie

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    do some shirts plain, another line flashy. If you can only do one, try plain. Easier to make, I would think. If you need a tester, I'm here :) . Best of luck with your company!
     
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  6. Larrysümmers

    Larrysümmers Hall of Fame

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    I like the old school look of Sampras, but i also like the Fila Borg stuff.
     
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  7. Bartelby

    Bartelby G.O.A.T.

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    Polos with zips instead of plakets and buttons are an underdone item.
     
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  8. Djlpenguin

    Djlpenguin Rookie

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    oh yeah, polos with zips! Thats a good one. Don't make it too flashy, maybe just one corner of the front and half the back in design
     
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  9. zasr4325

    zasr4325 Professional

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    I really like the stuff Nike is coming out with at the moment, and the Federer line in particular. It seems to be more design-oriented than their biggest competitor, Adidas, and they always use good colour combinations. One of the things I think is important in modern tennis clothing (as well as other products) is simplicity. Personally, I've always thought Adidas focus too much on sticking loads of different "innovations" into their gear, which means you end up with a shirt that has function triumphing over form by a huge margin. Nike seem to think first of the design of the shirt, and then afterwards incorporate their own "innovations" into it. In terms of these differing technologies, for me I've never really found any actual difference between Adidas and Nike - I live in a very hot country, and so at the end of the day I'm gonna be soaked in sweat after practice no matter which brand I choose, so picking one or the other based on their tech doesn't really enter into the equation. Therefore, I pick my stuff based on looks (shallow I know :) ) and for me Nike wins in this department because they can make a tennis shirt not look like a tennis shirt. As in, I often wear my Nike tennis tees off-court because they still look like normal clothing. Certain things are a bit too much; I could never wear those big RF tees as it just seemed a bit too fanboyish, but they've improved those this year, as the new ones have a much smaller logo on the left side, which I think looks far better - almost like a brand name in itself. Adidas too have improved their stuff this year - in particular the Verdasco line looks really good this year. But I still feel Nike has the edge in terms of looks and style with pretty much every product in their range.
    So if I had to make some suggestions, I'd say that first and foremost should be design. No huge logos, big flashy colours, large stripes or different materials. On a tee for example, only one or two strong (like blue, red, green) colours in lighter and darker shades, keep it lightweight and maybe make the brand name large enough to recognise, but not enough to distract. Maybe if you were to branch out into different lines, use subtle contrasting colours to grab attention, rather than a single bold colour. I'll go against the grain and say I prefer the buttoned polo, as it gives a more classic look, and I find it more comfortable. This is the catalogue for Nike's Fall '11 line, which is one of my favourites so far (tennis is on page 107): http://www.sportsworldinc.com/sports/sports-apparel/mens/Nike/2011/Nike-Fall-mens-performacnce.pdf, and here's Summer '11 (tennis on p. 104): http://www.sportsworldinc.com/sport...Nike/2011/Nike-Summer-performance-apparel.pdf
    One of the things I really like about it is that the colours they have chosen all seem to give a very crisp and clean feel about them, even if they are bright green or blue. And even the more complicated patterns, such as the stripes or checks have a sense of simplicity about them.
    Anyway, hope that my ramblings haven't been too useless, and good luck to you too. Be good to see some of your initial thoughts on products and such. And have you got a name for the brand yet?
     
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  10. jkang909

    jkang909 Rookie

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    +1

    i just like smooth clothing without and fancy stuff (seams and mesh panels) like what adidas does... adidas does too much and i think it would be more comfortable if there was nothing like that (like nike)

    do you have a name for the new brand of tennis clothes?
     
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  11. tumalow2

    tumalow2 New User

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    Thanks for the input, it has helped a lot, especially knowing it is coming from tennis players. I will probably upload some pictures of the prototypes come early April and right now I am still struggling to come up with a solid name/logo. For me it has been the most difficult part, I was originally going to use my last name which is Dols but it is really boring and dull so I thought it would be better to get more creative and look elsewhere for a name. I really like the zip up idea, have not really seen much of them lately and kinda makes me miss the days when they were pretty big, like 4-5 years ago I think. Thanks for the input on the logo too, it is definitely good not to make it too big. I remember a few years ago nike has some pretty awesome color schemes but I was not a big fan of the HUGE swoosh on the sleeve. If the company ever gets bigger than my local area I will definitely let you guys know about product testing and worst case scenario is i've got a bunch of custom clothes to wear :)
     
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  12. max

    max Hall of Fame

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    Solid construction, good materials, these count for much.

    I would love to find some shorter length tennis shorts, in white, that are not see-through.

    I'm not in love with polyester and the floppy basketball look. I really like the old tennis style of, say, 1980.

    I particularly think the old Prince light green is a good color to work with.

    If I were starting a tennis line, I'd try to put something in about every price range, so people can at least buy something. I'd go big on wristbands, headbands, socks, and big on t-shirts (I'd work hard to find a good graphic designer; especially young people like heavy duty graphics).
     
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  13. kimguroo

    kimguroo Hall of Fame

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    it will be very tough to sell since nike and adidas dominate the market.

    1. the price of apparels might be the key because if prices of your apparels are close to nike or adidas, I don't think you can sell well.

    maybe the price range should be $40 for polo and $30 for crew. if the price goes over that range, I don't know how many people really buy apparels.

    2. material. I like most of nike materials.
    3. design (should have awesome simple logos)

    honestly, not a good idea to get into tennis apparel business because of two giant companies.
    you should have strong marketing ideas. good luck ^_^
     
    #13
  14. scraps234

    scraps234 Hall of Fame

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    .. look forward to pics as well as far as design goes i like what athletic dna is doing with the eclipse personally and i like poly or nylon for materials
     
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  15. MurrayisBEAST

    MurrayisBEAST Rookie

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    I really like the Nike crews. Something like this [​IMG]
     
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  16. kl2963

    kl2963 New User

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    I would love to see more quality tennis clothes at an affordable price.
     
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  17. scraps234

    scraps234 Hall of Fame

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    I like this as well what is the sleeve he is wearing
     
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  18. brownbearfalling

    brownbearfalling Hall of Fame

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    That sleeve is a nike pro compression sleeve. Also called a shooter's sleeve. A lot of basketball players wear it.


    What I would like to see in tennis clothing is a good selection of shorts. I'm not a big fan of loose fabric shorts. The material and fit of the Nike Conquer shorts were the best for me. With the tighter and stretchy shorts the balls in the pocket stay in place.
     
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  19. kevoT

    kevoT Semi-Pro

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    Some new age design crews (for us teens and 20somethingers!) and a few nice, simple and light polos (love 'em :))
     
    #19
  20. Nextman916

    Nextman916 Professional

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    Velcroooooo! place some straps on the neck/arms to tighten fit.
     
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  21. nvottennis

    nvottennis Semi-Pro

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    Target highschool/college kids! WE need a cheaper nike hahaha.
     
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  22. Hewex

    Hewex Semi-Pro

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    A logo is very important. I'd go with something classic like a Fred Perry type. White shirts and shorts. I hear guys say they like the look of classic tennis whites. T-shirts...ton of good players just use t-shirts, cotton ones. I'd stay away from bright colors and designs that are too busy. I created a line of golf practice clothes a few years ago and it was some of the most fun I've ever had. So, enjoy yourself!!!
     
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  23. nalvarado

    nalvarado Semi-Pro

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    Agreed!

    10newbrands
     
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  24. StanW

    StanW Rookie

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    No velcro :) They're a mess to deal with.
     
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  25. HookEmJeff

    HookEmJeff Semi-Pro

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    I tell you one thing....PLEASE make your shorts longer in length. I would say right at knee length.

    Tennis shorts, in general, are way too short... in my opinion. I play in basketball shorts (with pockets) because I hate those little "pasty nutters" shorty shorts, as Jim Rome calls them.

    I'm a Nike ***** and honestly...the only shorts I've bought from them in the last five years are the 2006 Rafa lines and those in the last and a half that they have been making (VAMOS line).

    John Stockton shorts may be cool for your dad, but not in this day and age are they cool for anyone under 40.

    Whatever you do, don't copy Lacoste. Their stuff is awful.

    Jeff
     
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  26. SlapChop

    SlapChop Semi-Pro

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    Make Tall Sizes Available
     
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  27. tumalow2

    tumalow2 New User

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    Logo is complete and final still deciding between 3 names and was going to just go cheap and get blank dri fits then screen print them but I looked at some of the blanks they are terrible quality. As for getting some prototypes I'm just going to get some polyester from a textile factory/store and have them sewn then screen printed which will be more expensive but will have much better quality. I posted earlier that I would show some live pics in early April, I am still shooting for that deadline but it will probably end up being later than that as I am also trying to get the logo on some socks too. I would post my designs and logo but they are not copyrighted so if you are interested in seeing some stuff just pm me and I may send you some.
     
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  28. FEDERERNADAL13

    FEDERERNADAL13 Hall of Fame

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    Can't wait to see the logo man!
     
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  29. samurai13

    samurai13 Semi-Pro

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    I think that what nike has showed us is that it doesnt matter how simple an item is... all it need is quiet patterns and a great electric eye catching color... andddd the other key to a good clothing company is a GOOD LOGO... (like the swoosh)
     
    #29
  30. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Let me give you a woman's perspective. Remember, we often shop for the men in our lives and so control his wardrobe dollars to some extent.

    First, no Velcro. I won't buy anything for him that has any Velcro. It snags other items in the laundry.

    Second, I would be very interested in any brand that claimed that it wouldn't get smelly. That is the single biggest problem with athletic attire and creates a lot of work for me. If you can solve that problem (or even find a marketing angle in that direction), you will have a shot at winning my business.

    Third, drawstring plus elastic at the waist is a winner. Some folks will fall between your sizes. Since tennis players put balls in their pockets, they can't have the shorts riding down.

    If you do any drawstring, you simply must secure it. I don't like anything that looks like the drawstring will pull through if I forget to tie it before washing it.

    My husband may be unusual, but he hates large logos. He would never wear Lacoste or Polo because he won't have a silly little animal on his chest. He finds a swoosh or stripes to be less offensive.

    Make sure any buttons are sewn properly. I won't buy anything that has loose buttons or buttons that are secured with a few pitiful threads. When the button pops, guess who gets to try to sew it back on?

    Regarding colors, my husband doesn't like any bright colors. He doesn't mind unusual tones of colors, but pastels and hot pinks are out.

    Good luck!
     
    #30
  31. zapvor

    zapvor Legend

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    basically, the opposite of what cindy said :D

    more flash is better! velcro is optional.

    show us some sketches!
     
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  32. Angle Queen

    Angle Queen Professional

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    I really, really wish....someone, some company would do something for womens tennis clothes.

    Sure, I can make my own "skirt." But I don't have gray hair and don't use lollies. That means I want built-in shorts. I want warm-up pants that have pockets! And for shirts -- sorry, boys, you've gotta make 'em flattering for those that have....and those that don't. Tough, I imagine, but it's still possible.

    Anyhow, good luck with your venture. And if you ever venture into the ladies line...advise us. :)
     
    #32
  33. jkang909

    jkang909 Rookie

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    tumalow, i cant pm you... it says you don't accept them

    but please email me the designs!

    jkang909@yahoo.com
     
    #33
  34. tumalow2

    tumalow2 New User

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    if anyone else wants to see some of the designs post your email and I'll send a couple as soon as I can :)
     
    #34
  35. max

    max Hall of Fame

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    The problems with long tennis shorts include: (a) they just weigh too much, (b) they get in the way of running, (c) hard to use the pockets, (d) make you look short like a child. If you want to play basketball, play basketball.
     
    #35
  36. ductrung3993

    ductrung3993 Hall of Fame

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    Slim-fit tops for thin people like me :D
     
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  37. jkang909

    jkang909 Rookie

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    name it Fides... it means belief

    i came up with it myself... no applause needed
     
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  38. anhuynh16

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  39. ci2ca

    ci2ca Semi-Pro

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  40. Fuzzball7

    Fuzzball7 Semi-Pro

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  41. zasr4325

    zasr4325 Professional

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    Could you PM me the stuff too? Really interested to see how they turned out.
     
    #41
  42. scotus

    scotus Legend

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    I would like a shirt that provides a good cover for the back of the neck, so I don't get too much exposure to the sun there.

    I would also wear long sleeves if the shirt can keep me cool.
     
    #42
  43. dnutzunlimited

    dnutzunlimited New User

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    I second slim-fit tops. I'm a short guy and many tennis clothes I try on that are a size small are a little too loose on me.
     
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